La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Arcia returns to lineup as Twins take on Pirates

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 12, 2014 - 9:18 AM


Oswaldo Arcia was seen in the clubhouse this morning - and holding a bat.

The outfielder returns to the lineup for the first time since March 4 after recovering from food poisoning. It's a relief to the Twins, as they start to figure out what their lineup is going to look like.

While Arcia is expected bat near the middle of the order, the Twins need someone take control of the leadoff spot. That person should be Aaron Hicks, but he also hasn't played since March 4 because of a sore right elbow. He has been in the batting cages in recent days and says the elbow feels better.

The Twins would like to see Hicks in the lineup as soon as possible, with Opening Day less than three weeks away.

It's a rematch of the B game last week, as Kevin Correia starts opposite of young Gerrit Cole.

In other news, Ervin Santana has signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves worth about $14 million. The Twins spoke with Santana's agent about a three-year deal in the $30-33 million range, but Santana wanted to sign for one year then re-enter the market next offseason.

That keeps the Twins with one open spot in their rotation. Vance Worley, Scott Diamond, Samuel Deduno and Kyle Gibson are the main candidates for that role. The way manager Ron Gardenhire has talked up Deduno (1.35 ERA in spring), he appears to be the favorite to land that No. 5 spot. Kyle Gibson, however, has pitched well so far, tossing five shutout innings.

The Twins won't divulge their plans yet, but the rotation is set up to go Ricky Nolasco, Correia, Phil Hughes, Mike Pelfrey and ??????????.


Pirates

1. Jaff Decker, CF
2. Michael Martinez, 2B
3. Travis Snider, RF
4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
5. Chris Dickerson, LF
6. Robert Andino, SS
7. Andrew Lambo, 1B
8. Travis Ishikawa, DH
9. Chris Stewart, C

Pitching: Gerritt Cole, RHP

Twins

1. Alex Presley, CF
2. Brian Dozier, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Oswaldo Arcia, RF
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Chris Parmelee, 1B
8. Josmil Pinto, C
9. Jason Bartlett, 2B

Pitching: Kevin Correia, RHP


 

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