Observations from last night's Twins game and beyond:
- I was skeptical of FSN putting Tom Kelly in the broadcast booth. For all his baseball acumen, he always seemed agonized when the cameras and microphones were turned on him. After two games, I want him to be a permanent addition. All his wisdom comes in mumbles and blurts, but it's GOOD wisdom. I've learned more about base-running and cut-off men in the last 48 hours than I ever have from dickandbert or the radio crew. And he calls Dick Bremer "Richard."
- Joe Mauer played first base and nothing bad happened. I would still rather see Trevor Plouffe as Morneau's understudy, but if this (sample size: SMALL) is what it takes to keep the Baby Jesus catching 120-130 games a year, I endorse it.
- Speaking of Plouffe, his current slugging percentage at Rochester is "big."
- Multiple sources report that Scott Baker's malady is a strained flexor tendon in his right (throwing) elbow. Anthony Swarzak will get the start on Sunday and the Twins' best starting pitcher will be re-evaluated after the All-Star Break.
- The Twins did not gain any ground on the Cleveland Indians last night because Travis Hafner can still be awesome.
- I've mentioned this before, but I have zero problem with the Twins eventually signing Hafner and/or Paul Konerko in their twilight years for the old, reliable "veteran presence."
- RE: Capps. I understand that the Twins are living rent-free in Chicago's head (29 of 36 is NUTS), but was anyone else surprised at the poor quality of the White Sox' at-bats against Minnesota's beleaguered closer? I haven't found a quote from Ozzie saying "Work the bleeping count, he only threw eight bleeping pitches," but I assume it's out there.