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 will be facing another tough lefthanded pitcher tonight, as the Rangers send Matt Harrison to the mound, opposite Twins righthander Anthony Swarzak.
Harrison opened the season with six scoreless innings against the White Sox on Sunday Night Baseball. In that game, lefthanders went 0-for-9, and righties went 4-for-13 with two walks.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has Luke Hughes and Trevor Plouffe in the lineup, and I'm sure both righthanded hitters are champing at the bit. Joe Mauer is at first base after catching the past two games, and the switch-hitting Ryan Doumit is catching. (corrected)
There's a chance of continued rain in the forecast, so we'll keep you posted here if there are any rain delays.
Updates to come...
Random facts: According to the Rangers game notes, the Twins are the only team with a winning record against Texas each of the past three seasons. The Twins went 5-3 against the Rangers last year, and 58-96 against everyone else. The Rangers are 1-9 in two seasons at Target Field.
Update: The Twins plan to have Jason Marquis throw a bullpen session Monday in New York, and the tentative plan is to have him make Wednesday's start against the Yankees.
Matt Capps has pitched two days in a row, so Manager Ron Gardenhire said there's a possibility of using Glen Perkins in a ninth-inning save situation tonight, giving Capps a break. Gardenhire said he'd wait to see how Capps felt playing catch today.
Asked about Alexi Casilla's repeated April struggles, Gardenhire had some interesting things to say:
"I don’t know," Gardenhire said. "He had the leg injuries in spring training again, missed some time. He comes out of winter ball swinging it as good as anybody, comes to spring training, does OK, but then he starts off a little slow. I wish I had an answer for you.
"Right now, he’s a little sloppy. He’s a little long with his swing. Maybe he’s trying to do too much, maybe that’s it. He’s been a little sloppy out in the field, too. Maybe you just have to kick him in the butt enough to where we can get him going. Maybe sitting him every once in a while will get him going, so we’ll see.
"I count on him. I wrote his name in there, and I want him to play better. He knows that."
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Josh Hamilton, CF
4. Adrian Beltre, 3B
5. Michael Young, DH
6. Nelson Cruz, RF
7. David Murphy, LF
8. Mike Napoli, C
9. Mitch Moreland, 1B
Starting pitcher: LH Matt Harrison (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Trevor Plouffe, RF
9. Luke Hughes, 2B
Starting pitcher: RH Anthony Swarzak (0-1, 1.80 ERA)
Target Field. First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network
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