MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins

The Twins Do Not Have A Chris Sale – Lineups & Preview 5/7

Between Ervin Santana (4/$55 million), Ricky Nolasco (4/$49 million), and Phil Hughes (5/$58 million), the “small market” Twins have allocated $162 million to a 4th starter, a 5th starter, and a guy who may not be in the league anymore but for the money he’s being paid.  One suspects they would have been better off just dumping ~$100 million of that on a pitcher who is actually good, but Minnesota making mistakes is fine with me.  Unfortunately for the White Sox today, Santana is the best of the bunch and he’s on the mound, but at the risk of sounding hot take-y, Chris Sale is super duper way better than he is.

Through four games against Minnesota, the White Sox are 4-0, outscoring them 20-6 in the process.  Although the Twins are basically consigned to a lost season at this point, trailing the 4th-place Tigers by six games with a -47 run differential, that doesn’t mean things can’t be unfortunately chippy and irritating! After Byung-ho Park was, by all appearances, inadvertently hit by a pitch, Minnesota appeared to retaliate by drilling Jose Abreu in the ribs, causing the benches to clear and Robin Ventura to get ejected.  Fortunately no punches were thrown, and as an individual who prioritizes the White Sox staying off the DL over asserting some sort of archaic masculinity, I prefer vengeance in the form of continuing to murder the Twins’ season instead of beaning Kurt Suzuki.

Tyler Saladino gets a second consecutive start as Jimmy Rollins evidently has some sort of illness.  It is increasingly looking like Saladino’s glove is a substantial upgrade on Rollins’ and it is quite possibly greater than the gap between their bats at this point.

It is only May 7th and Minnesota is frantically reordering the deck chairs while most of steerage has drowned and they are realizing they underestimated how many lifeboats they’d need by several orders of magnitude.  Accordingly, Darin Mastroianni will be leading off.  This will be his first game in the majors since 2014, when he put up an OPS of .322, but I suppose something about his .577 OPS in AAA makes the Twins think there’s something there. This is the first time I have ever heard of Jorge Polanco, who is starting for Brian Dozier and hitting 7th, although I suppose he hit okay in AAA? Joe Mauer is getting a day off. Eduardo Nunez is playing short and Oswaldo Arcia is hitting against a lefty who eviscerates lefties at a historic level.

The White Sox really should win this game. Please win this game.

White Sox Lineup

1. Adam Eaton – RF

2. Austin Jackson – CF

3. Jose Abreu – 1B

4. Todd Frazier – 3B

5. Melky Cabrera – LF

6. Brett Lawrie – 2B

7. Avisail Garcia – DH

8. Dioner Navarro – C

9. Tyler Saladino – SS

Twins Lineup

1. Darin Mastroianni – RF

2. Eduardo Nunez – SS

3. Miguel Sano – DH

4. Trevor Plouffe – 3B

5. Byung-ho Park – 1B

6. Oswaldo Arcia – LF

7. Jorge Polanco – 2B

8. Kurt Suzuki – C

9. Danny Santana – CF

Lead Image Credit: Kim Klement // USA Today Sports Images


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