Series Preview: Twins vs. Baltimore

"I could have sold insurance, but nooo, I decided on baseball."

Schedule (all games on FSN and at Target Field)

Twins Notes

  • The Twins are 36-52, four games behind where they were at this point in 2011.
  • Starter Carl Pavano is making progress towards returning from his right shoulder injury, but is not yet back to throwing off a mound. He says he's frustrated, telling LENII, "They paid me a lot of money to go out there and be the guy they can count on and they haven’t been able to do that."
  • Matt Capps pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one, in his return from the disabled list on Saturday. The Twins did not have Capps wear a "No Reasonable Offers Refused!" sign on the mound, but probably have not ruled it out.
  • MLB Trade Rumors' latest compilation of Twins rumors has the Blue Jays, Yankees, Braves, and Angels all interested in Francisco Liriano, with the Angels additionally interested in Capps. That said, they also report that Ken Rosenthal says it's doubtful that teams would trade any decent prospects for the lefty, which only means that other teams are paying attention same as us. Liriano is scheduled to start Wednesday, in his latest chance to blow up completely and warn other teams off giving up even warm bodies for him.

Orioles Notes

  • Starting pitcher Jason Hammel is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on his knee today. This means that only Wei-Yin Chen remains from Baltimore's Opening Day rotation - Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz, and Jake Arrieta have all been demoted to Triple-A.
  • The Orioles, meanwhile, are still in the second wild card spot in the American League. This is a reminder that Orioles manager Buck Showalter is an evil magician and at no point should you look directly into his eyes, lest he turn you into a basket of bananas.
  • There's a case to be made that Baltimore is simply the luckiest team in the league. They've given up 43 more runs than they have scored, meaning that by all rights they should be a losing baseball team. They're 10-2 in extra innings, and 16-6 in one-run games. In short, you wonder if they can sustain this all the way through the season.
  • Baltimore coming to town means it's time for a J.J. Hardy update. The shortstop is batting .220/.258/.380 with 13 home runs, which is terrible but still better than Twins shortstops, who are hitting .228/.280/.302. Still, though, since the beginning of June, Hardy is hitting just .168, bad enough that Bill Smith reportedly tried to trade him for nobody again.
  • Adam Jones has started every game for the Orioles in center field, and has played all but six innings this year. Going into Sunday's game, he also leads the team in home runs (20), doubles (19), hits (101), RBI (45), batting average (.290), and OPS (.862). Adam Jones is in real danger of going on the disabled list with back problems from carrying the team.
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