|MINNESOTA ( MEJIA )|
DETROIT ( ZIMMERMANN )
|vs Right-handed Starters||55-51||+6.1||48-53||5.0||0.257||0.329||0.421||0.750||5.0||0.271||0.330||0.438||0.768|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-3.2||2-5||3.9||0.224||0.286||0.353||0.639||5.4||0.271||0.353||0.449||0.802|
|vs Left-handed Starters||20-20||-1.1||22-15||5.3||0.278||0.342||0.466||0.808||5.0||0.279||0.343||0.425||0.768|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-3.2||5-2||5.6||0.290||0.349||0.532||0.881||7.0||0.316||0.376||0.472||0.848|
|9/7/2017||GIBSON(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||GAVIGLIO(R)||4-2||W||-110||9.5 un||U||10||10||0||9||4||0|
|9/8/2017||SANTANA(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||KENNEDY(R)||8-5||W||-130||9 ov||O||10||8||0||9||3||1|
|9/9/2017||BERRIOS(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||JUNIS(R)||2-5||L||100||9 ev||U||9||8||0||11||7||0|
|9/10/2017||COLON(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||VARGAS(L)||3-11||L||125||10 ev||O||8||7||0||17||6||1|
|9/12/2017||GIBSON(R)||SAN DIEGO||WOOD(L)||16-0||W||-170||10 un||O||18||4||1||4||6||0|
|9/13/2017||SANTANA(R)||SAN DIEGO||LAMET(R)||3-1||W||-145||9 ev||U||10||8||0||7||8||1|
|9/18/2017||SANTANA(R)||@ NY YANKEES||GARCIA(L)||1-2||L||140||9 un||U||4||5||2||8||9||1|
|9/19/2017||BERRIOS(R)||@ NY YANKEES||SABATHIA(L)||2-5||L||150||8.5 ov||U||8||7||1||11||14||0|
|9/20/2017||COLON(R)||@ NY YANKEES||SEVERINO(R)||3-11||L||255||8.5 ov||O||6||5||0||15||8||0|
|9/21/2017||MEJIA(L)||@ DETROIT||ZIMMERMANN(R)|| |
|9/22/2017||GIBSON(R)||@ DETROIT||BOYD(L)|| |
|9/23/2017||SANTANA(R)||@ DETROIT||FARMER(R)|| |
|9/24/2017||BERRIOS(R)||@ DETROIT||BELL(L)|| |
|9/26/2017||COLON(R)||@ CLEVELAND||CLEVINGER(R)|| |
|9/27/2017|| ||@ CLEVELAND|| || |
|9/28/2017|| ||@ CLEVELAND|| || |
|9/8/2017||FARMER(R)||@ TORONTO||STROMAN(R)||5-4||W||185||8.5 ev||O||7||3||0||8||4||0|
|9/9/2017||BELL(L)||@ TORONTO||ANDERSON(L)||4-5||L||120||9.5 un||U||8||4||0||13||10||0|
|9/10/2017||SANCHEZ(R)||@ TORONTO||HAPP(L)||2-8||L||145||9 un||O||7||6||0||16||8||1|
|9/11/2017||JAYE(R)||@ CLEVELAND||CARRASCO(R)||0-11||L||275||8.5 ev||O||9||10||2||11||9||0|
|9/12/2017||BOYD(L)||@ CLEVELAND||KLUBER(R)||0-2||L||315||8 un||U||5||3||0||9||10||0|
|9/13/2017||FARMER(R)||@ CLEVELAND||CLEVINGER(R)||3-5||L||250||9.5 ov||U||7||7||0||7||4||2|
|9/14/2017||BELL(L)||CHI WHITE SOX||SHIELDS(R)||7-17||L||-115||10.5 un||O||12||6||0||25||14||1|
|9/15/2017||SANCHEZ(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||FULMER(R)||3-2||W||-120||10 ov||U||6||6||1||8||8||0|
|9/16/2017||JAYE(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||LOPEZ(R)||4-10||L||-110||9.5 ov||O||9||8||1||17||11||0|
|9/17/2017||BOYD(L)||CHI WHITE SOX||COVEY(R)||12-0||W||-125||10.5 un||O||13||4||0||1||2||0|
|9/26/2017||SANCHEZ(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||JUNIS(R)|| |
|9/27/2017|| ||@ KANSAS CITY|| || |
|9/28/2017|| ||@ KANSAS CITY|| || |
|MINNESOTA: 2016: 59-103, fifth place.
Manager: Paul Molitor (third season).
