Zack Littell has been placed on the 10-day Injured List and Jorge Alcala will take his place.
LAST NIGHT’S GAME RECAP
Twins vs. Cleveland, 6:10 pm CT
Betting Lines: MIN -1.5, -125, 8.5 O/U
Twins: Kenta Maeda, RHP
Last outing: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 84 pitches
Info via Baseball Savant
Maeda has noteworthy platoon splits — he’s given up a .592 OPS to right-handed hitters and a .765 mark to lefties over his career. Cleveland has a quartet of switch hitters in its infield and left-handed hitter Bradley Zimmer in the outfield, so Maeda will likely face a lefty-heavy lineup tonight.
Cesar Hernandez, who spent his entire career with the Phillies up to this point, has a .286/.444/.643 (1.087 OPS) batting line against Maeda in 18 plate appearances. He and both Franmil Reyes and Domingo Santana have hit home runs off Maeda.
Cleveland: Carlos Carrasco, RHP
Last outing: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 87 pitches
Info via Baseball Savant
Carrasco missed time last season after being diagnosed with leukemia. He was able to return to the team in September to pitch out of the bullpen. Wednesday, his first start since the diagnosis, Carrasco dominated. He needed just 87 pitches to complete six innings and struck out 10 batters.
Nelson Cruz is 10-for-27 with four bombas vs. Carrasco over his career.
NEWS & NOTES
— Josh Donaldson was removed from last night’s game due to a calf injury, and is listed as day-to-day.
— ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred informed MLBPA chief Tony Clark the season could be shutdown if COVID-19 isn’t managed better. Scott Miller of Bleacher Report added that a four-pate memo was sent to all clubs, and among the items covered was that each team must identify a compliance officer to help ensure players are following protocols.
— Today's St. Louis-Milwaukee game has been postponed after more Cardinals players tested positive for coronavirus.
— The Twins are averaging 5.71 runs per game, the fifth-most in baseball, and are tied for second in home runs. Who leads the league? We’ll get to that in a second. The Twins pitching staff has a 3.34 ERA, good enough for sixth in the league.
— Over the past four games the Twins bullpen has combined to give up just two earned runs over 20 innings pitched, a 0.90 ERA.
— The Twins rank in the bottom half of baseball in terms of future salary obligations, slotting in at No. 18 per MLB Trade Rumors. This seems like a good time to remind everyone that both Derek Falvey and Thad Levine signed contract extensions to stay in Minnesota through 2024. Those extensions were reported in mid-November, and I totally forgot about them until just now.
— Mookie Betts made a great throw last night:
— Yankee reliever Tommy Kahnle has been placed on the IL and will likely need Tommy John surgery.
AROUND THE AL CENTRAL
1. MIN 5-2 (+17)
2. CLE 5-3 (+6)
2. DET 5-3 (-6)
4. CHW 3-4 (-8)
5. KCR 3-5 (-1)
How ‘bout them Tigers!? Detroit leads all of baseball with 15 home runs, with Miguel Cabrera, JaCoby Jones and former Twin Jonathan Schoop leading the way with three a piece.