Series Preview: Twins vs. Tigers

It's a four-game series in Detroit, as the Twins embark on a seven-game roadtrip to end the first half of the season.

Schedule (All Games on FSN)

Twins Notes: Trades Afloat

  • After taking three of four from the Royals, the Twins are only two and a half back of Kansas City. Minnesota hasn't been out of last place since April 29...
  • Joe Mauer will make his fifth All-Star appearance, the only Twin to be named to the team. He passes Earl Battey, who made four appearances in the game for the Twins as a catcher. Several Twins folks, including manager Ron Gardenhire, thought Josh Willingham - top-10 in the league in OPS, 12th in home runs - should have been included as well...
  • Matt Capps will play catch tomorrow. He's hoping to throw a bullpen this week, and pitch for Fort Myers next Monday, according to Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN. If all goes well, he'll come off the DL sometime post All-Star break, when he'll likely be in the shop window for teams needing a closer...
  • Ryan Doumit, who originally signed a one-year deal, apparently isn't going anywhere. The catcher / DH / whatever signed a two-year extension, keeping him with the team through 2014...
  • Shairon Martis, acquired from the Pirates for future considerations in midweek, made his first appearance for Double-A New Britain. He pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one. However, given that he spent all of 2008-2010 either in the major leagues or Triple-A, Martis has to be unhappy.

Tigers Notes: The Injury Carousel

  • Detroit is 39-40 on the year, three games back of Chicago for the AL Central lead. The Tigers haven't been below .500 at the All-Star break since 2005...
  • Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander, and Miguel Cabrera were named to the All-Star Team, but Austin Jackson was left off the roster. Bless You Boys says that his recent DL stint may have derailed his chances, but notes that Jackson is 6th in the league in OPS and plays good defense in center field. A case also could have been made for setup man Joaquin Benoit...
  • Delmon Young update: .268 average, .298 OBP, six homers, 29 RBIs in 70 games. Young has mostly been the designated hitter, starting 44 games there and 23 in the outfield, and as you can see - has not really impressed...
  • Andy Dirks, the 26-year old who had taken over everyday left field duties from Young, has been in a walking boot since late May with Achilles tendinitis. The Tigers had hoped to have the youngster, who had batted .328, back by the break, but he is not close to returning...
  • Meanwhile, it's looking likely that presumptive DH Victor Martinez will not return until mid-September, if at all this season...
  • So with Jackson and Dirks both missing time, and Young filling in at DH for Martinez, minor league veteran Quintin Berry has seen time in center and in left for the Tigers. Berry, on his fourth organization, was hitting .270 with very little pop in his first shot at Triple-A this year, but since reaching the majors has batted .306/.391/.413. Part of the reason: he's hitting .424 on balls in play, wildly above the league average, but he's also referred to as a "sparkplug" and a "speedster", so perhaps he's drawing on some serious Punto Power here.
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