He's Here: C Jason Castro, RHP Matt Belisle, SS Ehire Adrianza, LHP Craig Breslow.
He's Outta Here: 3B Trevor Plouffe, C Kurt Suzuki, LHP Tommy Milone, RHP Pat Light.
Projected lineup: 2B Brian Dozier (.268, 42, 99, 18/20 SBs), RF Max Kepler (.235, 17, 63), CF Byron Buxton (.225, 10 HRs, 38 RBIs, 118 Ks in 298 ABs), 1B Joe Mauer (.261, 11, 49), 3B Miguel Sano (.236, 25, 66, 178 Ks in 437 ABs), DH Kennys Vargas (.230, 10, 20 in 152 ABs), LF Eddie Rosario (.269, 10, 32), C Jason Castro (.210, 11, 32 with Houston), SS Jorge Polanco (.282, 4, 27 in 245 ABs).
Rotation: RH Ervin Santana (7-11, 3.38 ERA, 149 Ks), RH Phil Hughes (1-7, 5.95, 11 HRs, 11 starts), LH Hector Santiago (3-6, 5.58, 13 HRs, 11 starts after trade with Angels), RH Kyle Gibson (6-11, 5.07, 1.561 WHIP), LH Adalberto Mejia (rookie).
Key relievers: RH Brandon Kintzler (0-2, 3.15, 17/20 saves), RH Matt Belisle (0-0, 1.76 in 40 games for Nationals), RH Ryan Pressly (6-7, 3.70, 1 save in 72 games), LH Taylor Rogers (3-1, 3.96, 64 Ks in 57 games), LH Craig Breslow (0-2, 4.50 in 15 games for Marlins).
Hot Spot: Starting Rotation. The resuscitation of a team with the worst record in the majors last season must begin with starting pitching that ranked 30th out of 30 in wins (37), ERA (5.39) and strikeouts (655). Hughes, Santiago, Gibson and Berrios will all be counted on to make 2016 the aberration and not the standard. Adding Castro, who has a strong reputation for game calling and pitch framing, probably can't hurt. There's enough depth in the group at least to give the Twins a chance to return to respectability as new baseball chief Derek Falvey continues to try to revamp organizational philosophy and process for the long term. The bullpen appears more vulnerable than the rotation, despite being bolstered by the addition of the veteran Belisle. Three-time All-Star closer Glen Perkins is still working his way back from surgery last year to repair a torn labrum and will likely land on the disabled list to start the season. Kintzler fared well in his place, but doesn't have a track record.
Outlook: The Twins ranked a respectable sixth in the American League in total bases and eighth in OPS despite their abysmal record last year. Buxton's sparkling September, following a second straight frustrating summer, restored his and the club's confidence in the 2012 second overall draft pick. Dozier probably hit his power ceiling in 2016, but if Buxton and Sano can strike out less and get on base more there's the potential in place for a productive offense. Vargas hit his way back into contention for the DH spot with a decent finish to 2016, but the pressure is on him to prove he's worth a spot in the lineup with a strong performance this spring by Park, who struggled badly to adjust to major league pitching in his arrival from South Korea last year.
|DETROIT: 2016: 86-75, second place.
Manager: Brad Ausmus (fourth season).
He's Here: C Alex Avila, OF Mikie Mahtook.
He's Outta Here: OF Cameron Maybin, SS Erick Aybar, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 3B Casey McGehee.
Projected lineup: 2B Ian Kinsler (.288, 28 HRs, 83 RBIs), 3B Nicholas Castellanos (.285, 18, 58 in 110 games), 1B Miguel Cabrera (.316, 38, 108), DH Victor Martinez (.289, 27, 86), RF J.D. Martinez (.307, 22, 68 in 120 games), LF Justin Upton (.246, 31, 87), C James McCann (.221, 12, 48) or Alex Avila (.213, 7, 11 with White Sox), CF Mikie Mahtook (.195, 3, 11 with Tampa Bay) or Tyler Collins (.235, 4, 15), SS Jose Iglesias (.255, 4, 32).
Rotation: RH Justin Verlander (16-9, 3.04 ERA, 254 Ks), RH Michael Fulmer (11-7, 3.06), RH Jordan Zimmermann (9-7, 4.87), LH Daniel Norris (4-2, 3.38), LH Matt Boyd (6-5, 4.53).
