CHICAGO — Kurt Suzuki says he’s feeling fine today, but he’ll get the day off just to make sure. Brian Dozier’s hamstring injury appears to be worrisome enough that he’s going to sit out a third straight game. And Joe Mauer, who has ended up playing nine innings in both games that he was supposed to skip, is getting another chance to take a rest.
Yes, even with his team in an eight-loss-in-nine-games skid, manager Paul Molitor is mindful of wearing his players out, or exacerbating their injuries, early in the season. He’s already missing his shortstop, Eduardo Escobar, to a groin injury, after all. But the result is a lineup that resembles a spring training lineup, like when most of the veterans don’t ride the bus to a road game. Only four of today’s starters were projected to be regulars this season.
Juan Centeno, Darin Mastroianni, Jorge Polanco and Eduardo Nunez are all in the lineup, and while all are useful players, the cumulative effect is that this doesn’t resemble the batting order the Twins had planned to have this season.
Of course, the standings don’t reflect the season they planned, either. The Twins enter Mother’s Day 12 1/2 games out of first place, the largest deficit they’ve ever faced on this pink-bat holiday. They’re also deeper in last place than any other MLB team, and today face Jose Quintana, who shut them down on four hits last month in Target Field.
The Twins and White Sox are wearing pink-accented jerseys and caps today, and they will use pink bats, all to honor their mothers and promote breast-cancer awareness. Here are the lineups for Sunday’s road-trip finale: