April 2013

Twins-Angels game postponed due to weather

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins’ scheduled game with the Angels on Wednesday at Target Field was postponed due to inclement weather, and the game will be made up on a yet to be determined date.

It marks the second postponed game of the season for the Twins, who also saw Sunday’s game against the Mets postponed due to weather. It’s also the seventh postponed game in the four-year history of Target Field.

Right-hander Vance Worley was scheduled to start against the Angels but will be pushed back to pitch against the White Sox in Chicago on Friday after Thursday’s off-day. He’ll be followed by left-hander Scott Diamond on Saturday and right-hander Kevin Correia on Sunday. Right-hander Mike Pelfrey will now start Monday against the Marlins and will be followed by left-hander Pedro Hernandez on Tuesday.

“We’re just backing everybody up,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “With the weather, we tried to find a way to play this but it just wasn’t conducive. It’s supposed to rain all night long.”

Both teams have an off-day on Thursday but with snow in the forecast in the Twin Cities, the Angels were scheduled to head back to Anaheim after the game. The two clubs share a mutual off-day on Sept. 9.

“It’s not going to be a good situation for either team because they’re going to have to fly back in here,” Gardenhire said. “But it’s just the way it is. You can’t control that stuff. You just have to do what’s right for tonight.”

Fans holding tickets to Wednesday’s postponed game have two options. They can keep their tickets for admission into the rescheduled game, or utilize the value of their ticket — the amount paid — as a voucher towards any future Twins regular season game in 2013. Tickets for the postponed game are not subject to refunds.

Fans who wish to exchange their tickets for another game must bring the tickets to the Target Field box office no later than 48 hours prior to the start of the rescheduled game. Tickets returned any later than 48 hours prior to the start of the rescheduled game will be considered invalid. Tickets may be exchanged only at the Target Field Ticket Office located on Target Plaza off 7th Street.

Fans are encouraged to visit http://www.twinsbaseball.com, call 612-33-TWINS (612-338-9467) or 800-33-TWINS (800-338-9467), or visit the Target Field Box Office during normal business hours for detailed information on the Twins’ rainout policy.

Hicks moves down from leadoff to No. 8 in lineup

MINNEAPOLIS — After a slow start to the season as the club’s leadoff hitter, rookie center fielder Aaron Hicks moved down to the No. 8 spot in the lineup against the Angels on Tuesday.

Hicks entered Tuesday’s game hitting .047 (2-for-43) with 20 strikeouts and four walks in 11 games. With Hicks not in the leadoff spot, Darin Mastroianni was set to take over and start in left field but was a late scratch from the lineup with a sore left ankle.

Instead, second baseman Brian Dozier made his first career start in the leadoff spot and Wilkin Ramirez moved from designated hitter to left field. Hicks also slid down from the No. 7 spot to No. 8 with Ryan Doumit joining the lineup as DH and batting fifth.

“We’re just moving it around and mixing it up a little bit,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We’ll see if [Hicks] can put some swings out there and take all thought process out of it and just go up there and take a whack.”

Third baseman Trevor Plouffe also moved up in the lineup with left-hander Jason Vargas on the mound for the Angels. Plouffe, who has a career .271/.339/.528 line against lefties, hit cleanup for the first time in his career.

“We’ve seen when he gets that backspin going he can get as hot as anyone and he did that last night when he put one in the seats,” Gardenhire said. “He’s been swinging good lately.”

Angels (4-9)
1. Peter Bourjos, CF
2. Mike Trout, LF
3. Albert Pujols, DH
4. Josh Hamilton, RF
5. Mark Trumbo, 1B
6. Howie Kendrick, 2B
7. Chris Iannetta, C
8. Luis Jimenez, 3B
9. Andrew Romine, SS

LHP Jason Vargas (0-1, 4.76 ERA)

Twins (5-7)
1. Brian Dozier, 2B
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Justin Morneau, 1B
4. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
5. Ryan Doumit, DH
6. Chris Parmelee, RF
7. Wilkin Ramirez, LF
8. Aaron Hicks, CF
9. Pedro Florimon, SS
Pedro Florimon, SS

RHP Mike Pelfrey (1-1, 7.36 ERA)

Twins recall Arcia from Triple-A Rochester

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins officially recalled outfielder Oswaldo Arcia from Triple-A Rochester on Monday to take the place of outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, who was placed on the paternity list on Sunday.

Arcia, ranked as the No. 93 overall prospect according to MLB.com, was in the lineup against the Angels, batting seventh and starting in left field to mark his Major League debut.

Arcia, 21, said he was notified of the decision that he would be called up by Rochester manager Gene Glynn on Saturday after the Red Wings played in a doubleheader. He added that he told Twins manager Ron Gardenhire he was willing to play wherever they put him even though he’s mostly been used in right field throughout his Minor League career.

