Sunday would be a big day for Willians Astudillo anyway. After being sidelined two weeks by a strained hamstring, the catcher and utility man is back on the roster, and back in the lineup. And as befitting one of the most versatile players in Twins history, someone who has played eight of the nine positions on the diamond, Astudillo will bat leadoff for the first time in his career. That’s the only spot in the lineup that he’s never occupied, so he’s 9-for-9 now.
But the day became even more special on Saturday, when the Twins made a request: Would your mother like to throw out the first pitch before the Mother’s Day game?
Ana Mercedes Astudillo said yes, and a ceremony is planned for shortly before the game.
“Super proud and happy that she’s here,” Astudillo said of his mother, a native of Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. “I’m going to spend this day with here, and it’s going to be special for her and for myself and my family.”
Getting to represent the family in front of a baseball crowd made his mom a little nervous, Astudillo said. “We already practice in the parking lot of my apartment,” he said.
Once the Mother’s Day festivities are over, the Twins will attempt to win another series from the Tigers. Martin Perez, back after the birth of his second child, is on the mound for the Twins, facing Tigers lefthander Daniel Norris.
Here are the lineups for Return of La Tortuga Day: