Twins Notebook 8/14: Twins Return Home to Get Revenge on Royals
Image courtesy of © Peter Aiken-USA TODAY SportsWednesday Night’s Game Recap
MIN 12, MIL 2: Byron Buxton Blasts 2 More Home Runs in Blowout of Brewers
Twins vs. Royals, 7:10 pm CDT
Betting Lines: MIN -180, KC +155, O/U: 9.5
Twins Starter: Jake Odorizzi, RHP 6.00 ERA
After beginning the season on the IL with a right intercostal strain, Jake Odorizzi finally made his first appearance of the season last Saturday against the Royals. It was clear there was still some rust that Odorizzi needed to shake off, as he didn’t have his sharpest of stuff. In just three innings of work, Odorizzi gave up two walks and a home run. Of the 71 pitches he threw, just 40 of them were for strikes.
Before the game tonight, Baldelli said of Odorizzi, "He was able to get, not through too many innings last time out, but he was able to throw pitches to build himself up. When he came out of the game, just chatting with him, he seemed in a pretty good frame of mind, like he'd be ready to go. He just couldn't wait to get back on the mound."
The Twins will be hoping for a better performance tonight, as Odorizzi gets a second look that this Royals lineup, which has been surprisingly better than expected so far this season. In 19 games this season, the Royals are averaging 4.42 runs per game and have a wRC+ of 100. While this isn’t specular by any means, being even league average is a massive uptick from where they were the past couple of years.
Royals Starter: Jakob Junis, RHP 4.00 ERA
Jakob Junis was the Royals starter in the series opener last Friday, so the Twins lineup should still have him fresh on their minds. In that start, Junis went 4 and 2/3 giving up two runs on two solo shots by Byron Buxton and Marwin Gonzalez. Junis was fortunate it wasn’t more, as he gave up a total of five hits and two walks, but unfortunately for the Twins, nobody was on base when they hit their home runs.
As we can see from the chart about (via Baseball Savant) Junis has not been overly impressive to start the season, despite his respectable 4.00 ERA, as his FIP stands a 6.42 and his expected ERA (xERA) is at a staggering 6.90, which ranks in the 14th percentile of all Major League pitchers so far in the 2020 season. In nine total innings of work, Junis has just four strikeouts and four walks. In his career, Junis has a K/9 of 8.1 and a BB/9 of just 2.5.
1. Max Kepler, RF
2. Jorge Polanco, SS
3. Nelson Cruz, DH
4. Eddie Rosario, LF
5. Marwin Gonzalez, 3B
6. Mitch Garver, C
7. Luis Arraez, 2B
8. Miguel Sano, 1B
9. Byron Buxton, CF
News & Notes
- The Twins activate reliever Zack Littell off the IL, and placed Cody Stashak on the 10-day IL with lower back inflammation.
- Injury Updates
Josh Donaldson - Falvey said, "He had a good day yesterday in terms of what was asked of him from a rehab standpoint. I don't have any specific return timeline. We're going to be cautious. We're going to be careful."
-Rich Hill - Baldelli said he threw 60 pitches in St. Paul today. "Everything went well. Physically, he's feels really good. Mentally, he's in a good spot. So, I think we can have him built up to where he can make a start this week for us. We don't have an exact date of that start. I think we know it's going to fall at some point in the middle of the week if everything holds. It's very encouraging. It also gives everyone coming in after him an extra day which is also nice in this 20-game stretch."
- Homer Bailey - Baldelli said that Bailey is that he is throwing, and he is up to 90 feet, and things have gone smoothly.
- Cody Stashak - Baldelli said, "Shack's been dealing with some soreness and sensation in his hip, kind of up and down around his hip. He has pitched with it, but it has affected his ability to come back after pitching, or affected his ability to throw multiple innings in an outing. These are things he's been battling through."
- The Twins also designated Cory Gearrin for assignment and activated infielder Ildemaro Vargas.
Before the game, Vargas told media that he already knew Ehire Adrianza, Luis Arraez and had played with Alex Avila last year in Arizona. He said (through interpreter Elvis Martinez), "I enjoy playing second base a lot. I feel comfortable at all of them (positions)."
Derek Falvey said, "He fits at a number of infield positions. He's pretty comfortable in a few different spots. Any time you get somebody who has the ability to be versatile around the infield, we felt was a good opportunity." He continued, "When he became available, we figured we could make a move like this to shore up another option for the infield just to protect ourselves. We feel like he's got versatility, and he's performed at the minor league level. He hasn't quite translated that to the big league level, but we've seen that before for guys. And the makeup is really strong."
- Mooke Betts hit three home runs against the San Diego Padres on Thursday night. That was already the 6th three-homer game in the 27-year-old’s young career, which tied Sammy Sosa and Johnny Mize for the most in MLB history.
- The Chicago Cubs continued their hot start to the season Thursday night, beating the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 4-2. The Cubs are now 13-3, and have an impressive 6.5 game lead in the NL Central.
AROUND THE AL CENTRAL
No games were played on Thursday
1. MIN 12-7 (+33)
2. DET 9-7 (-2)
3. CHW 10-9 (-1)
4. CLE 10-9 (+11)
5. KCR 8-11 (-5)
Seth Stohs contributed quotes from the pre-game Twins press conference to this article.
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