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Twins Insider

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

Not one, but two Twins scratched before game with Cleveland

You arrive at the ballpark, check with your players, check matchups and write out a lineup card.

And then you have to improvise.

That's what Twins manager Paul Molitor is dealing with right now as he had to remove outfielder Max Kepler from the starting lineup because of right foot contusion. Kepler fouled a ball off of his foot in the sixth inning on Friday but was able to remain in the game. But when he tried to warm up earlier this afternoon, the foot reacted angrily.

So the plan is for Kepler to have X-Rays of his foot taken to make sure there isn't something seriously wrong.

Byron Buxton was not in the ordinal lineup against Cleveland ace Corey Kluber, but he is now. Eddie Rosario, originally scheduled to start in center, has been moved back to his customary left field.

But for how long? Rosario has been slowed by the same sinus infection that has kept Miguel Sano out of the lineup. And Rosario looks even worse today than he did yesterday. The Twins were going to see how he warms up today. If he struggles, he could be a late scratch.

UPDATE: Rosario has been scratched. Chris Gimenez now playing left field. CHRIS GIMENEZ!

As for Sano, he said he feels better today, but Molitor still has him out of the starting lineup. Sano is available off the bench. 

Not good for the Twins, especially when they are facing someone of Kluber's caliber. Joe Mauer is a career .298 hitter against Kluber with two home runs. The rest of the team isn't doing as well. Brian Dozier (.150), Eduardo Escobar (.126), Rosario (.176) and Sano (.063) have not figured out this guy.

Escobar told me he stayed up late last night looking at Kluber video and thinks he has an answer. We will see.

The pitching matchups for Boston are out.

Monday: Jose Berrios vs Chris Sale
Tuesday: Hector Santiago vs. Drew Pomeranz
Wednesday: Adalberto Mejia vs Rick Porcello
Thursday: Kyle Gibson vs David Price

Pack a lunch....


Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Robbie Grossman, RF
Kennys Vargas, 1B
Eduardo Escobar, 3B
Jorge Polanco, SS
Chris Gimenez, LF
Jason Castro, C
Byron Buxton, CF

Kyle Gibson, RHP


Francisco Lindor, SS
Jason Kipnis, 2B
Jose Ramirez, 3B
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Lonnie Chisenhall, RF
Carlos Santana, 1B
Yan Gomes, C
Bradley Zimmer, CF
Austin Jackson, LF

Corey Kluber, RHP

Hildenberger's Twins debut features scoreless inning

The bullpen phone rang in the ninth inning. Bullpen coach Eddie Guardado answered and told Trevor Hildenberger to warm up for the bottom of the inning.

"My stomach dropped and your heart jumps in your throat," Hildenberger said. "Once I got on that game mound, I felt normal. I was just competing. Luckily, I was able to throw enough strikes to get some guys out."

And that's how Hildenberger's major league debut went on Friday as he threw a scoreless ninth in the Twins' win over Cleveland. He struck out Roberto Perez on a change up and gave up a double to Bradley Zimmer.

But Zimmer hits off Hildenberger aren't new, I found out when I asked him if he's faced him in the minors.

"I faced him in college a lot," he said. "He went to USF (San Francisco). I don't think I've ever gotten him out. He rakes me. There's nothing new about that."

Twins manager Paul Molitor approved of the outing. Of course he would. He'll take a zero any way he can get it these days. 

"He made it exciting with the double, but he got through it," Molitor said.

Hildenberger went to Cal, by the way. Which meant the battery in the ninth was a Cal guy throwing Stanford guy in Jason Castro. Lots of brain power at work.

Hildenberger had scouts in the pressbox focusing hard on him. The radar gun malfunctioned a few times during his outing, which they weren't happy about. But they saw the change up in action as he got the strikeout of Perez and a swing and miss from Jason Kipnis before he grounded to first. Hildenberger will throw it to righthanded hitters as well as efties.

"It's a weapon more than any other pitch," Hildenberger said. "It's a big part of my game."

After the game, he was outside the clubhouse talking to family and friends, including his parents, John and Denise. They happened to be in Rochester when he got the news when he was called up, so he was able to tell them in person. They immediately drove to Cleveland and were rewarded right away.

You only get to debut once, and Hildenberger made the most out of it.

"Felt good to get the first one out of the way," he said, "and kind of adjust. I can get a good night rest. This one feels good, really good."