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.

Plouffe "not attacking" ground balls, Gardenhire says

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: April 27, 2013 - 2:00 PM

The Rangers are resting the left side of their infield today, and manager Ron Washington said it's nothing more than a routine break. He had planned to sit shortstop Elvis Andrus today all along, and told Adrian Beltre to let him know what would be a good day for him "to get off his feet a little bit"; today was it, and he'll serve as the designated hitter.

The Twins have a change on their left side of the infield today, too, and I'm not so certain it's just a rest day. Manager Ron Gardenhire was still talking this morning about his team's "snowball fight" during yesterday's game, shortly after deciding to use Eduardo Escobar at third base today instead of Trevor Plouffe, despite the presence of a left-hander, Derek Holland, on the mound for the Rangers.

Plouffe "is not attacking enough right now. He's stepping back a lot," Gardenhire said, pointing to a ground ball that bounced under the third baseman's glove on Friday. "I've talked to Scott [Ullger, who coaches the infielders] about that -- we've got to go back to our drills and get him attacking again. He's going back too much. I know it took a bad hop, but it was after the fact, after he wasn't aggressive on it. It kind of ate him up, and that shouldn't happen."

The infielders were indeed doing drills during batting practice, so it will be interesting to see the Twins' lineup on Sunday. For now, the Twins' lineup lacks even more power; five hitters in the lineup have yet to hit a home run this year, which is why Minnesota ranks 14th in the American League in homers with 12, ranking ahead of only Kansas City (11).

Yesterday's home-run hitter, Oswaldo Arcia, is in the lineup today to give Justin Morneau his first day off, with Joe Mauer playing first base for the first time in 2013. And right-handed hitting Wilkin Ramirez is in for Chris Parmelee in right field.

The lineups:

RANGERS
Kinsler 2B
Gentry CF
Beltre DH
Cruz RF
Pierzynski C
Baker 3B
Murphy LF
Moreland 1B
Garcia SS

Holland LHP

TWINS
Dozier 2B
Mauer 1B
Willingham LF
Doumit C
Ramirez RF
Arcia DH
Hicks CF
Escobar 3B
Florimon SS

Hernandez LHP
 

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