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The Minnesota Twins made a few moves on Wednesday following their most recent loss, activating one pitcher while sending a pair to play at Triple-A Rochester. That of course leaves one roster move left and, apparently, it'll be for a position player rather than a pitcher.
That's simply speculation right now considering the resulting move has yet to take place, but manager Ron Gardenhire made it pretty clear while talking to the Star Tribune that a position player is going to be moving up to the big club.
"It will be a position player," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're going to get that extra position player back on the bench and go with 12 pitchers."
The leading candidate to be called up is Chris Parmelee, who is blazing hot at Rochester. He entered Wednesday batting .354 with 15 homers and 41 RBI in 49 games for the Red Wings.
Parmelee could be counted on to fill in both out in the outfield -- switching things around to account for Denard Span's absence -- or at first break if the Twins want to give either Justin Mauer or Joe Morneau a quick breather.
The Minnesota Twins performed a bit of reshuffling in their bullpen on Wednesday afternoon following a 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers, and officially optioned relievers Jeff Manship and Luis Perdomo to Triple-A Rochester. This makes room for 26-year-old Anthony Swarzak's activation from the disabled list, according to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger:
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) August 15, 2012
#MNTwins option Manship and Perdomo. Activate Swarzak from DL. Other move to come. Will be position player.
With one roster spot available to fill, many are projecting the upcoming call-up to be Chris Parmelee, a young infielder who has hit just .204 with two home runs in the big leagues this year. Parmelee struggled to adjust to major league pitchers after a few strong games in the month of April, but remains one of the more promising corner infield prospects in Minnesota's organization.
Swarzak's return should be seen as a boost for manager Ron Gardenhire's bullpen immediately, as the versatile righty served a vital role all season long as both a long reliever and spot-starter before going down with an injury at the end of July. Swarzak owns a 2.42-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio in 31 appearances this year, and may just factor into the five-man rotation battle if Cole De Vries struggles through another outing.
The Minnesota Twins fell for the sixth time in their last seven attempts on a sunny Wednesday afternoon at Target Field, as the visiting Tigers racked up 12 hits en route to a 5-1 series-clinching victory.
Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer was the story of the day, with a complete domination of Minnesota hitters that included 10 strikeouts over just seven innings. As the lone bright spots offensively in a game where Twins batters could only muster six total hits, Ben Revere and Joe Mauer each put forth 2-for-4 performances from the plate.
Revere, who proved that he was fully back to health by legging out his fourth triple of the 2012 campaign, has now recorded multi-hit games in each of his last three starts atop Ron Gardenhire's lineup, bumping his season average to .319.
Next up for the Twins is a brutal 10-game AL West road trip that starts Friday evening in Seattle. Struggling starter Nick Blackburn will take the mound in game one looking to get his club back in the win column.
Dozier had been up with the Twins for the majority of the season and, though his numbers at the plate aren't terrible, Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said defense is the reason he's had to return to playing with the Red Wings.
"He's a kid who's been up here, and he's battled through this year," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "He's had his good days, he's had his tough days, and basically he just needs to go down and play every day. He's got to work on his defense. There have been certain things that he needs to work on -- cutoffs, positioning, that type of thing."
It makes sense, then, that the Twins decided to bring up a defensive specialist to take Dozier's spot in the lineup.
"He's done a terrific job defensively," Antony said. "He's hitting .251, so he's not hitting a ton. But at the same time, he's done a very, very good job defensively. He's improved a lot offensively over the course of last year to this year."
It'll be interesting to see how much of a difference Florimon makes when compared to Dozier, but bringing up new blood certainly can't hurt as the Twins try to make some momentum.
After a rough start by pitcher Brian Duensing Tuesday night when he allowed five runs over six innings, Twins starter Cole De Vries will take the hill against the Tigers Max Scherzer. Also looking for a big game will be outfielder Josh Willingham, who hit his 30th home run of the season on Tuesday night.
Minnesota sits in last place in the AL central and can take a series from one of the division's best teams with a win on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Tigers currently sit only two games behind the division-leading Chicago White Sox and will do everything they can to take two in a row from Minnesota.
