Twins brace for potential weather issues at home
NEW YORK -- The first series of the season brought some of the coldest games in Target Field history but no snow.
The Minnesota Twins’ series in Philadelphia brought an uncomfortable, drizzly game but didn’t cause any delays, and Tuesday night’s rain delayed the game against the New York Mets just briefly.
So those things aside, the Twins have been relatively lucky weather-wise to begin the season.
Still, they know what’s waiting for them back in Minneapolis could present some challenges as the Twin Cities brace for snow this week.
“We have to at least think about what’s going to happen when we get home,” manager Rocco Baldelli said.
“Because we have not just an odd and challenging schedule. We now have potentially two inches to two feet of snow greeting us when get home, so we have to start thinking about the potential of doubleheaders.
“We have to start thinking about a lot of different things.”
That was in response to a question about when Martin Perez might pitch again.
Baldelli said the plan right now for the Twins’ fifth starter is to have him come out of the bullpen once in New York.
He is expected to make his first start of the season once the team returns to Minneapolis and the schedule normalizes.
CRUZ STILL WAITING FOR OUTFIELD START
At the beginning of the Twins’ swing through two National League cities, Nelson Cruz said the plan was for him to start a game or two in the outfield. But four games in, that hasn’t happened.
Baldelli said he would be comfortable starting Cruz on Wednesday or having him come off the bench. Cruz only had one at-bat during the series in Philadelphia, striking out to end Sunday’s game.
“We have a DH who can play in the outfield, but he’s predominantly a DH and he’s also one of the best hitters in baseball,” Baldelli said. “You want to get him in there as much as you possibly can, but also at some point you have to make the decision as to what is the most responsible way to use him.”
Once the Twins return home, Baldelli said he thinks Cruz will be able to get back into the swing of things just fine despite the lack of at-bats on the road trip.
“I think it’s something with him being the quality veteran player and knowing the kind of guy that knows how to prepare as well as he does, I’m not overly worried about him,” Baldelli said.
ASTUDILLO GETS HIS FIRST START AT FIRST
Willians Astudillo has shown his versatility in the early parts of this season. He’s started behind the plate this season and at third, also making appearances at first and in left.
Tuesday, he got his first start of the season at first.
Astudillo entered that game 7 for 14 on the early season, good enough to draw himself a start in the three-hole against reigning National League Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. Astudillo’s ability to play around the field makes it easier to get his bat in the lineup.
“You generally feel comfortable no matter where you want to put him,” Baldelli said. “…He’s comfortable taking ground balls over there, scooping balls out of the dirt. He’s a ballplayer. Like I said, he can play anywhere. I actually do believe that. We might not throw him out there at short, we might not throw him out there in center field, but I probably wouldn’t hesitate to put him anywhere else.”