Jason Castro isn't in the lineup today, but he was activated before the game, so he is available if he's needed today. It's been 10 days since Castro took a foul ball to the mask in Chicago and suffered a concussion, but most symptoms disappeared within a day or two. The Twins took it slow with him, though, having had some bad experience with catchers' concussions in the past.

"We had him take his tests yesterday, what he needs to do for clearance," Twins manager Paul Molitor said, and they showed no evidence of lingering effects. MLB gave the go-ahead, and the MLB players association did too this morning, so Castro was officially activated from the disabled list. Chris Gimenez will do the catching today, though. Figure Castro getting the start tomorrow in St. Petersburg, where the Twins will depart for after today's game. Niko Goodrum gets his first major-league start, too, albeit at designated hitter.

On the mound, today's matchup appears to be a mismatch, but that can change in a hurry, of course. Ervin Santana starts for the Twins, who went 5-1 during his starts in August. Ian Kennedy starts for the Royals, and he's been terrible lately, putting up a 9.57 ERA in six August starts.

Speaking of pitching, Paul Molitor announced today that Aaron Slegers will make his second big-league start on Wednesday against the Rays, replacing Dillon Gee in the rotation for now.

Here are the lineups for today's game, as the Twins try to catch New York for the first wild card slot:


Merrifield 2B

Cain CF

Cabrera LF

Hosmer 1B

Perez C

Moustakas 3B

Orlando RF

Moss DH

A. Escobar SS

Kennedy RHP


Dozier 2B

Mauer 1B

Polanco SS

Rosario LF

Buxton CF

Kepler RF

E. Escobar 3B

Gimenez C

Goodrum DH

Santana RHP