Another day, more questions about Max Kepler's return to the lineup.

Kepler, slowed by a rhomboid muscle strain near his left shoulder, made a cameo appearance as a pinch runner on Saturday. But he hasn't started a game in a week, and the Twins aren't sure - or aren't telling us - when he will return to the lineup.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli did say that Kepler will increase his batting practice swings over the next couple of days. He also will get swings against the high velocity pitching machine, which can be viewed as a step in the right direction.

Meanwhile, Luis Arraez remains the leadoff hitter in the Twins lineup in Kepler's place. Too bad for Kepler, who has 98 runs scored and 90 RBI on the season. He was on pace to hit 40 homers, score 100 runs and drive in 100 runs, which is pretty impressive for someone who has batted leadoff for most of the season.

Martin Perez, who gave up 10 hits in 4.2 innings in his last outing, is on the mound today. He can eat up a lineup when he's using both sides of the plate and spots his change up. When he's off, it looks - and sounds - awful.


Royals

Whit Merrifield, LF
Adalberto Mondesi, SS
Jorge Soler, DH
Hunter Dozier, 3B
Ryan McBroom, RF
Cheslor Cuthbert, 1B
Bubba Starling, CF
Humberto Arteaga, 2B
Nick Dini, C

Jorge Lopez, RHP

Twins

Luis Arraez, 2B
Jorge Polanco, SS
Nelson Cruz, DH
Eddie Rosario, LF
Mitch Garver, C
Marwin Gonzalez, 1B
Miguel Sano, 3B
Jake Cave, RF
LaMonte Wade, Jr. CF

Martin Perez, LHP

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