Minneapolis is still shaking off the snow from yesterday’s storm, so… let’s play two games of outdoor baseball!
Though actually, that sort of is one hell of a way to tell winter to go fuck right off already, eh, ya fuckin’ buncha snow, and as you can see from this tweet by Barry Davis of Sportsnet, the Twins’ grounds crew has made Target Field look downright playable. Which… that’s a good thing, because we’ve got two games of baseball to get to. So settle in, settle up to the bar, try not to get too dismayed by some of the scuttlebutt that will follow, and keep it together long enough to so something relatively productive during the window between the 1 PM ET game and the 7 PM ET game. We’ve got a day-night doubleheader on our hands!
Sure, the bullpen is humming along without Casey Janssen, but this is still not great news: Brendan Kennedy tweets that he’s taking a step back from his rehab assignment, and will be shut down for a few days. I know he’s not a big velocity guy anyway, but the reports of him being 86-89 in his last outing weren’t exactly encouraging, and don’t necessarily make this surprising.
Gregor Chisholm first tweeted that it was a “sore lower back” that was behind Janssen’s shut-down, however Scott MacArthur later tweeted that it is an abdominal strain, which was later repeated by other sources as well. (Gregor has clarified that it’s sort of both: “it’s technically strained lower back/ left abdominal muscle. It’s on the lower left side of his body.”)
Kennedy adds a quote from John Gibbons that backs up the tie in with the velocity issues: “It’s not like it’s a lot worse, but he doesn’t feel comfortable enough yet to start cutting it loose.”
Gregor also tweets that Jose Reyes is now expected to rejoin the Jays on Saturday in Cleveland, not Friday. Fortunately it’s not because of a setback, it’s because of “crap” weather (according to a tweet from MacArthur) and the fact that they would have liked him to avoid the day game after a night game anyway.
Colby Rasmus is back in the lineup, as you can see below. Though, because of the cold weather and the ailing hamstring, he’ll be at DH for game one. And he won’t be in centre for game two, either, as Anthony Gose is with the club — though, as Barry Davis reminds us in a tweet, as per MLB’s rule about using a 26th roster spot for doubleheaders, he’s only available for the 7 PM tilt. Rasmus would have played in the outfield today if conditions were better, says Gibbons, according to a Brendan Kennedy tweet.
Davis also tweets that Adam Lind says his back feels better — “I’m functionable,” he told Brendan Kennedy — though he won’t be available today. He’s still hopeful he can avoid a DL stint, though, so that’s alright.
Kennedy tweets that Gibbons says if someone gets up in the bullpen for game one, he’s probably not going to be available for game two. MacArthur notes that Gibbons’ game one bench consists of Dioner Navarro and Jonathan Diaz.
MacArthur: Security guy checks my bag: “Today isn’t the day to bring in anything malicious. Nobody’s going to be here anyway.”
Ben Wagner tweets that it’s also a doubleheader day in snowy Buffalo. He adds another Bisons tidbit: Marcus Stroman’s 21 strikeouts are tied for the most in all of triple-A baseball.
Next game: Tomorrow, 7:05 PM ET, @ Cleveland
For those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with theScore app.
And now, the game one lineups…
Toronto Blue Jays
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
CF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
DH Colby Rasmus
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
RF Moises Sierra (R)
C Josh Thole (L)
SS Ryan Goins (L)
RHP R.A. Dickey
2B Brian Dozier (R)
1B Joe Mauer (L)
3B Trevor Plouffe (R)
RF Chris Colabello (R)
LF Jason Kubel (L)
DH Josmil Pinto (R)
C Kurt Suzuki (R)
CF Aaron Hicks (S)
SS Pedro Florimon (S)
RHP Kyle Gibson
Image via @BlueJays.