Twins Insider Logo

Blog

Twins Insider

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

Postgame: Twins came out flat Friday, and never recovered

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' loss to Detroit

THE CLUNKER: The clubhouse was quieter than usual after a loss. The Twins have been in the majority of their games this season. There was the 7-0 loss at Kansas City that was bad. Maybe the 10-5 loss in Milwaukee. The Twins seemed to come out a little flat on Friday. Sometimes the opposing pitcher can affect a mood like that. And the fly ball that fell in between Danny Santana and Oswaldo Arcia capped the evening. Molitor hadn't spoke to the players involved, but guess that Santana saw Arcia out of the corner of his eye and he backed off. Phi; Hughes needs to step up and lead the rotation now it's him, Ricky Nolasco and three pitchers with less than three months experience - combined - in the majors. Friday's struggles came at the wrong time.

SANO'S CATCH: Miguel Sano dived his left to steal a double from Miguel Cabrera in the seventh inning on Friday. ``It was probably the best play he's made here in the first month,'' Molitor said. ``I told him you can have fun playing the outfield too. That was a nice play.'' Everything Sano does in right field is scrutinized - especially by the Twins cognoscenti who believe his career is being ruined by playing there. But it was an example that he can make a play out there. ``I try to make every play in the outfield, like at third base too,'' Sano said. ``And I try to play hard every day.''

ANOTHER DEBUT: The Twins have Jose Berrios. The Tigers have Michael Fulmer. Both pitchers have good fastballs, but Fulmer's fired several at 96 mph on Friday, a few at 97 and one at 98. He has pretty good movement on that pitch as well. He's going to be tough to beat as he gains experience. He won't be able to dominate with his fastball the way he did on Friday. He will have to learn how to mix in his other pitches. With Berrios, I saw a live arm with good movement too. And he was able to throw breaking balls for strikes. But he missed his spot a lot and left more pitches up than he should. As he gains experience and gets more comfortable his command should improve.

Twins announce Milone to bullpen, Meyer to rotation ahead of Tigers series

The Twins made a lot of rotation news on Friday.

Manager Paul Molitor announced that lefthander Tommy Milone, who has struggled getting deep into games, will be moved to the bullpen in a long relief role. That will open the door for righthander Alex Meyer to start on Tuesday in Houston.

Meyer will be available out of the bullpen tonight before preparing for his start. Milone essentially is swapping places with him.

Meyer was called up earlier this week after the Twins' bullpen was gassed following the 16-inning game in Washington. He has yet to appear in a game, as the Twins managed to get by without needing him. Now he gets to start.

So three-fifths of the Twins starting rotation has been replaced in a week. Wow.

Ricky Nolasco will start on Sunday, while Jose Berrios will go Monday against the Astros. The Twins are trying to turn their season around with rookies Berrios and Meyer and a developing Duffey in the rotation. Wow.

Righthander Ervin Santana (back) will play catch on Saturday after making progress over the last couple of days.

Molitor added that righthander Kyle Gibson might need longer than 15 days on the DL to recover from his sore shoulder. A little bit of surprise.

Detroit is sending top pitching prospect Michael Fulmer to the mound tonight for his major league debut. Fulmer throws the basic four-pitch mix, with a fastball that can reach the mid-90's Molitor said Fulmer's breaking ball is pretty good, and Twins hitters will have to resist chasing it as it tumbles out of the strike zone. Fulmer was the key piece obtained from the Mets in the Yoenis Cespedes trade.

Tigers

Ian Kinsler, 2B
J.D. Martinez, RF
Miggy, 1B
V-Mart, DH
Justin Upton, LF
Nick Castellanos, 3B
Mike Aviles, SS
Bobby Wilson, C
Anthony Gose, CF

Michael Fulmer, RHP

Twins

Danny Santana, CF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Miguel Sano, RF
Byung Ho Park, DH
Oswaldo Arcia, LF
Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Eduardo Escobar, SS
Kurt Suzuki, C

Phil Hughes, RHP