A tarp covers the infield at Target Field as the Twins and White Sox wait for showers to move out of the area. Game time is now 6:40 p.m.
The weather system is a strange one, with rain appearing to roll in from east (!) and north. So this makeup game is on hold. Grounds crew members have the tarp surrounded as if they will be cleared to pull it off in a few minutes. Stay tuned...
Meanwhile, here's some pre-game reading....
Stephen Gonsalves, who figures prominently in the Twins' future pitching plans, makes his big league debut tonight at Target Field (6:10 p.m.) for a makeup game against the White Sox.
Gonsalves replaces righthander Ervin Santana, an All-Star last season, on the roster. Santana's season is likely over after a flareup of the middle finger on his pitching hand, a finger he had surgery on that cost him more than half the season. Santana has not won a game this year.
As Phil wrote this morning, Gonsalves expects 30-40 family members to fly in from his hometown of San Diego.
From Phil's story this morning: “I was in bed already” when the call came late Saturday night at the team hotel in Toledo, Ohio. “I was shocked. The first person I called was my grandmother, and shared some tears with her. We’re all very excited.”
The 24-year-old Gonsalves is 53-20 with a 2.46 ERA in six minor league seasons after being taken in the fourth round in 2013. He works the corners -- he has given up only 76 hits in 120 innings this season (Class AA Chattanooga and Rochester), but has walked 65 to go with 120 strikeouts.
So....what should you watch for tonight?
First of all, don't look for overpowering stuff. Gonsalves' fastball averages 89 miles per hour, according to brooksbaseball.net. He relies on location and proper sequencing of his pitches. He rose through the minor league system with his fastball and change up. This year at Rochester the Twins had him work on locating his slider and curveball.
The Twins know that a 89 mph heater could get pounded in the majors, so they've had him throw his curve, change and slider more in the minors. He has to locate and stay one step ahead of White Sox hitters. Sometimes the unknown lefty can sneak up on a team and spin a good game, so we'll see if Gonsalves can do that.
Poise will be a factor. If he gets nervous or gets hit a little bit, will he throw instead of pitch? That would lead to a short night.
Incidentally, the White Sox will showcase their ace of the future, Michael Kopech, on Tuesday night when the teams play in Chicago.
The grounds crew pulled the tarp on about 20 minutes ago, but I think things will clear up by game time.
Logan Morrison had surgery today to repair torn labrum in his left hip, which was causing the impingement that has been bothering him. He also had a bone spur removed from the area. He will need time to recover before starting a rehab program. He's definitely done for the year.
Ervin Santana, who landed on the DL Sunday because of soreness in his surigically-repaired middle finger, will be examined on Tuesday by Twins hand specialist Dr. Tom Varecka.
Logan Forsythe is not in the starting lineup tonight, as manager Paul Molitor wants to give him a break. Molitor said he almost gave Forsythe a day off on Sunday.
A German television team is in town to do a feature on Max Kepler, which also will be an attempt to explain the game to a soccer-mad country.
Here are tonight's lineups: