The Minnesota Twins are in strange territory for the middle of June. They are 13 games below .500 and in the basement of the A.L. Central as they host the White Sox for three games beginning tonight.
No Joe Mauer. No Joe Nathan. No Jim Thome. No Denard Span. No Jason Kubel. A different Justin Morneau. No Francisco Liriano (he won’t pitch in this series). Slumping Delmon Young and Danny Valencia and no Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier and Jon Rauch from a year ago. The pesky Nick Punto isn’t around anymore either.
Sounds like good news for the Sox, right? Wrong. As long as there are players wearing Twins jerseys, we can’t take anything for granted. And mark my words, they will give us fits.
There’s still Carl Pavano, who starts tonight for Minny, the always-troublesome Michael Cuddyer, exciting rookie outfielder Ben Revere and although Morneau, Young and Valencia aren’t yet themselves, it’s a good bet they’ll snap out of it against the Pale Hose. They always do, evidenced by the Twins 25-11 record against the Sox the last two seasons. The Twinkies also have rebounded a bit, having won eight of their last 10 games.
Gavin Floyd will be on the mound tonight for the South Siders in an attempt to get this six-game road swing off to a good start. A 4-2 trip in Minnesota and Phoenix will put us at .500. Hopefully we can do better than that.