Twins open Target Field with college game

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The Twins opened brand new Target Field Saturday with a college game between the University of Minnesota and Louisiana Tech.

More than 37,757 showed up to take in the new ballpark, which features a massive fire pit in left field and several in-stadium bars and restaurants.  Stuart Groskreutz wrote a review of the place for the Stillwater Gazette last week and there’s a picture of today’s action available on SBNation’s Twinkie Town.

The Twins are hoping the new park, which looks like it could be a real gem, will provide enough revenue to justify the massive eight-year, $184 million contract extension that was handed to catcher Joe Mauer last weekend.  So far, so good. 

“The number one word we heard from people today was, ‘incredible,”‘
Twins spokesperson Kevin Smith told the Associated Press Saturday.

Oh, and for those interested in such things, Louisiana Tech won Saturday’s game 9-1.

Shawn Tolleson becomes a free agent

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The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.

Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.

Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.

Indians strongly considering starting Carlos Santana in left field sans DH

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday,’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.

Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.