The Twins and Indians had a game scheduled for Wednesday night at open-air Target Field, but the weather made them change their plans. With steady rain forecasted, the game was postponed, and will instead be played as part of a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, June 17.
I found a few positives for the Twins with the postponement. And yes, once again I’m almost definitely looking too much into this.
The first, and most advantageous one: the Twins will not have to face Cleveland ace Corey Kluber this series. Originally scheduled to face a quartet of Cleveland starters – Danny Salazar, Josh Tomlin, Trevor Bauer, Kluber– Minnesota will now check Kluber from that list. At least for now. Who knows what the June series will present, but in the present moment as the Twins look to right the ship and keep their strong start rolling, dodging Kluber is a good thing.
Minnesota’s ace Ervin Santana will still make his scheduled start Thursday, meaning the Indians will miss Twins rookie Adalberto Mejia.
Molitor was asked Monday if someone like Byron Buxton might have a tough time ended his slump against a team with some quality right-handed pitching.
“They all can pose problems,” Molitor said of Indians pitching. “These right-handers can be tough on everybody, I think Tomlin’s the only one that might have a little reverse splits for the right-handers. [Salazar] can throw hard, this guy’s got the great changeup, Kluber’s got the great slider, Bauer’s got the big curve ball, Tomlin’s more of a cutter guy. So, yeah,” he said, pausing. “It can be tough.”
The dramatic pause drew a chuckle from the assembled group in the manager’s office before the game Monday.
Perhaps the Twins can breathe a sigh of relief to miss Cleveland’s ace.
The second favorable thing is that the Twins played their first real ugly game of the season Tuesday night with Phil Hughes on the mound, and now they have an extra day to flush that from their system. Depending on who you talk to, some people in the game would rather have another game immediately after a clunker, so they can wash the proverbial bad taste out of their mouth with a cleaner ballgame.
I don’t know which theory has more subscribers in the Twins clubhouse.
I do know that I’ve talked to a handful of Twins players this spring – young and older – who believe this team is mentally resilient, and probably more so than last year’s bunch.
I asked Molitor about that after Tuesday night’s ugly loss, Minnesota’s third in a row. How good is this club at turning the page?
“It’s maybe a little early to tell,” Molitor said. “My gut would say that we’re probably better. We have some people that I think know how to handle that fairly well. We’ve been through it enough that we should have some experience in that regard,” he said with a wry smile.
“So we still have some chances [Cleveland and Detroit upcoming]. We’re going to see some good pitching, they’re lined up so it’ll be a good challenge for us. We’ll get a little feel on the bounce-back of this club here in the short term.”
The final positive that should be taken from this is it gives a free off day in the middle of a stretch in which the Twins had 16 games planned in 16 games. I imagine that schedule is one reason the Twins chose to go with 13 pitchers to start the season—an unconventional decision. The way they’ve played, and the way Justin Haley and Tyler Duffey have pitched out of the bullpen, the Twins aren’t hurting for arms right now. So maybe they could swap a pitcher and go to a four-man bench, instead of playing shorthanded on the position player side.
According to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger, if you had tickets to the game youv’e got a couple choices: