It sounds like the Twins are ready to welcome Jason Kubel back from the disabled list after he went 3-for-5 with a homer at Triple-A yesterday and 1-for-3 with a walk there today.
Kubel has been out since May 30 with a sprained foot and his rehab timetable got delayed by setbacks several times, but Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that he’s scheduled to fly to Minnesota tonight and could rejoin the Twins’ lineup as soon as tomorrow.
Kubel was Minnesota’s most productive bat prior to the injury, hitting .310 with an .820 OPS in 52 games, and with Denard Span and Justin Morneau still on the DL the Twins’ lineup can certainly use a boost. Trevor Plouffe figures to lose the most playing time upon Kubel’s return, which while understandable is a shame because he was looking more and more intriguing as a potential late-blooming former first-round pick.
If the Twins can ever get healthy and stay healthy the rest of the thoroughly mediocre AL Central could be in serious trouble, as Minnesota is just five games back despite starting the season with an MLB-worst 17-37 record.
The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.
Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.
Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.
ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.
After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.