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.
The Twins plan to place Kevin Slowey on the 15-day disabled list and will likely recall righthander Jim Hoey from Class AAA Rochester after Slowey was diagnosed this morning with an acute strain of an abdominal muscle.
After reading Slowey's MRI exam Monday, the Twins medical staff recommended he see Edina specialist Dr. Brad Pierce, who performed surgery on Luke Hughes last year to repair a sports hernia. Pierce recommended Slowey get at least 7-10 days of rest.
Hoey has posted a 9.72 ERA with the Twins this year but has a 1.54 ERA in Rochester.
Matt Capps has some right forearm soreness and will not be used again today, Manager Ron Gardenhire said. Gardenhire lamented having to use Capps in the eighth inning in each of his past two outings and said he should be fine after a few days of rest.
Michael Cuddyer (strained right hip) is not in the lineup but he's available off the bench. With an off day Thursday, the Twins want to give Cuddyer a little extra time.
As noted earlier, the Twins have a chance today to do something they haven’t done all year: win a three-game series.
It’s been a weird schedule, partly because of weather, with six two-game series. They are 3-2-1 in those, 0-1-1 in four-game series and 0-6 in three-game sets.
So, for what it’s worth, today’s rubber game against the Mariners offers that storyline. The Twins are 16-31, so I don’t want to overstate the importance of one game, but baseball teams build confidence by winning series, and losing them can be a real confidence drain.
Quick fact: The Twins have played 17 home games, the fewest in baseball. They are 5-12 at Target Field after leading the American League with a 53-28 home record last year.
Update: The Twins are holding an autograph session Saturday with proceeds to benefit the Red Cross tornado relief efforts. Matt Capps, Brian Duensing, Drew Butera and others will be signing outside Gate 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Fans will be charged $10 with that money going to victims of the recent tornados.
Update: The Twins had the lineup written incorrectly in the clubhouse. See actual version below.
1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Chone Figgins, 3B
3. Justin Smoak, DH
4. Miguel Olivo, C
5. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
6. Adam Kennedy, 1B
7. Mike Wilson, LF
8. Brendan Ryan, SS
9. Jack Wilson, 2B
Starting pitcher: LH Erik Bedard (2-4, 3.94 ERA)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Matt Tolbert, SS
3. Jason Kubel, RF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Jim Thome, DH
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B
Starting pitcher: LH Brian Duensing (2-4, 4.98 ERA)
Target Field. First pitch: 12:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network
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