Tagged in: Minnesota Twins

Boston Red Sox name Eduardo Rodriguez their Opening Day starter

A year after a bout with COVID-19 denied him an opportunity to be the Boston Red Sox’s Opening Day starter, Eduardo Rodríguez is getting a do-over.

Manager Alex Cora made the declaration Wednesday following Boston’s 9-1 spring training victory over the Minnesota Twins. Rodríguez threw an efficient 55 pitches, striking out six and giving up two hits and one earned run over five innings.

“Indeed, it’s going to be Eduardo. He’s one of the best out there,” Cora said of the left-hander. “He had a great season in ’19. Last year, he wasn’t able to pitch for obvious reasons. What he’s shown now, he’s healthy and he’s ready to go. … It was just a matter of time.”

Boston opens its calendar April 1 versus the Baltimore Orioles. Rodríguez went 13-5 for the Boston team that won a franchise-record 108 games and the World Series in 2018. He went into the next year at the bottom of the rotation behind Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi.

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But Rodríguez had the best season of the group, going 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA to finish sixth in American League Cy Young voting. He made his major-league-leading 34th start on the final day of the season with a chance at 20 wins but did not figure in the decision. Still, he finished with career bests in wins, ERA, starts, innings (203⅓) and strikeouts (213).

With Sale recovering from Tommy John surgery, Rodríguez was in line to start on Opening Day in 2020 before testing positive for the coronavirus and being diagnosed with inflammation in his heart muscles.

He said he couldn’t even complete a 25-pitch workout without feeling tired; on Aug. 1, just one week into the season, he was shut down for the year.

After putting the extended rest and recovery time to good use, he said he’s ready to take advantage of a chance he has yet to have during his five major league seasons.

Speaking prior to Cora naming him the starter, Rodríguez told reporters he would be honored to get the ball in the opener.

“If given the opportunity, I’m going to be so happy to do it because that’s something that everybody wants to do one time in their career,” he said.

“If I have the opportunity this year, I’m going to really appreciate it. I’m going to love it.”

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Twins Jorge Polanco undergoes ankle surgery for chronic injury

Polanco underwent surgery Nov. 22 to address a right ankle impingement and is expected to resume baseball activities in six weeks, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.

The recovery timeline should allow Polanco to return to full health by the time spring training arrives.

Polanco will be confined to a walking boot for the next couple weeks before resuming strengthening work for the ankle, which had been a chronic worry for the 26-year-old.

The Twins stated Wednesday that Polanco underwent a debridement procedure Friday in Los Angeles with Dr. Richard Ferkel to address a chronic impingement injury stemming from repetitive stress.

The ankle issue never forced Polanco to miss any action in 2019, as he suited up for a career-high 153 matches and slashed an ramarkable .2925/.356/.485 en route to earning his first All-Star nod.

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He had never before hit more than 13 long balls in a single season, though, so be careful not to overvalue him in fantasy drafts in 2020.

At the right price, however, he’ll be a solid shortstop option once the elite names are off the board.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli had hinted towards the end of the season that Polanco had been playing while dinged up, but the club had to rely on its shortstop due to a severe rash of injuries elsewhere in the infield and outfield.

Polanco appeared in a team-leading 153 games and finished fifth in the American League with 704 plate appearances. No other Twins player appeared in more than 137 games.

Polanco signed a long-term deal with the Twins that will keep him in Minnesota through the 2023 season with a chance for 2024-25.

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Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins

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(sportschatplace.com)- The Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Angels face off on Thursday at Target Field in game one of their MLB series.

The Los Angeles Angels continue to be in the Wildcard hunt in the AL as the regular season continues to wind down. The Angels are 29-41 on the road, 5-5 in their last 10 games, and they are 3.5 games out in the AL Wildcard and they are 5 games back in the AL West. As a team the Angels are hitting .243 with Mike Trout hitting .292, Erick Aybar hitting .268, and Johnny Giavotella hitting .265. The Angels pitching staff has an ERA of 3.93 with the starters at 3.97 and the bullpen at 3.85. For game one against the Twins the Angels start Hector Santiago who has allowed 139 hits and 59 earned runs while striking out 148 over 165.1 innings for an 8-9 record and a 3.21 ERA.

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The Minnesota Twins continue to play hard as the season winds down as they look to make the post-season. The Twins are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 43-28 at home, and they are 10 games behind the Royals in the AL Central standings and 1.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West standings. As a team the Twins are hitting .249 with Joe Mauer hitting .271, Trevor Plouffe hitting .250, and Torii Hunter hitting .240. The Twins pitching staff has an ERA of 4.11 with the starters at 4.17 and the bullpen at 3.99. For game one against the Angels the Twins start Tommy Milone who has allowed 114 hits and 48 earned runs while striking out 82 over 115.2 innings for an 8-5 record and a 3.73 ERA.

Minnesota is 4-1 following a loss, 9-4 in their last 13 games against a team with a winning record, and 5-2 in Milone’s last seven home starts. Los Angeles is 7-20 in their last 27 road games, 1-7 o the road against a left-handed starter, and 2-5 in Santiago’s last seven starts. Los Angeles is 9-1 in their last 10 games against Minnesota.

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Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles

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In the first of a four-game series between the Baltimore Orioles (62-57) and the Minnesota Twins (59-61) at Camden Yards, Miguel Gonzalez (9-8, 4.42 ERA) and Tyler Duffey (1-1, 6.75 ERA) take the mound. The game gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 20

The Baltimore Orioles vie for their sixth win in seven outings when they open a four-game series against the visiting Minnesota Twins tonight. Henry Urrutia provided the fireworks on Wednesday, belting his first major-league homer to lead off the ninth inning as Baltimore salvaged a split of its abbreviated two-game interleague series with the New York Mets.The walk-off victory was the third of the homestand for the Orioles, who are 5-1 on their 10-game stay at Camden Yards.

Baltimore, a -156 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Minnesota. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is eight runs. When playing as the favorite, the Orioles have a 39-27 record and overall money line at +107. They are 5-1 as the favorite over their last 10 games. The Orioles have one of the most prolific offenses in the entire AL, averaging 4.5 runs per game. As for the pitching staff, the Orioles don’t give up many walks to opposing batters at Camden Yards, ranking second in the AL with only 2.3 walks allowed per home game.

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Minnesota trails the Angels by four games after beginning its 10-game road trip by getting swept by the New York Yankees. The tumbling Twins have lost five straight on the road and 13 of their last 15 away from home.

Moving on to the away team, the Twins come into this game with a win percentage of .463 when playing as the underdog (44-51) and an overall money line of +845. Over the past 10 matchups, they are 4-6 SU and have played poorly as the underdog with a 1-5 record. They also allow just 2.5 walks per game, good for tops in the AL.

So far this season, the Twins are 3-0 against the Orioles. This game will feature Duffey (RHP) on the mound against the Orioles, who have a 44-46 record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Twins will be the right-hander Gonzalez. They sport a 38-41 record against righties.

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