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Twins Insider

La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Garver not in Twins lineup, but ready to make MLB debut

U    Mitch Garver is here, ready to become the 11th Twin to make his major-league debut, tying the franchise record for a single season. (There were 11 in 1999, too.)

    It might come tonight, but not necessarily — Garver isn’t in the starting lineup. He’s also primarily a catcher, too, and manager Paul Molitor said, “I don’t envision catching being a big need for us right now.”

    But Garver has played 14 games in left field at Class AAA Rochester this season, and five at first base, and Molitor said he would feel comfortable playing him at either spot. He also likes having a right-handed bat off the bench, something the Twins have lacked this year. Garver was batting .291 when he got the call last night, and has a career-high 17 home runs, too.

    “I’m happy that we’ve taken the road that kind of increases his versatility,” Molitor said. “We’ll see how he gets mixed in.”

    The Twins are trying to get on a roll again, something that was derailed by the Cleveland Indians and wet weather. They’ll face the Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend, with Ron Gardenhire looking on from the visitor’s dugout. The D-Backs’ bench coach says he’s cancer-free, is enjoying his new role with one of the National League’s better teams, and is looking forward to witnessing Michael Cuddyer and Andy MacPhail being inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame the next couple of days.

    Here are the lineups for Game 1 of the three-game interleague series (Update: J.D. Martinez was scratched. Brandon Drury is now the DH. Here is updated lineup:)

DIAMONDBACKS

 

Peralta RF

Pollock CF

Lamb 3B

Goldschmidt 1B

Descalso 2B

Iannetta C

Drury DH

Marte SS

Blanco LF

 

Godley RHP

 

TWINS

 

Dozier 2B

Kepler RF

Mauer 1B

Sano 3B

Rosario LF

Escobar DH

Buxton CF

Polanco SS

Castro C

 

Santana RHP

Postgame: Slegers figures to be back soon; Buxton describes collision

    A couple of extras from an extra-long day at Target Field:

    It doesn’t seem fair that Aaron Slegers becomes the only Twins pitcher this year other than Ervin Santana or Jose Berrios to pitch at least six innings and allow just two hits, and his reward for such excellence is a plane ticket back to Rochester. But that’s the life of the “26th man,” called up just to help a pitching staff cope with a two-game day.

    Twins manager Paul Molitor said after the game that Slegers will be returning to the Red Wings — “for now.” There’s little reason not to, given that he couldn’t pitch until next Tuesday anyway, so it wouldn’t make sense to drop another player to keep him around. But once next Monday’s doubleheader is behind them, and the Twins go back to sorting out their pitching rotation— not an easy task, considering Slegers was the franchise-record 14th pitcher to start a game this year — figure on the rookie to get a second chance very soon.

 

    In the meantime, Molitor and the front office must figure out when — or whether — Adalberto Mejia, Hector Santiago and Dietrich Enns will get another shot. And what if Dillon Gee (or even Nik Turley) starts Monday and impresses? Or Stephen Gonsalves serves as that day’s 26th man, and matches Slegers’ success? The Twins’ rotation is a jumble behind Santana and Berrios.

On the outfield

    Byron Buxton wasn’t sure that Robbie Grossman was OK. Their collision was harder than it seemed, he said. And when he got to the dugout, he feared what turned out to be the truth: Grossman injured himself while trying to catch Carlos Santana’s fly ball.

    “You could tell it was starting to bother him a little bit more,” Buxton said. “It’s just a tough situation. You don’t want to see anybody get put out of the game that way.”

    He knows better than anyone, of course, having been knocked out cold with a concussion while making a catch during a Double-A game three years ago. This wasn’t nearly that violent, just awkward. “His thumb hit my forearm. He had his thumb out, and it just caught me,” Buxton said. Grossman later described the blow as so freakish, “you could make that play 1,000 times and not have it happen again.”

    Still, it’s a blow for the Twins, since Grossman’s on-base percentage is in the top dozen in the league. Doctors told Grossman it would take 2-4 weeks for the fracture to heal, and Molitor was hopeful that, while it may take a month for him to be able to throw adequately, he might be able to hit before then.

    After all, Grossman lined a single with a fractured thumb.

    Speaking of Buxton, he said Max Kepler called his home run before he hit it, putting the Twins in front for good. Kepler had slipped in the outfield, turning a Santana single into a triple, and “he said, ‘I’m going to get that one back,’ “ Buxton said. “Sure enough.”