We have a slew of updates to track down in the clubhouse, as the Twins try piecing themselves together to play the Rangers coming off Thursday's 10-9, 13-inning loss to the Tigers.
Matt Fox has been promoted from Class AAA Rochester to start tonight's game, in his major league debut. Righthanders Rob Delaney and Alex Burnett were also promoted, to help bolster the relief corps.
La Velle got a quick scouting report on Fox. The 27-year-old righthander, who had shoulder surgery in 2005, throws his fastball 88-92 mph and usually settles in at 90. He has a slider and a change-up and developed a cut-fastball that has made him more effective against lefties. Fox played at Central Florida, where he pitched to Drew Butera, so it will be interesting to see if Butera gets the start tonight, with Joe Mauer coming off 13 innings behind the plate on Thursday. **** Also important to note that Fox pitched six innings Monday (in a 2-1 loss to Pawtucket), so he'll be pitching on three day's rest.
To make room for Fox on the 40-man roster, the Twins transferred Justin Morneau to the 60-man disabled list. This might sound alarming, but this is Morneau's 55th day on the DL anyway. He was scheduled to resume workouts at Target Field today, so we'll see how he's doing.
Will check back soon with updates on Jason Kubel, Brian Fuentes, Kevin Slowey and others.
Tonight's first pitch will be pushed back to 7:40, as the Twins honor their 50 greatest all-time players. Kent Hrbek and Gary Gaetti were on the field earlier as the Rangers took early batting practice.
The White Sox had their game postponed in Boston tonight, so they'll be playing a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. This will force the White Sox to use one of their two Saturday starters -- John Danks and Gavin Floyd -- on short rest Wednesday in Detroit or give that spot start to Tony Pena or Lucas Harrell.
Update: Mauer is back in the lineup, and so are Orlando Hudson and Jim Thome.
Update: Kubel had an X-Ray and an MRI exam for his bruised left wrist today and said they showed no structural damage. He has already taken some swings today. He said if his wrist feels good in batting practice Saturday, he hopes to be in the lineup Sunday.
Scott Baker said his right elbow feels better after getting another cortisone shot. He won't throw for three days and won't know the timeline for his return until he plays catch again. He assumes he will miss one start.
Fox, Delaney and Burnette learned of their promotions about 1:30 a.m. (Eastern time) in Rochester, N.Y., after returning from their game in Syracuse. They flew today at 11 a.m. (Eastern) through Cincinnati and landed at MSP just a short time before reporting to the clubhouse.
"When I found out [Fox] was coming up, I was more excited for him than I was for myself," Burnett said.
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Update: Morneau, who suffered a concussion July 7, was back at Target Field on Friday, as planned, after doctors advised him to stay away for a few days.
“I asked him how he’s doing,” Manager Ron Gardenhire said, “and he said, ‘OK.’”
Morneau already has spent 58 days on the DL, so he’d be eligible to return Monday if he were feeling better. He donned his uniform Friday, and smiled and waved at the fans, when the Twins honored him as one of the 50 greatest players in franchise history. Then he ducked back into the clubhouse.
The Twins rotation moving forward: Carl Pavano (Saturday), Nick Blackburn (Sunday), Kevin Slowey (Monday), Francisco Liriano (Tuesday), Brian Duensing (Wednesday).
Matt Capps is available to pitch tonight. Brian Fuentes' back feels better but he might need another day or two.
1. Elvis Andrus, SS
2. Michael Young, 3B
3. David Murphy, LF
4. Josh Hamilton, DH
5. Nelson Cruz, RF
6. Ian Kinsler, 2B
7. Mitch Moreland, 1B
8. Bengie Molina, C
9. Julio Borbon, CF
Starting pitcher: Derek Holland (2-2, 4.76 ERA)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Jim Thome, DH
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Jason Repko, RF
9. J.J. Hardy, SS
Starting pitcher: RH Matt Fox (MLB debut)
Target Field. First pitch: 7:40 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network