Today is the day the Twins get down with OPP.
That's using an "opener" followed by their "primary pitcher" I'm calling it OPP.
Gabriel Moya will start and pitch two innings, the Twins hope. Zack Littell will follow. The design of this arrangement is to neutralize the top of the order with use of a reliever, then Littell can take over and pitch later into the game. We'll see.
The Rangers, except for the ninth hitter, are using their lineup from last night. Three of the first four hitters are lefthanded.
The Twins will join, we believe, the Rays, Dodgers and A's (the A's opened with Liam Hendriks last night!) as teams to use designated openers.
My OPP suggestion is for entertainment purposes only. But it was the Twins who have decided to call Littell the "primary pitcher" That has the Elias Sports Bureau intrigued. It has been trying to come up with a team to describe the starter who's following the reliever, and someone there likes the ring of "primary pitcher"
Before the lineups, I have a couple more takeaways - in addition to ones I had after the Buxton news broke last night.
1. The Twins, earlier this year, reached out to several of their younger players about multi-year deals. Buxton, Eddie Rosario and Jose Berrios were in that group. They were turned down. Now, I'm not sure what numbers were thrown out, but that all had a chance at financial security then - which would have made service time considerations a non-issue. They chose not to sign, or negotiate, or whatever.
2. Two, and some have mentioned this, the Twins did something similar with Brian Dozier in 2012, not calling him up in September after making his debut earlier in the year. That apparently fueled Dozier into becoming the version that he is now. But one big difference is that service time wasn't an issue then.
3. And don't think service is only a Twins issue. The White Sox are in the meat grinder with Eloy Jimenez because they won't even let him make his debut this season, apparently over service time.
4. Buxton, as of this morning, was still with Rochester. The Twins have given him the option of shutting down for the remaining two games. If he plays, that speaks a lot about his character.
Let's just get to some baseball. But even baseball is not the game it used to be. Let's watch the opener force the leadoff hitter to ground into the shift (sigh).....
Logan Forsythe, 2B
Ehire Adrianza, 3B
Jorge Polanco, SS
Robbie Grossman, DH
Max Kepler, RF
Willians Astudillo, C
Jake Cave, CF
Chris Gimenez, 1B
Johnny Field, LF
Stephen Moya, LF
Shin-Soo Choo, LF
Rougned Odor, 2B
Elvis Andrus, SS
Nomar Mazara, RF
Adrian Beltre, DH
Jurickson Profar, 3B
Robinson Chirinos, C
Ronald Guzman, 1B
Drew Robinson, CF
Yohander Mendez, LHP