Max Kepler, who banged his right knee late in Thursday demolishment of the Angels, is not in the lineup today so he can rest it. It's the latest scheme devised by diabolical manager Rocco Baldelli, who could have had Kepler sit out yestersay's game but instead inserted him into the starting lineup and watched him get three hits, including a home run, and drive in four runs.
With a lefty on the mound today in Manny Banuelos, Baldelli decided to play Kepler on Friday and rest him today. Kepler is hitting .262 against lefthanded pitchers, by the way.
"He looked good, even with the banged up knee," Dr. Zarkov said. "He ran well. Obviously, the at bats were great. When we talked with Max we talked about...there are never any promises in this this game, but we talked about getting him out there and DH-ing yesterday and if we faced a lefty maybe getting him off his feet for a day. And I'm sure he will be ready to go and be back in there soon."
Kepler is batting .467 during his seven-game hitter streak with three home runs and a 1.428 OPS.
Nelson Cruz took some more swings today but isn't ready to be activated. It looks more and more like the Twins have decied to keep Luis Arraez up here and let Cruz ease his way back into the lineup. The offense hasn't missed a beat. They are eight games ahead in the division. Arraez is hitting. Let it play out, the Twins say.
When asked if he plans to play with some discomfort or try to eliminate all pain, Cruz said: "'Just pain free. I don't want it to be something I'm dealing with all year long. I want to make sure when I go out there it's 100 percent."
And that is something someone says when he is not being rushed back into the lineup.
Some leftover tibits from the Touch 'em All Twins dismantling of a pitching staff last night:
+The Twins hit 48 home runs through 50 games a year ago.
+Jose Berrios and Martin Perez are the first Twins to have at least seven wins each since 2001, when Brad Radke and Joe Mays did it.
+The Twins are the first team since the 2003 Blue Jays to score at least 300 runs through the first 50 games of the season.
+The Twins have had multi-home run innings 17 TIMES this season.
+The White Sox have had a starter fail to pitch at least four innings nine times this season.
Also, Sox catcher Wellington Castillo has been diagnosed with a concussion after feeling symptoms overnight and this morning. Castillo left the game in the eighth inning on Friday after he was struck in the facemask with foul ball off the bat of C.J. Cron, the force breaking Castillo's mask.
Leury Garcia, CF
Yoan Moncada, 3B
Jose Abreau, DH
James McCann, C
Eloy Jimenez, LF
Jose Rondon, SS
Yonder Alonso, 1B
Yolmer Sanchez, 2B
Charlie Tilson, RF
Manny Banuelos, LHP
Jorge Polanco, DH
Marwin Gonzalez, RF
Jonathan Schoop, 2B
Eddie Rosario, LF
C.J. Cron, 1B
Miguel Sano, 3B
Willians Astudillo, C
Ehire Adrianza, SS
Byron Buxton, CF
Kyle Gibson, RHP