Twins-Royals Pre-Game Notebook
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailyThe Twins were able to beat the Royals on Thursday night to maintain their four game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central. As important, it dropped the Twins' Magic Number to six with nine games to play.
However, Rocco Baldelli isn't ready to speak about the playoffs quite yet. While resting guys will be important, he notes that he won't be discussing any plans for the playoffs until they are able to clinch a spot in it. "We don't want to get ahead of ourselves."
"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves. Baldelli noted, "We're just going to try to win today's game."
Speaking of enjoying it, Jose Berrios will be pitching for the Twins on Saturday night against the Royals. Before Friday night's game, he walked out to the outfield grass with his two, young sons. He went through his throwing program, played catch with Cibney Bello while Tony Diaz and played with Berrios's boys.
New To September
With such a full clubhouse, there are a lot of players who have not played games in September in the past, much less potentially games in October.
Consider Randy Dobnak, Lewis Thorpe, Brusdar Graterol, Jorge Alcala, Cody Stashak and Devin Smeltzer haven't pitched this late into the season. However, as Rocco Baldelli noted, they each have to be considered individually.
"The innings situation is different on every pitcher. To discuss is as a whole is challenging to do. We monitor all of our guys innings. It's not just the innings it's how you get the innings and rack them up. He threw x number of innings in a month but they were all kind of wedged in there in a short period of time, probably a little tougher on the body and tougher on the arm. When they get stretched out a little more I would consider that a little bit different. We kind of weigh that every day but I'm not concerned where any of our guys are at at this point."
We often think about that in the sense of pitchers because of innings limits and pitch counts and such, but the same question should be asked of position players as well. (which is why I asked it)
Luis Arraez, LaMonte Wade and Ian MIller haven't played in September before either. Wade missed time with his thumb injury earlier in the season, so he's probably doing OK. However, Arraez has been playing most every day for the Twins at a variety of positions including left field, a position he hasn't played in several years.
"With young players who haven't played into even September that's something to take into consideration. You just have to monitor the players individually monitor them every day. You watch them. If they are tiring out in any way, if they look like they are losing something, we have the ability to get them off of their feet, have the ability to let them regroup."
Arraez was out of the starting lineup on Friday night but Baldelli noted it was just regular rest. With a left-hander on the mound LaMonte Wade and Arraez were both out of the lineup.
"I'm not worried about that with Luis. Luis is kind of like a machine. He's ready to play every day. He doesn’t waver. He's the same guy, same attitude, same positive energy. And he goes out there and he performs. It doesn't look he's slowed down one bit"
Byron Buxton Returns
Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton was in the Twins clubhouse before the game. He chatted with media briefly. When Baldelli was asked if he noticed anything different about Buxton, Baldelli said, "You mean besides the big box under his elbow."
Buxton had labrum surgery almost two weeks ago and will have his left arm immobilized for four to six weeks.
Marwin to the Outfield
Marwin Gonzalez is back in the #MNTwins lineup tonight, but he is back in right field for the first time since returning to the lineup.
The team figured that having him ease back in at first base was the way to go which also allowed CJ Cron to rest and work on some things.
There was a large scouting presence at Target Field tonight. As always, it seems, when I'm at Target Field, Terry Ryan is there. Again, always great to chat with the former Twins GM.
Looks to be scouts from a variety of organizations including several from one of the Twins potential first round opponents.
In addition, it was great to catch up with former Twins utility infielder Doug Bernier. He is now a scout with the Colorado Rockies. It was fun to discuss his transition from player to scout for a bit. We also discussed his Pro Baseball Insider website which provides a great place for kids or parents of ballplayers to ask questions and learn skills. Check it out and be sure to sign up for their e-mails.
The Voice of the Red Wings
Josh Whetzel, the radio voice of the Rochester Red Wings (and University of Buffalo men's basketball), was at Thursday and Friday's games. You'll for sure want to follow him on Twitter, but the man has an incredible memory of players and moments throughout his years with the Red Wings. Was enjoyable walking down Red Wing Memory Lane with him and Glen Perkins for a little while.
Happy Birthday Audra!
FSN's Audra Martin celebrated her __th birthday at Target Field onFriday night.