The Twins clubhouse on Friday was pretty lively. The daily card game was going on, Torii Hunter was holding court, at one point getting Corey Koskie on his speakerphone to verify some story. Someone is always picking on Eduardo Escobar. Today it was first base coach Butch Davis, then Brian Dozier.
Eddie Guardado and Rudy Hernandez were mingling with the players too, Twins manager Paul Molitor walked around as if he was checking the pulse of his 23-17 team, then went back in his office.
Six games over .500, and they are feeling pretty good for themselves.
``We have our work cut out for us this weekend,'' Molitor would later say.
Chicago has flaws, but good pitching covers up flaws. And the Twins catch Jeff Samardzija, Chris Sale and Carlos Quintana this weekend. But the Twins are feeling good about themselves and figure anything can happen.
Phil Hughes is on the mound for the Twins tonight, looking for his fourth straight win. Hughes is a strike thrower and loves his cut fastball, but Molitor thinks he's coming around on using his curveball more.
``He's learning that the curveball is an important part of his mix,'' Molitor said. ``He likes to save it for the second or third time (through the batting order), but I think he's learning it can be effective from the start.''
The Twins now have 13 pitchers, but Molitor said he wants to go back to 12 as soon as possible.
Alex Meyer has been dropped from the rotation at Class AAA Rochester after a run of shaky outings. Assistant GM Rob Antony said Meyer was kind of relieved at the news because he's been frustrated and, ``he feels like he's letting us down.''
Casey Fien is at Rochester. He will throw one inning tomorrow, take two days off, then throw back-to-back games,. Then the Twins will make a decision.
Oswaldo Arcia should be heading out on a rehab assignment soon. Antony made it clear that the days of getting rehab at-bats to make sure one is healthy are over. Arcia will be summoned when they think he can help the team. That means Eddie Rosario is safe for now.
The White Sox have announced a lineup change. Avisail Garcia has been scratched with right knee inflammation and will be replaced by J.B. Shuck. Garcia is 12-for-24 against the Twins this season.
Brian Dozier, 2B
Torii Hunter, RF
Joe Mauer, 1B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Eduardo Escobar, DH
Eddie Rosario, LF
Aaron Hicks, CF
Danny Santana, SS
Phil Hughes, RHP
Adam Eaton, CF
Melky Cabrera, LF
Jose Abreu, 1B
Dave LaRoche, DH
Avisail Garcia, RF
Conor Gillaspie, 3B
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Carlos Sanchez, 2B
Jeff Samardzija, RHP