FORT MYERS, Fla. — Brian Duensing knows he was lucky. He didn’t even see Devon Travis’ line drive on Tuesday, so he knows he was fortunate it struck his upper left leg.
“I just threw it, and I was kind of turned to the side,” Duensing said of the hard shot, which knocked him out of yesterday’s game. “So it could have been worse.”
Duensing said the baseball left a “massive” bruise on his leg, and he was wearing a large bandage over it this morning, a bandage that will remain for three days or so. It’s sore today, but doctors told him it’s nothing worse than a bruise, so he can resume working as soon as the pain subsides.
“Should only be three or four days,” the left-handed pitcher said. “It won’t be long.”
Meanwhile, a couple of other lefties will try to earn bullpen spots alongside him today, in what might be almost a head-to-head competition. Caleb Thielbar is scheduled to pitch after Kyle Gibson’s planned six-inning start, and Aaron Thompson is in the bullpen today, too. The Twins won’t keep both of them (and might not keep either one), so that’s a matchup to keep an eye on today.
Torii Hunter, who hit a three-run home run yesterday against Toronto, was putting on his regular uniform today and getting ready to do his pre-batting practice stretching when I mentioned he had today off. “I do?” he said, walking over to check the lineup for the first time. “I thought I was playing.” Nope. He had to hustle to make the inactive players’ workout on a back field.
Hammond Stadium is still enveloped by fog this morning, but it’s expected to burn off well before today’s noon (CDT) game. Here are the lineups for the game against Tampa Bay, with the Rays starting a former Twin. Can you spot him?
Gibson RHP, followed by Thielbar, Fien, Thompson, Stauffer.
Answer: Rays catcher Rene Rivera appeared in 45 games for the Twins in 2011.