Rested and refreshed, the Minnesota Twins resume their 2012 season tonight against the Oakland Athletics. Like the Twins, the A’s find themselves in the bottom half of their division. Unlike the Twins, the A’s hold a respectable win-loss record, sitting at 43-43 coming out of the All-Star break.
Twins fans can select their reason to cheer for starting pitcher Francisco Liriano tonight. Some, perhaps the minority, might cling to hope that he can turn things around and still be a part of the team’s future. After all, was not his presence supposed to soften the blow when Johan Santana was sent out of town for a package of players that included a guy named Go-Go Gomez? Things do not always go the way they are supposed to in baseball.
Others might cheer for Liriano for the following reason, which is both cynical and pragmatic: he needs to increase the potential haul the Twins can receive in exchange for his services at the upcoming trade deadline.
Here is manager Ron Gardenhire’s lineup for tonight’s game at Target Field:
Worth noting is the first baseman Carter; going into the All-Star break he showed mega-power in limited appearances. Facing a struggling Twins staff but also an intimidating Target Field, it will be interesting to see if his power translates. It seems that Melvin is trying to preserve the fragile Cespedes by keeping him at DH.