FIRST PITCH: 1:10 pm CDT
TV: Bally Sports North / ~ / Radio: TIBN
The Twins are carrying a three-game Central lead into the Saturday matinee, and they’ll get a boost this afternoon by returning Sonny Gray to the starting rotation.
Gray will make his first start since April 16th, when he was removed from the second inning of a game at Fenway, and subsequently missed most of the next month with a low-grade hamstring strain. He has a sample size of 6.1 innings in 2022, so there’s not a plethora of statistical analysis to be had regarding his current performance. Hopefully, he will string together a few outings, and we can start to see the pitcher that we paid for (in people!)
His opponent today is one James Kaprielian, the former first-round Yankees pick. This will be just his second go-round of the season; his only start so far saw him give up four runs and four walks in two innings facing the Guardians.
Last season, Kaprielian did not spin it, but sometimes he win it. A ninth-percentile fastball spin rate and other mid-range numbers led him to a 4.07 ERA / 4.33 FIP in just under 120 innings last year.
In just his third season and already 28 years old, Kaprielian is hoping that Oakland’s roster status leaves room for him to start making an impression.
The Twins nearly had an all-homegrown batting order today, but Trevor Larnach was a late scratch in favor of Gary Sanchez. Still, the bottom half of the order features Nick Gordon, Jose Miranda, Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Jeffers, and Royce Lewis — a testament to the development pipeline, as these are all names we heard about for a long time.
And yes, Kirilloff is back in the lineup manning first base, while Miranda scores his second big-league start at the hot corner.
GO TWINS GO!