Bundled up in 45-degree weather, the Twins were on the field shortly after 9 a.m. this morning taking batting practice, unusual for a day game. But Paul Molitor has little choice, because Minnesota’s schedule includes practically nothing but day games for the first two weeks.
The Twins play eight times over the next nine days, and as a concession to the chilly April weather, seven of the games will be played during the day. Counting next weekend’s return to Target Field, the Twins have eight day games in their next 10. So the normal adjustment to MLB’s nighttime schedule will take awhile this season, and the Twins will have some early pregame practices.
“I’ve already given some thought to when we’re going to hit and when we’re not going to,” Molitor said.
Next week’s three-game series against the Tigers at Comerica Park is particularly unusual: A weekday series with no night games. “Detroit will be a little awkward,” Molitor said. “But it might work out well, weather-wise.”
Could be. It’s worth noting that the White Sox have already been rained out today (just as they were Monday) in Chicago, where the Twins play this weekend. Snow is possible on Thursday, and Friday’s night game is likely to be played in temperatures around 40 degrees. But it should be warmer for Saturday and Sunday’s games.
Anyway, the Twins will play the Royals in Target Field at 12:10 today, and it will be interesting to see how many people are in the stands. With righthander Ian Kennedy on the mound for Kansas City, Max Kepler will move up to second in Molitor’s lineup, with Robbie Grossman dropped to ninth in the order. Eduardo Escobar is at shortstop, just because Molitor likes to get his bench players some playing time as quickly as possible. Danny Santana will play on Thursday, Molitor said, and Chris Gimenez will catch Ervin Santana in Chicago on Sunday.
The Twins, who won their opener 7-1 on Monday, haven’t started a season 2-0 in a decade, since sweeping three from the Orioles to open the 2007 season in the Metrodome, so Hector Santiago, who starts for Minnesota, is trying to buck some history today.
Here are the lineups for today’s game, which will be televised by Fox Sports North: