After a week off, I’m back on the beat and it’s a busy day to return thanks to today being the deadline for teams to sign their 2009 Draft picks.
The Twins continue to have negotiations with their first-round pick, right-hander Kyle Gibson. Scouting director Deron Johnson has remained optimistic that a deal will get done, although indications today were that it would likely go down to the wire with the deadline coming at 11:01 p.m. CT.
Brian Duensing will start Thursday’s contest in Texas, manager Ron Gardenhire said today. That means Anthony Swarzak is moving to the bullpen, although he likely won’t be available to pitch in relief until Tuesday after throwing 80-some pitches in his start against Cleveland on Saturday.
Joe Nathan said his right knee is fine after he took a line drive off his kneecap in Sunday’s contest. So the Twins All-Star closer is good to go out of the ‘pen tonight.
Orlando Cabrera is getting a day off today. Gardenhire said that Cabrera told some of the coaching staff that he was a little worn out so they felt this was a good game to give him a rest. Brendan Harris gets the start at shortstop in Cabrera’s place and will be batting second in the lineup as well.
Here are today’s lineups:
3rd place in AL Central, 6 games back
Denard Span, CF
Brendan Harris, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Joe Crede, 3B
Delmon Young, LF
Nick Punto, 2B
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano (5-11, 5.39)
2nd place in AL West, 4.5 games back (leading AL Wild Card by 1/2 game)
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Michael Young, 3B
Josh Hamilton, RF
Marlon Byrd, CF
David Murphy, LF
Andruw Jones, DH
Hank Blalock, 1B
Kevin Richardson, C
Elvis Andrus, SS
Pitching: RHP Tommy Hunter (5-2, 2.26)
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