After a fast 4-0 start by Detroit, Minnesota showed some life by rallying for four runs of their own in the bottom of the third. That momentum didn't last for long, though, as the Tigers added four more runs over the game's final four innings. Twins starter Brian Duensing found it hard to stop the Tigers, giving up five runs in only six innings for his eighth loss on the season.
On the bright side for the Twins, slugger Josh Willingham hit his 30th home run of the season. That total is already a career high and with a good chunk of the year still to go, he should have a real chance at getting to 40.
Minnesota will try to rebound against Detroit on Wednesday.
There haven't been many bright spots for the Minnesota Twins so far in the 2012 season, but one has certainly been outfielder Josh Willingham. Tonight, Willingham hit his 30th homer of the season, which temporarily ties him for third-most in the American League. The homer came off of Detroit Tigers starter Doug Fister, and tied the game at four in the bottom of the third.
Ron Gardenhire will keep the Minnesota Twins' lineup intact from Monday night's 9-3 win over the Detroit Tigers. Southpaw Brian Duensing (2-7, 4.46) will take the mound for the Twins, hoping to extend a three-game starting streak during which he has a 3.32 ERA. Detroit sends right-hander Doug Fister to the mound, who has been pitching very well since the All-Star break (4-1, 1.79).
Your lineups for Tuesday's 7:10 CT start at Target Field:
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Omar Infante, 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Jhonny Peralta, SS
6. Delmon Young, DH
7. Jeff Baker, RF
8. Andy Dirks, LF
9. Gerald Laird, C
1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Darin Mastroianni, RF
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, DH
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
8. Jamey Carroll, SS
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B
Minnesota Twins outfielder Denard Span took an ugly spill on Sunday in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays and was held out of Monday's lineup, called day-to-day with shoulder and collarbone soreness. It is not known when he is expected to return.
John Shipley of the Pioneer Press reports that Span was certain he had broken something when he fell, as he heard an unusual pop, but the X-ray results luckily came back negative.
"I'd never heard anything like that, and that's what caught my attention, that sound," he said. "I though for sure something was fractured, even if it was a hairline fracture -- I thought something was going to be out of place.
"I think tomorrow I'll have a better idea if I'll be out for a day or another two or three, whatever," Span said.
For the time being, Span is on anti-inflammatory medication and has an appointment to see a masseuse and chiropractor on Tuesday.
The Minnesota Twins were able to snap their most recent losing skid on Monday night with a 9-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers. On Tuesday night, they'll trot out Brian Duensing to try too keep that streak alive -- though that might be easier said than done.
Duensing has just one win in his seven starts for the Twins this season, an ugly statistic considering his 5.68 ERA over his last 10 outings shows that the win-loss record isn't an aberration. His most recent outing resulted in helping the Cleveland Indians snap an 11-game losing streak as he gave up 11 hits and six runs in a loss.
The Tigers will counter with Doug Fister who, unlike Duensing, has been very solid as of late. He's been much worse when it comes to pitching against the Twins than other teams in his career, however, compiling a 1-6 record against Minnesota.
The Minnesota offensive outburst was led by Darin Mastroianni and Ryan Doumit. Both players hit home runs and finished with three RBI. Mastroianni hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, then drove in two more in the sixth inning. With the Twins leading 5-1 in the seventh inning, Doumit connected on a three-run home run to break the game wide open.
Samuel Deduno picked up the win for Minnesota, striking out six over seven innings while allowing three runs. With the win, Deduno improved to 4-0 on the season. Minnesota has won the last six games Deduno has started.
The win improves Minnesota's record to 50-65 overall and 24-35 at home. The teams will play the second game of the series Tuesday night, with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.
