Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Pregame: Willingham glad trade watch is over

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: August 30, 2013 - 5:41 PM

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Josh Willingham's phone didn't ring today. It's the best news he didn't get.

"I'm glad it's over," Willingham said after the 48-hour window for the Twins and Orioles to work out a trade involving him passed without a deal. "I'm glad I know where I'm going to be."

Players aren't notified when they're on waivers, nor that they've been claimed, nor when their name is withdrawn without a trade. All he knows is, "I would have gotten a phone call if I was traded. And I didn't."

The lack of news means Willingham cannot be traded until after the season, not that the uncertainty was affecting the Twins' cleanup hitter. "I didn't pay attention to it. I talked to my wife, and she kept me updated a little bit," Willingham said. "The bottom line is, I didn't have any control anyway, so I didn't worry myself about it. I learned that early in my career."

Willingham has one more season left on his contract, at a $7 million salary, and said he'll take the same approach this winter. "I'm going to have a good offseason, get ready for spring," said the 34-year-old Alabama native, who underwent knee surgery in July. "If I don't get a phone call, I'll head to Fort Myers."

That's five months off, however. More immediate is tonight's game against the Rangers and Cy Young candidate Yu Darvish, who is running away with the major-league lead in strikeouts. The Twins, who have lost Wilkin Ramirez and Sam Deduno to injuries, have Darin Mastroianni in the lineup, his first big-league action since April 15, and Pedro Hernandez in the bullpen.

An MRI on Deduno's shoulder, by the way, found "issues" with the labrum and rotator cuff, general manager Terry Ryan said, though it's too early to tell whether he will require surgery.

Here are tonight's lineups, for a game to be played in 100-degree heat:

TWINS

Dozier 2B
Herrmann C
Morneau 1B
Willingham LF
Doumit DH
Plouffe 3B
Thomas CF
Mastroianni RF
Florimon SS

Hendriks RHP

RANGERS

Martin CF
Andrus SS
Kinsler 2B
Beltre 3B
Pierzynski C
Rios RF
Moreland 1B
Profar DH
Murphy LF

Darvish RHP
 

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