FORT MYERS, Fla. — Ron Gardenhire rolled into Hammond Stadium this morning on his deluxe three-wheel motorcycle, so you know it’s an unusual day at Twins camp.
The former Twins manager still owns a home in Fort Myers, and with the Tigers on a two-day road trip here — they’re spending the night and facing the Red Sox tomorrow — Gardenhire took the opportunity to spend a couple of nights at home, and ride his new toy to work.
He’s not the only celebrity who will be wearing a Tigers’ uniform here today. Miguel Cabrera is in Detroit’s lineup, too, and for the same reason — the former MVP owns a home in southern Florida, so he’s using this trip as a chance to go home for a couple of days.
Today is the 13th anniversary of the Tigers’ last visit to Hammond Stadium, back in 2006 when Gardenhire was the Twins’ manager. With plenty of Michigan retirees living in the area, today’s game is expected to be another sellout. The Twins have enjoyed a remarkable spring so far, attendance-wise: Their average crowd of 6,487 is third-highest in the Grapefruit League, behind only the Red Sox and Yankees.
On the field, Kyle Gibson will be making his second start of the spring, hoping to build upon his two-inning stint against the Orioles exactly one week ago. With the Twins having only two home games in the next six days, they’ll use nearly all of their veteran relievers, too. Blake Parker, Taylor Rogers, Addison Reed, Trevor May, Tim Collins and Tyler Duffey are all on the list of available pitchers.
Marwin Gonzalez is also in the lineup, the soreness in his right shoulder all but gone. He’ll man third base, where Gonzalez figures to get plenty of playing time until Miguel Sano returns from injury sometime in May.
Here are the lineups for today’s noon CT game: