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: Dozier's back too sore to play as Twins open at Detroit

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: June 13, 2014 - 4:34 PM

    DETROIT -- All of a sudden, the clubhouse dynamic is completely different.

    Televisions are almost always on in every clubhouse, but mostly they're ignored by the players. Not today. A couple of guys were watching the U.S. Open at one end of the Twins' clubhouse in Comerica Park, but at the other end, where most of of the Latin American players dress, there were a half-dozen chairs pulled up, watching the World Cup game. And someone scored while reporters were interviewing manager Ron Gardenhire, because a loud cheer went up from that gathering.

    The players in the clubhouse are a little different, too. Sam Fuld and Eric Fryer occupy lockers next to each other, newcomers who just reported to the team yesterday. Fryer replaces Josmil Pinto, who was sent to Class AAA Rochester to get more at-bats, while Fuld pronounced himself 100 percent healthy again after suffering a concussion last month.

    Fuld takes Aaron Hicks' spot after the second-year outfielder was placed on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder. Hicks underwent an MRI in Minneapolis on Thursday, but no structural damage was found, so the Twins consider the injury minor. The timing of it was fortunate, too; with Fuld back, Hicks was probably going to be optioned to Rochester.

    Manager Ron Gardenhire said he was tempted to put Fuld in the lineup today, but held off a day because left-hander Drew Smyly -- who has limited left-handed hitters to a .138 batting average this year -- is on the mound for the Tigers. Sounds like he'll be in there tomorrow, though.

    Meanwhile, Brian Dozier said his lower back remains sore, even after a visit to a chiropractor on Friday morning. He doesn't believe the injury, aggravated during a collision in short center field, is serious, but he said it still hurts to bend over, swing a bat, or do much of anything. He's already told Gardenhire that "I probably can't do him any good" even as a pinch-hitter tonight. Eduardo Escobar moves over to second base in Dozier's absence, with Eduardo Nunez starting at short. Kurt Suzuki moves up to the second spot in the batting order.

    The Twins open the three-game series just four games behind Detroit in the AL Central, and just two games below .500. Tonight's lineups:

 

TWINS

 

Santana CF

Suzuki C

Mauer 1B

Willingham LF

Morales DH

Arcia RF

Plouffe 3B

Nunez SS

Escober 2B

 

Gibson RHP

 

TIGERS

 

Kinsler 2B

Jackson CF

Cabrera 1B

V. Martinez DH

J.D. Martinez RF

Kelly LF

Castellanos 3B

Avila C

Romine SS

 

Smyly LHP

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