OAKLAND, Calif. -- Backup catcher Eric Fryer might end up in the outfield today, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, and he wasn't kidding. The Twins are shorthanded once more as they wrap up a four-game series in O.co Coliseum due to a couple of minor injuries.
Third baseman Trevor Plouffe fouled a pitch off his left ankle during his first at-bat on Saturday, then immediately lined an RBI single to give the Twins an early lead. (He said he was striking a blow for USC against A's starter Jeff Samardzija, a Notre Dame alum.) The foot hurt during the rest of the game, then swelled up overnight. It's too sore to play on today, he said, and the foot will x-rayed before the game.
Meanwhile, Oswaldo Arcia is still bothered by soreness in his lower back, although he said it's greatly improved today. He injured it while swinging at a pitch during his next-to-last at-bat on Friday night, and made it a little worse on his final at-bat. But he'll hit in the cage today, he said, and believes he'll be OK to play Monday in Houston.
Still, that leaves the Twins with a one-man bench today: Fryer. "He can play a lot of places if we need him to," the manager shrugged.
The Twins are expected to add one more healthy player to the roster after the game, as Joe Mauer wraps up his rehab stint in Cedar Rapids. Barring a setback, Mauer should meet the team in Houston for tomorrow's game. How the Twins make room for him remains to be seen; I thought perhaps a disabled-list move was ahead for one of the two injured players, but after talking to them, neither seemed to think they'll need more than a day or so. X-rays could change that, though.
The Twins are trying to snap a 12-game losing streak to the A's, and they'll have their best starting pitcher, Phil Hughes, facing Oakland's worst, Jason Hammel. Here are the lineups: