This is not an opener day for the Twins, although it's already known that Zack Littell will follow Chase De Jong this afternoon against the Royals.
"It's not the traditional opener that has been unfolded this year and revealed by Tampa in particular," Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
It looks and smells like a piggyback approach. De Jong who will make his Twins debut today, will pitch as long has he can, then Littell will come in for a couple innings. If that gets the Twins to the seventh inning, then they can switch to late inning mode.
De Jong doesn't throw hard (88-92 mph) and he used to be a sinkerballer. It sounds like he's trying to pitch like Kyle Gibson and use all his pitches and all four quadrants of the strike zone. We'll see how it goes.
After having an eight-inning perfecto thrown at them on Saturday, the best thing for the Twins would be to get their offense going early. And that's easier said than done. Joe Mauer is getting the day off. Miguel Sano is still recovering from leg contusion he suffered on Wednesday. Tyler Austin has a sore back.
"Yeah, it was one of those games where you faced a guy who had a heck of a night," Molitor said of righthander Jorge Lopez. "and we could not find a way to solve him until we got some baserunners on in the ninth. But I think you turn the page quickly."
Eddie Rosario was able to return to the lineup on Saturday after missing six games with a sore quad.
"He didn't have to run much last night," Molitor said.
Rosario is back in the lineup as the DH this afternoon.
The Twins aren't sure if Sano and Austin will be available during the upcoming series against the Yankees. At this point, trying to rush either one of them back into the lineup would be senseless. Both players are feeling better, though, and are getting closer to getting out on the field and resume baseball activities.
White Merrifield, DH
Adalberto Mondesi, SS
Alex Gordon, LF
Hunter Dozier, 3B
Ryan O'Hearn, 1B
Jorge Bonifacio, RF
Brian Goodwin, CF
Rosell Herrera, 2B
Cam Gallagher, C
Ian Kennedy, RHP
Jorge Polanco, SS
Eddie Rosario, DH
Logan Forsythe, 2B
Robbie Grossman, LF
Jake Cave, CF
Ehire Adrianza, 3B
Max Kepler, RF
Willians Astudillo, C
Chris Gimenez, 1B
Chase De Jong, RHP