Key relievers: RH Francisco Rodriguez (3-4, 3.24, 44/49 saves), RH Bruce Rondon (5-2, 2.97), LH Justin Wilson (4-5, 4.14, 1 save), RH Alex Wilson (4-0, 2.96), RH Anibal Sanchez (7-13, 5.87 in 35 games, 26 starts).
Hot Spot: Back of Starting Rotation. Zimmermann and Norris could be major contributors if healthy, but the No. 5 spot in the rotation is much more uncertain. Sanchez has a big contract and some impressive career accomplishments, but he's 33 and coming off two straight disappointing seasons. Boyd was merely serviceable a season ago.
Outlook: The Tigers have made no secret of the fact that they'll need to cut costs soon, but they've generally put off doing so. Verlander, Cabrera and Kinsler are back, and Detroit is ready to make another bid for a postseason spot. The Tigers fell just short of a wild card last season, and the team's top players aren't getting any younger, so this could be the last shot for Detroit to win big before a significant overhaul. Verlander and Cabrera are still producing like stars, and Fulmer won Rookie of the Year honors last year. If the Tigers are going to take another step forward, they'll probably need Zimmermann and Norris to perform well after both dealt with injury problems a season ago. Speaking of injuries: J.D. Martinez sprained his right foot March 18 and is expected to miss the start of the season. The Tigers finished eight games behind Cleveland in 2016. Closing that gap won't be easy, and a lot might depend on whether Detroit can stay healthy.
|Zimmermann ready to go as Tigers host Twins|
DETROIT -- Jordan Zimmermann got rid of the pain in his neck, at least on a temporary basis. He will now try to finish an otherwise unpleasant season on an upbeat note.
The Detroit Tigers right-hander will make his first appearance since Sept. 2 when he faces the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a four-game series on Thursday at Comerica Park.
Zimmermann was sidelined by a recurrence of neck and shoulder pain that short-circuited his first season with the Tigers a year ago. He received a nerve-blocking injection to ease the pain, just as he did early last offseason.
Following two bullpen sessions, Zimmermann is ready to return to the rotation.
"I wanted to get the shots and see how it responded," he said. "I got the shots in November last year and then I had a big layoff, so I didn't really know if it was the layoff that helped or the shot that helped in November. So this is the real test. I got the shot, and everything in my shoulder and neck is gone, so the shot definitely helped."
Zimmermann will face an opponent that is desperately trying to hold onto the second American League wild-card spot. The Twins are reeling, having lost five of their past six games, and their lead over the Los Angeles Angels is just 1 1/2 games. Minnesota was swept in a three-game series by the New York Yankees this week, including an 11-3 thumping on Wednesday.
Zimmermann (8-12, 6.18 ERA) lost four of his last five decisions before he was shelved. He surrendered seven runs in three consecutive August starts, including a 3 1/3-inning outing against the Twins. In his last mound appearance, he allowed five runs on 12 hits in five innings against the Cleveland Indians.
He is not sure how long he can go on Thursday.
"I have no clue what their plans are or how many pitches, but I'm going to go out there until (manager) Brad (Ausmus) comes and gets me," he said. "My goal is to throw a quality start. That's kind of my goal every time out, and that's not going to change."
Zimmermann can't do much to improve his ugly ERA, but he was determined to pitch again this season. The neck issue is a degenerative condition that will have to be monitored the rest of his career.
"That's the plan, just go out there and get a few more innings and see how this thing responds after the shot here," he said. "Then get ready for next season and stick with the program I had, just fix a few small things and hopefully stay healthy all next year."
He will be opposed Thursday by Twins left-hander Adalberto Mejia, who will be making his second start since recovering from a left biceps strain. After a five-week absence, he lasted just three innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, allowing three runs on five hits.
"I thought Mejia's stuff was good. Some of the selection and location might have been off a bit," manager Paul Molitor told MLB.com afterward. "He had to pay the price for that."
Mejia (4-6, 4.62 ERA) wound up with no-decisions in both of his career starts against Detroit while posting a 5.14 ERA. Both of those outings occurred this year.
A wild-card berth would be a shocking turnaround for a Minnesota team that finished in last place in the AL Central a year ago.
"I'd be happy to elaborate more if it happens," Molitor told MLB.com. "But I think at the moment, I'd say to be able to experience a postseason game or more in this season, the combination it would do for young players and their confidence and the fact that we're coming off (finishing 59-103) last season, it would provide a big boost to us moving forward."
The Twins likely will have to go without slugger Miguel Sano the remainder of the season. He has been slow to recover from a left shin stress reaction.
|Last Updated: 3/21/2018 5:32:19 PM EST|