“I told him I was ready to play wherever,” Arcia said through translator Bobby Cuellar.
Left field, center, right — I played all of these all the time in Venezuela.”

Gardenhire added that Arcia was originally slated to start at designated hitter but Josh Willingham came in feeling sick, so Willingham was out of the lineup with Arcia getting the start in left. Ryan Doumit started at DH.

Arcia, who was the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year last season, was off to a hot start at Triple-A, hitting .414 with three homers, two doubles and eight RBIs in nine games.

“We wanted a guy who could swing it and he’s been swinging it pretty good,” Gardenhire said. “So he’ll come up here and we’ll see what happens. Hopefully he’ll have some fun. The kid can hit.”

But Arcia’s stay with the Twins could be short, as Ramirez — whose fiancé, Karaine, gave birth to a daughter named Venus on Sunday in New Jersey — is expected to rejoin the Twins on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Arcia, though, said the coaching staff hasn’t discussed with him if there’s a chance he can stick on the roster if he impresses against the Angels.

“I really don’t know,” Arcia said. “Nobody has really told me.”

Hendriks optioned to make room for Diamond

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins officially activated left-hander Scott Diamond from the 15-day disabled list before his start against the Mets on Saturday, and optioned right-hander Liam Hendriks to Triple-A Rochester to make room for him on the roster.

The Twins decided to option Hendriks instead of left-hander Pedro Hernandez, who gave up one run on four hits over 4 1/3 innings in long relief on Friday. Hernandez, who left the game with a left calf strain, is expected to join the rotation.

“Hernandez came in today and he’s fine,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He should be ready to pitch in four or five days. They’re thinking it’s a cramp or a slight strain but nothing bad. All the belief is that he’s fine and he’s throwing the ball fine so that made our decision.”

Gardenhire said he’s still working to sort out the rotation for the club’s upcoming series against the Angels, as Hendriks was slated to start on Tuesday. Gardenhire said it’s possible right-hander Vance Worley could start on short rest on Tuesday with Hernandez getting the start on Wednesday.

“We’re kind of ad-libbing here on how we’re going to run all this things there,” Gardenhire said. “Worley threw just 57 pitches last night so there’s a chance he could even come back Tuesday.”

Hendriks made two starts this season, posting a 4.66 ERA with five strikeouts and one walk in 9 2/3 innings. He fared well in his last outing against the Royals, as he gave up just one run, but he lasted just five innings.

“He has to make better use of his pitches and go deep into games,” Gardenhire said. “The last outing was better where he moved the ball in and used his breaking ball to keep hitters off-balance. He just has to start doing that from inning one. So he’ll have to go down to Triple-A and work on that.”

Mets (6-4)
1. Collin Cowgill, CF
2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
3. David Wright, 3B
4. John Buck, C
5. Lucas Duda, LF
6. Marlon Byrd, RF
7. Ike Davis, 1B
8. Justin Turner, DH
9. Ruben Tejada, SS

RHP Matt Harvey

Twins (4-6)
1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Joe Mauer, DH
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Ryan Doumit, C
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Brian Dozier, 2B
9. Eduardo Escobar, SS

LHP Scott Diamond

Mauer batting second vs. Tigers on Opening Day

MINNEAPOLIS — When Twins manager Ron Gardenhire unveiled his lineup for Opening Day against the Tigers this morning, there was a surprise with catcher Joe Mauer getting the start as the club’s second hitter for just the 74th time in his career.

Mauer, who hit second only 10 times over the previous three seasons, got the nod in the two-hole with second baseman Brian Dozier sliding down from second to bat eighth against Tigers ace Justin Verlander.

“I want him to bat first, second and third but I can only bat him in one place, so we chose second,” Gardenhire joked. “As [hitting coach Tom] Brunansky and I talked, we talked about ‘ambush.’ So we’re going to ambush at the top with all these hitters and go from there.”

Mauer, who led the American League with a .416 on-base percentage in 2012, said he’s fine with the move to the second spot in the lineup behind rookie Aaron Hicks and in front of sluggers Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit.

“I told Gardy that I don’t have a problem wherever he puts me in the lineup, as long as I’m in the lineup,” Mauer said. “And what gives us our best chance to score runs, so hopefully we can get some runs.”

Gardenhire, though, said the move isn’t permanent and Mauer can move down to his usual third spot in the lineup if someone like Dozier proves capable of batting second.

“It’s for today, and we can always adjust as we go along,” Gardenhire said.

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Torii Hunter, RF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Price Fielder, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Andy Dirks, LF
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Omar Infante, 2B

RHP Justin Verlander

1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Ryan Doumit, DH
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Brian Dozier, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

RHP Vance Worley