Twins without Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and J.J. Hardy against Dontrelle Willis


Minnesota allowed 10 unanswered runs to Detroit last night to turn a 6-1 lead into an 11-6 loss and now the Twins are without Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and J.J. Hardy for this afternoon’s series finale.
Morneau is out indefinitely after leaving Tuesday’s game with back soreness. Hardy has a case of turf toe that had him running even slower than usual last night. And last but not least Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Mauer is simply “banged up and needs a day off from catching.” He had started 19 of the first 21 games.
Minnesota’s lineup actually doesn’t look all that terrible to me and there’s always a chance of Dontrelle Willis making it a moot point by just imploding, but the Twins’ defense probably isn’t going to do Carl Pavano any favors with Brendan Harris at shortstop, Luke Hughes at third base, Drew Butera behind the plate, and the combination of Delmon Young and Jason Kubel patrolling the outfield corners.
Should be an interesting afternoon matchup between the AL Central’s only above-.500 teams.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.