As was reported earlier today, Trevor Plouffe has been reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. It was not known whether or not Plouffe would be in the starting lineup at the time, but Ron Gardenhire has posted his lineup card. Plouffe is slotted into the seventh spot and will be playing third base for the Minnesota Twins tonight, as they get set to face the Detroit Tigers. Here are the full lineups:
1. Austin Jackson CF2. Andy Dirks LF3. Miguel Cabrera 3B4. Prince Fielder 1B5. Alex Avila C6. Delmon Young DH7. Brennan Boesch RF8. Jhonny Peralta SS9. Omar Infante 2B
1. Ben Revere CF2. Darin Mastroianni RF3. Joe Mauer 1B4. Josh Willingham LF5. Justin Morneau DH6. Ryan Doumit C7. Trevor Plouffe 3B8. Jamey Carroll SS9. Alexi Casilla 2B
The first pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. CT.
The Minnesota Twins got some good news when they heard that Trevor Plouffe was going to be able to come back sooner rather than later. On Monday, the team activated him from the 15-day disabled list on top of that, according to Rhett Bollinger on the official website.
Plouffe has been a bright spot for the Twins this year, hitting .259/.330/.525 with 19 homeruns in 74 games this year. He was placed on the disabled list retroactive to July 21, and had a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester, in which he went 0-for-8 with a walk in two games. Still, those rehab assignments are less about looking awesome and more about looking like you're not going to fall apart going full-speed.
Barring any setbacks, Plouffe should be in the lineup sooner rather than later, which is definitely a good things as the Twins have struggled lately. The Detroit Tigers are making a push in their division, and could be a tough team to beat right now with their strong pitching staff. Plouffe certainly helps things.
The team optioned second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka to Triple-A Rochester to make room on the roster. Nishioka went 0-for-12 at the plate with three errors in the field during a three-game series against the Indians recently.
Denard Span took a rather ugly spill in Sunday night's loss to the Tampa Bay Rays and, though he finished the inning, he was replaced for the rest of the game by Darin Mastroianni. The injury apparently wasn't too bad, however, as Span is being considered day-to-day.
Precautionary X-rays were negative, but manager Ron Gardenhire said Span "is pretty sore in his collar bone/shoulder area."
"We'll just call him day to day," Gardenhire said.
Span is hitting .287 in 421 at bats this season as he's driven in 34 RBIs. If he's unable to play Monday night against the Detroit Tigers, it'd make sense for Mastroianni to replace him in the lineup.
The Minnesota Twins have had trouble all over the roster this season, but the pitching staff has undergone numerous iterations due to injuries and general ineffectiveness. A regular could be returning, however, as closer Matt Capps is set for an MRI on Monday to see how his injured shoulder is recovering.
Capps has pitched a total of three innings since being diagnosed with shoulder inflammation on June 16 and, since he hasn't thrown a baseball since mid-July, the Twins don't think the MRI will help them discover anything new. Instead, according to general manager Terry Ryan, it's more to give Capps peace of mind.
"We're just doing it to make sure, so we can clear him to start throwing," he said. "We give MRIs many times to guys that don't necessarily (need one). ... A lot of times it's to give the player peace of mind. We did not schedule this because of an issue. It's about peace of mind."
Capps said that, barring any issues, he expects to return to the lineup in early September.
Sam Deduno will look to keep his undefeated record on Monday night as he attempts to get the Minnesota Twins away from a four-game losing streak in the series opener against the Detroit Tigers.
It only might take two days with Triple-A Rochester, but Minnesota third baseman Trevor Plouffe is reportedly on track to make his return in a Twins uniform on Monday according to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger:
Gardenhire said that Plouffe is on track to rejoin the— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) August 12, 2012
The Twins open up a three-game homestand with the Detroit Tigers on Monday, so Plouffe's presence in the lineup would come at a time when Minnesota appears to be entering a skid after a very strong two-week stretch. Plouffe finished 0-for-4 from the plate with a pair of strikeouts in Saturday's game with the Red Wings, but played well in the field and made two key plays at third late in the game.
More importantly, though, Plouffe felt good enough after the game to convince his team that he's ready to be recalled sooner rather than later, which is a great sign. The 26-year-old infielder has not suited up for a game with the Twins since July 20, but should be back with the club to open the week barring a setback.