CLEARWATER, Fla. — Because Eddie Rosario has travel plans next week, Paul Molitor has given the outfielder some travel plans this week.
The 25-year-old Rosario served as the designated hitter yesterday in Sarasota, he'll patrol center field today here in Clearwater, and Molitor has said he's likely to come along to West Palm Beach on Sunday. That's more than 600 miles of bus rides, round trip, but there's a reason that Rosario has become the happy wanderer: He leaves on Monday for Scottsdale, Ariz., to join Team Puerto Rico for the World Baseball Classic.
Playing center field is especially useful, even though it's not Rosario's regular position, because of the potential makeup of the Twins' roster. If J.B. Shuck, Zack Granite, Danny Santana or Drew Stubbs earn a roster spot, it's not an issue because they can play center field. But if Robbie Grossman, the incumbent and current frontrunner, retains his spot as the fourth outfielder, Rosario would likely shift to center whenever Byron Buxton isn't in the lineup.
Today is Trevor May's second outing in his quest to become the Twins' fifth starter; he'll throw 45 pitches, or three innings, against the Phillies, with Chris Gimenez as his catcher. Which reminds me: As I left the Twins' complex yesterday, well after the regulars' workout was cut short by a brief thunderstorm, Gimenez was nearly the only player still around. He wanted to take another session of batting practice, but was facing a few obstacles: The batting cages were locked up, the lights had been turned off, and he had to hunt up a coach to pitch to him. I'm betting he got his extra work in anyway.
There's no radio or TV for today's noon CT game at Spectrum Field, but there are plenty of things to read online. I wrote in today's paper about Ryan Pressly's sudden discovery that he is now a veteran, while La Velle E. Neal III noted Molitor's reaction to this year's rule changes. And Patrick Reusse blogged about Taylor Rogers and his shift from starter to reliever.
Here are the lineups for today's game: