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.

Tonkin to replace Theilbar while he attends funeral

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: July 9, 2013 - 11:10 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Caleb Thielbar has been pitching with the burden of a loss far greater than any ballgame.

Thielbar's grandmother died last Thursday, but the Twins' lefthander channeled his grief into his work. "This is a good escape for me, being able to pitch," he said, and he'll be available tonight and tomorrow.

Thielbar will return to Minnesota on Thursday in order to join his family for a celebration-of-life service Friday in his hometown of Randolph, Minn. He'll rejoin the Twins in New York that night, but will remain on baseball's three-day bereavement list through Saturday's game.

Michael Tonkin, a 23-year-old righthanded reliever at Class AAA Rochester, will join the Twins Wednesday and be available in the bullpen over the weekend. Tonkin, a former 30th-round pick, began the season at Class AA New Britain and was promoted after striking out 30 batters in just 24 innings. Tonkin has posted a 1.32 ERA at Rochester and saved five games for the Red Wings.

"He's pitching the best, he's on the [40-man] roster -- it's the easiest thing to bring him in and have him available for three days. And Sunday, we'll have to make a corresponding move to activate Thielbar," assistant general manager Rob Antony said of the 6-foot-7, 220-pound righthander, whose fastball can reach 95-97 mph. "It could be Tonkin, or we could make some other move."

As for tonight's game, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire made no moves, choosing to stick with Monday's lefty-loaded lineup against Rays righthander Chris Archer. Seven of the nine Twins are either left-handed or switch-hitters.

Kyle Gibson makes his third start for the Twins, and will try to rebound from last Thursday's eight-run outing against the Yankees.

Tonight's lineups:

TWINS

Dozier 2B
Mauer C
Doumit DH
Morneau 1B
Plouffe 3B
Arcia LF
Parmelee RF
Hicks CF
Florimon SS

Deduno RHP

RAYS

Jennings CF
Scott DH
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Joyce RF
Johnson LF
Lobaton C
Escobar SS

Archer RHP
 

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