Breakfast & Baseball: Butera, Ortiz, Rincon, Willingham, Arcia, Hicks, Pelfrey

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

"What now? What's your name? Wendell. I'll call you Ace. Okay, Ace, here's what we need..."

Soundtrack: The Last Shadow Puppets, "The Age of the Understatement"

Drew Butera Struck Out a Guy

"And fastball got 'em. I'm....is that 94 on the gun?" - Vin Scully

The Dodgers were getting blown out last night and so, like you do, you bring in a position player to soak up an inning. Don Mattingly sent Drew Butera to pitch the ninth, and he picked up a 1-2-3 inning. The final out was a strikeout of Marcell Ozunawhich you can see here.

I'll let True Blue LA tell you the story.

Butera's first pitch was a 90-mph fastball that Ozuna missed for strike one. Then came a 74-mph changeup for another swinging strike. Butera followed with a 94-mph heater to blow Ozuna away and end the inning.

- snip -

After the game with a throng of reporters surrounding Butera's locker, the first question came from Ellis.

"Why did you shake me off?" Ellis asked jokingly.

Ellis wasn't the only one to give Butera a hard time. Butera struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, before he took the mound, and he got a text from his father Sal, himself a nine-year Major League veteran catcher with five different teams in the 1980s.

"He texted me and said I looked like a pitcher hitting in my last at-bat," Butera said. "Thanks, dad."

David Ortiz is too damned good

In the continuing saga of the story that will never die, Ortiz keeps on crushing Twins pitching and, without fail, some joker bring up the time that Minnesota let him go. This time, somebody put it into the terms of the guy the Twins added to the roster which forced them to dump Ortiz - infielder Jose Morban.

It didn't matter that the Twins won the first game of the series. And if Ortiz hits two more home runs today, it won't matter if the Twins win and take the series. It'll come again: "HEY DAVID, REMEMBER WHEN THOSE CHUMPS THE MINNESOTA TWINS LET YOU GO? LET'S KEEP TALKING ABOUT THAT. FOREVER."

To be fair, Ortiz has hit the Twins far better than any other opponent in baseball. The difference is even more stark when comparing it to just American League teams. His line? .350/.440/.701 in 248 plate appearances. Ish, David. Stop it.

Juan Rincon still wants to pitch

Oh. Well, um. Good luck?

Minnesota's (Actual) Starting Outfield...and Mike Pelfrey

  • Gardy is telling Aaron Hicks that he's not afraid to send him down if he doesn't get better. They had a meeting prior to Tuesday's game, where Danny Santana started in center field, and it sounds like Hicks has agreed to spend more time watching film and preparing for each individual game. I still think that's not the best thing for the team, but if Hicks needs to show another level of commitment, then so be it. For his own sake as well as the team's, let's hope for improving results over the next few weeks.
  • Oswaldo Arcia still hasn't played more than two games in a row since starting his rehab stint in Rochester since experiencing further inflammation, which lends credibility to the idea that he just isn't ready for Major League action quite yet. Gardy is quoted as saying he doesn't think Arcia is quite "on his game", offensively. And he might have a point, but the biggest issue is the wrist. Until he can go full pelt and go more than two days in a row, staying in Triple-A isn't the worst idea.
  • On the good news side of things, Josh Willingham is likely to begin his rehab stint with the Red Wings tomorrow. The Twins won't rush him along either, so it's feasible that we see Hammer stay in Rochester for a good couple of weeks before eventually returning to Minnesota. If Yes Pig does start that rehab stint tomorrow he'll be joining Mike Pelfrey, who is scheduled to start Friday's game.
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