MLB: Injured Twins hope to find positives at home
CHICAGO -- Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor knows that meetings and lectures will do little to help his team."Our sport is not set up for that, nor is it effective," Molitor said. "It is more (about) recognizing people who need a word of enco...
CHICAGO - Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor knows that meetings and lectures will do little to help his team.
“Our sport is not set up for that, nor is it effective,” Molitor said. “It is more (about) recognizing people who need a word of encouragement. When we teach, I always try to support a negative with a positive.”
Molitor’s club continues to search for positives after the season’s first five weeks. At 8-23, the Twins own the worst record in the American League as they return to Target Field for a three-game series against Baltimore.
Injuries have prevented the Twins from establishing a consistent starting lineup and starting rotation. The team’s disabled list includes right-hander Kyle Gibson, left-hander Glen Perkins and infielder Eduardo Escobar.
Typically durable second baseman Brian Dozier has been held out of the starting lineup for the past three games because of a sore hamstring. Catcher Kurt Suzuki missed Sunday’s game because of neck stiffness, and his status is uncertain for the series opener. Meanwhile, first baseman Byung Ho Park is playing with a sore knee.
The injuries have created a next-man-up mentality for Minnesota, which made more than a half-dozen roster moves over the weekend.
Journeyman outfielder Darin Mastroianni is one of several new faces in the Twins’ clubhouse. He joined the team Friday after he was promoted from Triple-A Rochester.
“When things like this happen, when we have all of these guys coming up and all of the injuries and all of that stuff, you’ve just got to go with it,” Mastroianni said. “You just have to find a way to
help the team win. That’s why they signed us in the offseason and sent us to Triple-A. They thought that if something like this happened, we could provide a spark and fill in for these guys the best we can.”
Mastroianni said he has full confidence that the Twins could rebound from a difficult start.
“It has been a bad start, but there’s no reason why this team shouldn’t win baseball games,” he said. “It’s hard when you can’t get the same nine guys out there three out of four days. I think, as guys get healthier, you’ll see this team win a lot more. Even waiting for some to come back, I think good things are coming in the future for us here.”
Notes: Kurt Suzuki was held out of the lineup because of neck stiffness Sunday, which was one day after a foul tip slammed him in the mask. Suzuki was available off the bench but did not play in the Twins’ 3-1 loss to the White Sox. He is hitting .213 (13-for-61) with seven RBIs in 21 games this season ... Brian Dozier was held out of the starting lineup for the third consecutive game but pinch-hit in the ninth inning Friday against the White Sox. He could return to the starting lineup Monday when the Twins return home to host the Orioles. Dozier is hitting .220 with four home runs and 14 RBIs in 28 games ... Glen Perkins (left shoulder strain) played catch from 60 feet this week but does not have a specific return date scheduled, Twins manager Paul Molitor said. The three-time All-Star relief pitcher allowed two runs in two innings early this season before being placed on the disabled list ... Tyler Duffey (0-2) absorbed the loss Sunday despite setting a career high with nine strikeouts in seven innings. Duffey allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks ... Oswaldo Arcia finished 1-for-4 and was robbed of extra bases in the ninth inning Sunday on a sprinting catch by White Sox center fielder Austin Jackson. During the Twins’ six-game road trip, Arcia hit .333 (4-for-12) with a home run, three RBIs, five walks and two runs scored.