Results tagged ‘ Josh Willingham ’

Lineups for Twins and Red Sox at Hammond Stadium

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Today marks the first game between the Twins and Red Sox in their annual battle for the Mayor’s Cup.

Well, actually there’s been some debate whether the Mayor’s Cup exists now that the Red Sox moved into JetBlue Park last year, as both teams are actually located in unincorporated Lee County and not in the city of Fort Myers. Either way, it’s the first of eight meetings between the two clubs in Grapefruit League play this year.

Josh Willingham returns to the lineup for the Twins after sitting out yesterday’s game in Jupiter with back stiffness. He leads all hitters in Spring Training with a .727 batting average. It also will be the last game for Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins before they depart for Arizona for the World Baseball Classic.

Right-hander Kyle Gibson also gets his first Grapefruit League start today. He’s been the most impressive pitcher I’ve seen in camp so far — his fastball was hitting 96 mph in his last outing — and has a legitimate chance to make the rotation.

I also talked to Scott Diamond (elbow) and Anthony Swarzak (ribs) this morning and they’re both encouraged by their recent progress. Diamond threw a full bullpen session and is scheduled to throw another one tomorrow with the hope of getting into his first game in mid-March. Swarzak played catch on Thursday and Friday but still doesn’t know when his first bullpen will be.

Red Sox (4-4)
1. Shane Victorino, RF
2. Ryan Sweeney, LF
3. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
4. Lyle Overbay, 1B
5. Juan Carlos Linares, DH
6. Mitch Maier, CF
7. Daniel Butler, C
8. Jose Iglesias, SS
9. Jonathan Diaz, 2B

RHP Clay Buchholz (Alfredo Aceves, Clayton Mortensen, Allen Webster, Jose De La Torre)

Twins (5-2)
1. Joe Benson, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, DH
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Eduardo Escobar, 3B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

RHP Kyle Gibson (Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, P.J. Walters, Esmerling Vasquez, Andrew Albers, Deolis Guerra, Anthony Slama, Caleb Thielbar)

Game 6: Hendriks, Morneau lead Twins to victory

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Right-hander Liam Hendriks tossed three scoreless innings and Justin Morneau drove home three runs to help the Twins to a 7-1 win over the Orioles on Thursday at Hammond Stadium.

Hendriks, who was making his second start of the spring and is competing for a spot in Minnesota’s rotation, gave up four hits and struck out two. He improved his ERA to 1.80 ERA in five Grapefruit League innings.

What went right: Hendriks was sharp and is making a case to start the season in the rotation, especially if Scott Diamond (elbow) starts the year on the disabled list.

But he also had a great spring last year and it didn’t translate to the Majors, as evidenced by his 5.59 ERA in 16 starts. Hendriks, though, said he’s made some mechanical adjustments so he’ll definitely be worth watching. He’s been dominant in the Minors, including last year when he had a 2.20 ERA in 16 outings with Triple-A Rochester.

Morneau continued to swing a hot bat, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs. He’s hitting .467 with three doubles and seven RBIs this spring. But Josh Willingham has been even better, as he went 2-for-2 and is batting .727 (8-for-11) this spring.

Catcher Joe Mauer, fresh off the announcement that he and his wife, Maddie, are expecting twins, went 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. He’s hitting .375 (3-for-8) with a .615 on-base percentage in four games.

Cole De Vries, Alex Burnett, Casey Fien and Anthony Slama each threw a scoreless inning in relief. It was the Grapefruit League debut for May, who was acquired in the Ben Revere trade with Philadelphia. He walked two batters but was able to get out of the jam.

What went wrong: Not too much went wrong for the Twins, who won their fourth straight game.

But reliever Deolis Guerra struggled a bit in the ninth inning, as he gave up a run on a hit and a walk. He’s allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings this spring.

What they said: “It’s unbelievable. What a blessing. I’m just very excited and very happy. I really couldn’t believe it at first. It’s still kind of a shock. It’s starting to hit me now that we’re starting to tell people. I’m just very excited.” — Mauer said about his wife being pregnant with twins.

What’s next: The Twins are making the trek across the state to play the Marlins in Jupiter on Friday at 1:05 p.m. ET at Roger Dean Stadium. Right-hander Vance Worley, who was acquired in the trade that Ben Revere to Philadelphia, is scheduled to make his second start of the spring for the Twins. Right-hander Henderson Alvarez is slated to start for the Marlins.

Injury update: Outfielder Darin Mastroianni left Thursday’s game against the Orioles in the fourth inning with a sore left hamstring, and is day to day. He tweaked his hamstring on a check swing during his at-bat against Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman. He still managed to hit a double that at-bat but was taken out for pinch-runner Clete Thomas.

