Update: Homer Bailey has gone on the injured list with biceps tendonitis, the Twins announced just before Sunday’s game. Sean Poppen, who made his MLB debut last season, has been added to the roster.
Mindful of the brief ramp-up to the season, the Twins are being noticeably careful with their starting pitchers so far in 2020. Kenta Maeda on Saturday was the first Minnesota pitcher to throw six innings in a game, and that was mostly because he needed just 83 pitches to do it.
And on Sunday, we get another example of the precautions they are taking: They’ve decided to give the rotation an extra day off this week, and are doing so by using Tyler Clippard to start today’s game. The Twins used openers only twice last season, but will give the former Cleveland reliever a chance to face his old teammates one or possibly two innings.
“He’s done it before and is very comfortable doing it,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “It’s something that adds different tool to a team. …It gives you a good matchup the first time through [the lineup], and it allows you to set up your next move.”
The Twins have taken two out of three from their most likely AL Central pursuer. Here are the lineups for today’s finale at Target Field: