Twins at Royals: News and Notes

Andy Marlin

Last week, the Royals beat the Twins so badly that Ron Gardenhire called out his team. This week, the scene moves to KC, as the Twins try to cool down the scorching-hot Royals.

Probables (all games 7:10pm on FSN)

Royals Notes

  • Kansas City has won ten of eleven... and hasn't picked up one smidgen of ground in the pennant race. Cleveland has also won ten of eleven, and Detroit has won 12 of 13, leaving the Royals still seven and a half back in the Central and four and a half back of Cleveland for the second Wild Card.
  • Keep an eye on the KC bullpen, which had to throw 15 innings in a three-game weekend series with the Mets - still two fewer than the 17 thrown by Minnesota's bullpen against Houston, though.
  • Shields, so good for the season's first three months, hit a little bit of a rough patch in July. His strikeout rate dropped from near 8 K/9 to below 6 since July 1, and opponents have batted nearly .300 against him in that span. It is a testament to him, though, that his ERA in that time is only 3.38.
  • In 17 games since July 1, Miguel Tejada is batting .344.

Twins Notes

  • As Brandon Warne notes, the Twins' Opening Day outfield - Josh Willingham, Aaron Hicks, and Chris Parmelee - will this week be Rochester's starting outfield, thanks to Willingham's rehab assignment there and Hicks and Parmelee's demotions.
  • Miguel Sano's .877 OPS at AA New Britain is second on the team this season, behind the recently-promoted Josmil Pinto. Among other impressive numbers, Pinto posted a Mauer-like .411 on-base percentage this year at AA.
  • Twins assistant GM Rob Antony told the Star Tribune that the Twins would not be waiving Joe Mauer this year, even though doing so is a routine move and most of the league is waived in August, just in case. "Are you happy now, you easily-unsettled sheep?" Antony failed to add.
  • The Twins, 3-1 so far this month, were a combined 16-40 in August in 2011 and 2012.
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