View of "B" game at JetBlue Park

View of “B” game at JetBlue Park

Twins don’t make any moves on Trade Deadline day

MINNEAPOLIS — Baseball’s Trade Deadline passed on Tuesday with the Twins opting not to make another trade after dealing left-hander Francisco Liriano to the White Sox for infielder Eduardo Escobar and left-hander Pedro Hernandez late Saturday night.

Clubs had interest in first baseman Justin Morneau, outfielders Denard Span and Josh Willingham and relievers Glen Perkins and Jared Burton but general manager Terry Ryan never received a good enough offer to pull the trigger.

Ryan, though, said he was fine not dealing any of those players before the 3 p.m. CT deadline. They’re all under contract through at least next year, including Burton who is eligible for salary arbitration after the season.

“I’d be more disappointed if we made a bad trade,” Ryan said. “I wouldn’t want to do that, either, just to make a trade, I don’t think that’s right. I think any organization could make a trade today, but if you don’t feel good about it I think you better not do that. Because you have ample opportunity to do so in the future if you so desire if you just want to make a trade. But I didn’t feel comfortable about doing anything.”

It doesn’t mean there weren’t rumors surrounding the Twins on Trade Deadline day, as several reports indicated the Reds were talking to the Twins about Span.

One report even said that Span rejected a trade to Cincinnati, which was false, as Span confirmed he doesn’t even have a no-trade clause in his contract that runs through ’14 with an option for ’15.

“I don’t have a no-trade clause,” Span said. “It was just crazy, man. This is the second year in a row I’ve had to sweat this thing out to the last minute with something bogus happening. Last year, when going to Washington was a done deal, and now me rejecting a trade. It’s definitely been entertaining and an interesting two years for me this deadline.”

Ryan added that he was never close to dealing Span, and strongly hinted that other players drew even more interest than the speedy center fielder.

“I don’t know about that, the subject of him being the most-talked about,” Ryan said. “I don’t really think that was accurate. For some reason his name was out there out front in this organization but I can tell you that there were other people that probably were more so than that.”

Morneau, who is due $14 million next season in the last year of a six-year, $80 million deal, drew interest from several clubs but the Twins didn’t want to part with one of the faces of their franchise.

And Willingham, who signed a three-year, $21 million deal before the season, also drew interest but the Twins wanted a big return considering his affordable contract and his production this season.

Clubs also made late pushes for Perkins and Burton, according to reports, but Perkins just signed a three-year deal before the season and Burton still has another year of club control.

Ryan wouldn’t say how close he got to dealing any of those players but did confirm that he was looking for starting pitching in any deal.

“I would say that’s a desirable piece to this organization,” Ryan said. “It’s difficult to come out with starting pitching, especially the younger controllable-type guys that organizations covet, where they have control. That’s exactly the types of people we were looking to bring back in any sort of deal, and we just couldn’t get what we were looking for today.”

The Twins, though, might not be done dealing, as they could make moves in August.

Now that the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.

Two players who could draw interest if they return to form and prove to be healthy are closer Matt Capps and right-hander Carl Pavano. Both veterans are currently on the disabled list and are eligible for free agency after the season.

Game 29: Span sits out for first time this season

MINNEAPOLIS — Denard Span is out of the starting lineup for the first time this season after colliding with the center-field fence in last night’s game.

Span said he didn’t ask for the day off but was a little bit shaken up after running into the wall. So it’s more for precautionary reasons, as he’s expected to return to the lineup tomorrow.

Erik Komatsu gets the start at center field in his place and is batting leadoff against Angels right-hander Dan Haren.

Left fielder Josh Willingham is also back in the lineup after missing last night’s game with a skin infection.

Angels (13-17)
1. Mike Trout, CF
2. Alberto Callaspo, 3B
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Torii Hunter, RF
5. Mark Trumbo, DH
6. Howie Kendrick, 2B
7. Vernon Wells, LF
8. Erick Aybar, SS
9. Chris Iannetta, C

RHP Dan Haren (1-2, 3.43 ERA, 3.36 FIP, 39 1/3 IP, 35 K, 7 BB, 5 HR)

Twins (7-21)
1. Erik Komatsu, CF
2. Brian Dozier, SS
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Ryan Doumit, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Trevor Plouffe, RF
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Jamey Carroll, 2B

LHP Scott Diamond (Season debut)

Game 28: Dozier set to make Major League debut

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins get another crack at Angels ace Jered Weaver tonight after he thew a no-hitter against them on Wednesday in Anaheim.

Weaver is looking to make history, as Johnny Vander Meer remains the only pitcher to throw back-to-back no-hitters and that came all the way back in 1938.

He’ll see a new face in the lineup, however, as the Twins recalled shortstop Brian Dozier from Triple-A Rochester. He’s set to make his Major League debut at shortstop, and is the second hitter in the lineup.

