FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins are getting a late start today, after holding a union meeting this morning with Players Association executive director Tony Clark. But they’re begun preparing for today’s game now. Down in the bullpen, pitching coach Neil Allen looks like he’s working with Mike Pelfrey on keeping his arm angle high; they’re both standing there with their right arms in the air as they talk.
Paul Molitor has said he wants to try some lineup combinations as the spring games reach their halfway point, and he’s got a different one at the top of the order today: Brian Dozier leading off, with Torii Hunter and Joe Mauer batting behind him and Trevor Plouffe, as the DH, in the cleanup spot. Those players are more or less in order of how they’re hitting, with the red-hot Dozier (batting .524, 11 for 21, this spring) followed by Hunter’s .294, then Mauer (.188) and Plouffe (.167). We’ll see if the new lineup gets those hitters going.
Danny Santana gets the day off after playing yesterday (as do Oswaldo Arcia and Kennys Vargas). Everyone will be in action tomorrow, another split-squad day.
The Pirates, looking to get their pitchers some at-bats, are declining the option to use the designated hitter, so today’s starter, Gerrit Cole, will bat ninth — one spot ahead of former Twins shortstop Pedro Florimon.
Here are today’s lineups for the noon CDT game:
Gibson RHP, followed by Boyer, Tonkin, Pryor, Graham, Thompson