As expected, manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed this morning that the Twins will turn to Triple-A call-up Luke Hughes as their primary second baseman after Tsuyoshi Nishioka suffered a fractured fibula yesterday.
Hughes failed to crack the Opening Day roster because Gardenhire preferred Matt Tolbert as his utility man, but will now get the opportunity to play every day while Tolbert remains on the bench.
Hughes is old for a prospect at 26 and his defense draws mixed reviews, but he’s shown good power in the minors and should at the very least have some success against left-handed pitching.
I ranked Hughes as just the 33rd-best prospect in the Twins’ system coming into the season, but Minnesota’s infield depth is so limited following Nishioka’s injury that they don’t really have any other palatable options.
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.