Dozier, who hit .276/.339/.371 with a homer and seven doubles in 28 games in Triple-A, said he’s excited about making his debut.

“I’ve been dreaming about it for 20-something years now,” Dozier said.

Josh Willingham is also out of the lineup tonight. More to come.

Angels (12-17)
1. Maicer Izturis, SS
2. Alberto Callaspo, 3B
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Torii Hunter, RF
5. Mark Trumbo, DH
6. Howard Kendrick, 2B
7. Vernon Wells, LF
8. Chris Iannetta, C
9. Peter Bourjos, CF

RHP Jered Weaver (4-0, 1.61 ERA, 1.99 FIP, 44 2/3 IP, 45 K, 7 BB, 2 HR)

Twins (7-20)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Brian Dozier, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Ryan Doumit, DH
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Chris Parmelee, 1B
7. Trevor Plouffe, RF
8. Erik Komatsu, LF
9. Jamey Carroll, 2B

LHP Francisco Liriano (0-4, 9.97 ERA, 6.47 FIP, 21 2/3 IP, 17 K, 16 BB, 5 HR)

Game 21: Gardenhire sticks with same lineup

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire opted to stick with the same lineup today that he had written out for yesterday’s game before it was postponed due to rain.

Left fielder Josh Willingham simply had to wait one extra day to return to action after missing two games to attend the birth of his son, Rogan Jaynes, on Wednesday.

“It’s good to put him back in there,” Gardenhire said. “He’s one guy who’s been swinging it pretty good. It’s good to have him back. It’s beautiful. He has a beautiful kid. So there you go. They got their work done and we got our player back. Good stuff.”

Joe Mauer also is back in at catcher, as he’s started all 21 games this season, which is a far cry from last season when he didn’t play in his 21st game until June 29.

“It’s a good thing,” Gardenhire said. “We’re not rehabbing injuries now. It’s just maintenance and preparing for the next day. Every day I go up to him and ask how he’s doing, and he says he’s doing fine. So he’s ready to go. Yesterday I had him as DH, but he said he really wanted to catch, so that’s good. I like that.”

The Twins still haven’t decided when he’ll get a day off. But Mauer, who played in just 82 games last year, said he’s happy to be seeing regular playing time so far this season.

“That’s what I wanted,” Mauer said. “Obviously I love to play this game, and I love to be out there whenever I can. This year it’s been pretty good.”

Royals (6-14)
1. Chris Getz, 2B
2. Alex Gordon, LF
3. Billy Butler, DH
4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Brayan Pena, C
8. Alcides Escobar, SS
9. Jarrod Dyson, CF

LHP Bruce Chen (0-2, 2.52 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 25 IP, 17 K, 4 BB, 3 HR)

Twins (5-15)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Ryan Doumit, DH
8. Trevor Plouffe, RF
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

RHP Jason Marquis (1-0, 7.15 ERA, 6.13 FIP, 11 1/3 IP, 6 K, 2 BB, 3 HR)

Game 19: Revere recalled from Triple-A, in Twins lineup

MINNEAPOLIS — Ben Revere was officially recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take the place of Josh Willingham, who was placed on paternity leave, and is starting in left field against the Red Sox tonight.

Revere, who was optioned to Triple-A on April 14 when the club claimed outfielder Clete Thomas off waivers from the Tigers, said he’s not sure if his callup will be a temporary or permanent one. Willingham is expected to return in time for Saturday’s game against the Royals.

“They said it would be three days or the rest of the season,” Revere said. “It’s a big gap. I won’t mind that. Just go out there these three days, just get my games in, get my at-bats, anything I can do to help this team win. Hopefully, I can stay.”

Willingham’s wife, Ginger, gave birth to the couple’s third child this afternoon, a boy named Rogan James. Here’s a picture of Willingham with his newborn son, courtesy of Ginger’s Twitter account.

Red Sox (6-10)
1. Mike Aviles, SS
2. Ryan Sweeney, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
8. Cody Ross, LF
9. Marlon Byrd, CF

RHP Clay Buchholz (1-1, 9.00 ERA, 7.86 FIP, 17 IP, 9 K, 7 BB)

Twins (5-13)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Chris Parmelee, 1B
6. Trevor Plouffe, RF
7. Sean Burroughs, 3B
8. Ben Revere, LF
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

RHP Liam Hendriks (0-0, 3.86 ERA, 5.92 FIP, 11 2/3 IP, 5 K, 2 BB)

Game 18: Twins to recall Revere

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins will recall outfielder Ben Revere from Triple-A Rochester in time for Wednesday’s game, as Josh Willingham will be placed on paternity leave to attend the birth of his son.

Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 was the first to report that Revere will be recalled.

Revere was optioned to Triple-A on April 14, when the club claimed outfielder Clete Thomas off waivers from the Tigers. Revere hit .222 in six games with Rochester while seeing time at all three outfield positions.

Willingham could return in time for Friday’s game against the Royals, but there’s still a chance he won’t make his return until Saturday. He can be on paternity leave for a maximum of three days.

Right-hander Nick Blackburn gets the start tonight against the Red Sox after missing his last start with stiffness in his right shoulder. He fared just fine in two bullpen sessions, but it’ll interesting to see how he feels tonight.

Red Sox (5-10)
1. Mike Aviles, SS
2. Ryan Sweeney, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
7. Cody Ross, LF
8. Marlon Byrd, CF
9. Kelly Shoppach, C

RHP Josh Beckett (1-2, 5.03 ERA, 6.24 FIP, 19 2/3 IP, 11 K, 3 BB)

Twins (5-12)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, DH
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Chris Parmelee, RF
9. Trevor Plouffe, 2B

RHP Nick Blackburn (0-1, 5.56 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 11 1/3 IP, 6 K, 3 BB)

Game 17: Liriano to skip his next start

MINNEAPOLIS — In an effort to help him clear his head after struggling in four outings so far this season, the Twins will skip left-hander Francisco Liriano’s turn in the rotation this week.

Minnesota has an off-day on Thursday, which allows the Twins to go with a four-man rotation before Liriano makes his next start on Tuesday in Anaheim. Liriano allowed five runs in five innings yesterday against the Rays, and has an 11.02 ERA with 12 strikeouts and 13 walks in 16 1/3 innings.

Gardenhire told Liriano of the club’s decision during a meeting today that also included pitching coach Rick Anderson. Anderson is set to watch Liriano throw bullpen sessions on Thursday and Saturday.

“It’s about being able to relax on the mound and he knows that,” Gardenhire said. “He actually says he has confidence. But he’ll tell you straight out that when he gets men out there he starts spinning ‘em. So he’s got to be able to control that. It’s a work in progress. We’re letting him take a step back and relax a little bit.”

In other news, second baseman Alexi Casilla was a late scratch with flu-like symptoms. Trevor Plouffe moves from left field to second base to take his place in the lineup, while Chris Parmelee makes his first career start in left field.

Left fielder Josh Willingham will also be placed on paternity leave on Wednesday to attend the birth of his third son with his wife Ginger. The Twins will call somebody up to replace him, even though he could return as early as Friday. My best guess is that Revere gets the call, but we’ll see.

Justin Morneau also makes his second start of the season at first base tonight.

Red Sox (4-10)

1. Mike Aviles, SS
2. Ryan Sweeney, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
8. Cody Ross, RF
9. Marlon Byrd, CF

LHP Jon Lester (0-2, 5.82. 3.88 FIP, 17 IP, 12 K, 9 BB)

Twins (5-11)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, DH
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, RF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Chris Parmelee, LF
9. Trevor Plouffe, 2B

RHP Jason Marquis (1-0, 7.20, 6.14 FIP, 5 IP, 3 K, 2 BB)

Game 10: Morneau at first base, batting fifth

NEW YORK — Justin Morneau is making his first start of the season at first base tonight against the Yankees, and is also batting fifth for just the second time since 2007.

Twins manager Ron Garenhire approached Morneau before the game about batting fifth with Josh Willingham batting cleanup, and Morneau told him he was also ready to play first. So Gardenhire decided it was a good time to get Morneau at first, although they haven’t plotted when he’ll play first again.

“We’re just going to go day by day with it,” Gardenhire said. “It’s not going to be starting every day right now, do it and let him go back to DH. What I do like about it it gives me options to give Joe Mauer a day to DH and nothing in the field. Right now, he just goes and plays first base but it is still nine innings on defense the whole package.”

There was also plenty of other news today, including the fact that left-hander Glen Perkins stayed back in Minnesota with what general manager Terry Ryan called inflammation in his left forearm. Perkins is still day to day, and there remains a chance he’ll avoid the disabled list.

Right-hander Nick Blackburn will also miss his next start, as right-hander Anthony Swarzak will pitch in his place Thursday in New York. But Blackburn will throw bullpens on Friday and Sunday with the hope of returning on Tuesday.

Jason Marquis also threw a bullpen and said he’s ready to make his start on Wednesday against the Yankees. It’ll mark the first-ever start at Yankee Stadium for the veteran right-hander.

Twins (2-7)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Clete Thomas, RF
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

RHP Carl Pavano (1-0, 5.93 ERA, 4.66 FIP, 13 2/3 IP, 4 K, 2 BB)

Yankees (5-4)
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Mark Teixeira, 1B
6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Raul Ibanez, DH
8. Russell Martin, C
9. Brett Gardner, LF

RHP Freddy Garcia (0-0, 5.79 ERA, 6.98 FIP, 4 2/3 IP, 3 K, 3 BB)