Preview: Twins vs. White Sox
The Twins and White Sox are scheduled to continue their four-game series at Target Field but the forecast, which has already wreaked havoc on the Twins’ season-opening homestand, calls for temperatures in the 30s, strong winds and a mix of rain and snow with between 8-12 inches expected to fall by Saturday afternoon.
As a result, manager Paul Molitor won’t decide on a starting pitcher until he knows whether his team will play Friday.
Phil Hughes was the leading candidate before the weather got involved. He’s eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list after starting the season with a strained oblique. Molior also considered Adalberto Mejia for the start after the left-hander threw 24 pitches over two innings Tuesday.
“It depends on how it plays out,” Molitor said. “Our rehab guys, we have to keep them pitching as best as they can. Our Triple-A guys haven’t pitched much at all. Every year, you’re faced with different things because of weather, but this one has been particularly high with the variables we’ve had to deal with.”
The winter conditions are predicted to linger through the weekend, leaving the rest of the series in question. With the Twins slated to play a two-game set in Puerto Rico next week, Molitor is trying to come up with contingency plans.
“We’re trying to think about what if you lose all three? What are we going to do?” Molitor said. “Are we going to need to find a place to work out here? We’re definitely going to have to consider working out on Monday. Guys haven’t been facing hitters, (relievers Gabriel Moya and Tyler Kinley) haven’t pitched much, our hitters haven’t faced a lot of pitching. And worst-case scenario, you don’t play five of the next seven days, with two games in between in Puerto Rico.”
He’s been phenomenal this season, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits over his first two starts but he has struggled with command at times, walking seven batters.
Lopez has never faced the Twins.
“I’ve been working hard since spring training trying to get better, and I think that right now I’ve been able to deliver,” Lopez said after his last outing. “These first two outings have been good, and those are just the first two of the good outings that are coming. I’m expecting more in the future. I think it’s just a matter for me to keep my focus and execute my plan. I was able to do it, and I just hope to keep doing it.”
White Sox manager Rick Renteria is also trying to make alternate plans for his squad.
“Even if the weather is still inconsistent, we still have to get in some work,” Renteria said. “We might try to work in the cages, get some ‘pens done in the cages. We’ll do what we can, whatever the weather permits us to do, and then just adjust, just keep going.”