FORT MYERS, Fla. — With four Twins regulars off to the World Baseball Classic, opportunities open up for other players. The first player to benefit is Drew Stubbs, a candidate for fourth outfielder, who gets the start today in left field in place of Eddie Rosario.
The Twins have been impressed with Stubbs' athleticism, and his ability to cover ground in the outfield. He's got eight years of big-league experience, too, can play all three outfield spots, and is a good baserunner, too — he has 161 career stolen bases, more than anyone else in camp — so don't discount Stubbs' chances to catch on as the extra outfielder.
He's in competition with Danny Santana, J.B. Shuck and Robbie Grossman for that spot. As with most non-roster players, hitting will likely be the tie-breaker when roster decisions are made, and Stubbs has been good so far in his limited playing time: 3-for-11 (.273) with a home run and a double. He'll bat eighth today against the Cardinals.
Kyle Gibson is on the mound for the Twins today, with a 60-pitch or four-inning limit. Gibson has had OK results in his first two starts, as he tries to adapt to changes in his mechanics.
Here are the lineups for today's noon CT game against St. Louis, which will be broadcast on Fox Sports North; former Twins catcher Eric Fryer is behind the plate for the Cardinals:
Also available: Kintzler, Rogers, Boshers, Chargois, O'Rourke, Reed, Romero, Jorge, Wimmers.