The Twins will become part of baseball history today in Hammond Stadium, where their game with the Blue Jays will be the first ever played under baseball's new replay challenge rule. Terry Steinbach is managing the split-squad game (Ron Gardenhire is in Sarasota), and he's been encouraged to use his challenge in order to test the new system.
The logistics are a little different than they will be during the season -- most notably, the challenge umpire will be watching the game from an MLB satellite truck behind the stadium, rather than in a central control room in New York -- but the idea is the same. Managers can challenge one call during the first seven innings, and if the umpire's call is overturned, that manager will be able to challenge one more call. From the seventh inning on, the umpires will decide whether to ask the replay umpire for a ruling.
Each team is allowed to have one representative watching the game and communicating with the dugout about whether to challenge a call. For the Twins, video coordinator Sean Harlin will handle the duties, normally from an office in whatever ballpark they're in. For today, Harlin will be working from a special monitor near the satellite trucks; he'll have a walkie-talkie to communicate with coach Paul Molitor in the dugout.
There are only four TV cameras broadcasting from Hammond Stadium, rather than the 10 that MLB will have to choose from in Target Field and other major-league stadiums. But it will be interesting to see how the system works (and how frequently the rule is invoked), starting today.
On the field, Kevin Correia gets the start for the Twins, and he'll be followed in some order by Kyle Gibson, Brian Duensing, Casey Fien, Caleb Thielbar and Yohan Pino. The rest of the Twins' lineup:
And here is Toronto's lineup: