James Beresford’s day has come. Signed by the Twins almost a decade ago, Beresford has accumulated a whopping 4,383 minor-league plate appearances, but today will be his first in a major-league games. The rookie infielder is listed eighth in the Twins’ lineup tonight against Cleveland, playing third base.
“I told him when he came up that I was going to try to get him a chance to play up here,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “I didn’t say a lot, but we’ll try to find a time or two, if not more, where he might get an opportunity to get some at-bats and play on the field.”
Molitor said he looked for “a good fit” for the Melbourne, Australia native, and the Indians’ starter tonight, Mike Clevinger, helped him make up his mind. “I know he’s faced Clevinger this year, for example, down there in Triple-A,” Molitor said. Beresford went 1-for-3 against Clevinger in a June 14 game between his Class AAA Rochester team and Columbus.
No matter how well he does tonight, Beresford will make Twins history, of a sort. He’s the 49th player to appear in a game for the Twins this season, breaking the franchise record of 48 set in 2014.
One other lineup note: Max Kepler will get his first career start as a cleanup hitter. Kepler is batting .316 (6 for 19) over the past week.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s game: