Going into the White Sox series, I said I’d be happy if the team could win two of the four games and come out of the series no worse than they went in. After they won the first two games, I got a little greedy and hoped for three so we could be just a half-game back.
Thanks to Gardenhire for igniting the crowd, and the crowd for igniting the team, the Twins made a four-run comeback. Justin Morneau collected 12 RBI’s in the series, and has four homeruns since the All-Star Break.
The Twins will remain at home through the weekend and attempt to move into first place. There is a bunch going on with the team, so lets get caught up with our ‘Starting Nine’.
** Alexi Casilla has decided to put off surgery for at least a week with the hope that resting his hand in a splint will allow him to finish the season before doing anything with the tendon. This could be one reason the Twins decided not to bring in someone like Jose Castillo. If Casilla is lost for the season, there is a good chance they’ll pursue that type of option then.
** Matt Tolbert began swinging a bat within the last few days. He thought he’d be ready by August 1st a month ago, and while that doesn’t look possible (obviously), he could be back by mid to late August.
** Michael Cuddyer has been hitting at the Dome during batting practice in the last series, and is expected to rehab with the Red Wings sometime next week. If all goes well, he could them join the team immediately and hopefully will provide that right-handed bat the team has lacked.
** As we noted yesterday thanks to La Velle, there are strong indications within the organization that Livan Hernandez could be designated for assignment today or soon after to make room for Francisco Liriano. I’m not 100% sure how trading would work, but I think the first team that claims him would have the chance to make a trade. If that’s the case, it looks like the Mets, Rockies and many other teams are looking for pitchers. If they can’t trade him, oh well.
** In the past few days the Twins have promoted pitcher Anthony Swarzak and infielder Luke Hughes to AAA Rochester. Both have moved quickly through the system this year, and it isn’t out of the question that either could see the majors when September call-ups roll around.
** As you may have seen within the last week or so, both Denard Span and Brian Buscher were candidates to be on the USA Olympic team. Neither will however because they are on the team’s major league roster and there was a cutoff date.
** In case you’re wondering, Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer are both hitting .320 on the season with the most recent victory. They are tied for third in the American League with Milton Bradley, and are behind Ian Kinsler and Alex Rodriguez who are hitting .325 and .326 respectively.
** The Twins play the White Sox just three more times this season, and it just happens to be in the final six-game homestand.
** As for more schedule stuff, the Twins play one fourteen-game road trip in mid-August, but other than that most of the homestands and road trips are much more even. The month of August will be primarily a big series against the American League West. The team plays twenty of their twenty-nine games in August against the A’s (7), Angels (4) and Mariners (9).
** Finally, the Royals will be the most-played division opponent from here on out. The Twins play them twelve more times this season including in the season’s final series.