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.

Mauer trails two AL catchers in All-Star voting; Liriano vs. Chen tonight

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage, Vikings draft Updated: June 5, 2012 - 5:37 PM

KANSAS CITY, MO. -- The first of umpteen All-Star voting updates arrived today, and Joe Mauer ranked third among AL catchers, behind the Rangers’ Mike Napoli and the Orioles’ Matt Wieters. The totals went: Napoli (1,224,565), Wieters (713,469) and Mauer (637,364).

No other Twin was listed among the leading vote-getters as his position.

Mauer was baseball’s leading vote getter just two years ago. This year, he’s made 25 starts at catcher, 15 at DH and 11 at first base, and he’s got a very solid .826 OPS. But he’s got a sprained right thumb now, and he’s not in the lineup again tonight.

The Twins are facing soft-tossing lefthander Bruce Chen, so Manager Ron Gardenhire made some changes to his starting nine. Darin Mastroianni, a righthanded hitter, is getting the start over Revere in right field. Drew Butera is catching, with Ryan Doumit at DH, and Alexi Casilla is on the bench, with Trevor Plouffe starting at third base and Jamey Carroll at second.

Francisco Liriano is on the mound for the Twins. Was his outing against Oakland last Wednesday a mirage? The result of facing a woefully bad lineup? The Twins have their fingers crossed that the lefty can continue that success tonight.

Meanwhile, La Velle is churning out blog posts on the draft. Click here for updates.

Update: Mauer's thumb feels a little better today, but it's still sore, and the Twins expect him to miss the rest of this series in Kansas City. The team is off on Thursday, so they'll see where he's at on Friday.

TWINS (21-33)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Darin Mastroianni, RF
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Ryan Doumit, DH
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Brian Dozier, SS
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Jamey Carroll, 2B

Starting pitcher: LH Francisco Liriano (1-5, 7.20 ERA)

ROYALS (23-30)

1. Alex Gordon, LF
2. Johnny Giavotella, 2B
3. Billy Butler, DH
4. Mike Moustakas, 3B
5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
6. Eric Hosmer, 1B
7. Alcides Escobar, SS
8. Jarrod Dyson, CF
9. Humberto Quintero, C

Starting pitcher: LH Bruce Chen (4-5, 4.86 ERA)

Kauffman Stadium. First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network

Follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib


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