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.
And John Lackey is livid.
The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.
According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.
Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.
Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that the Giants have promoted top infield prospect Christian Arroyo from Triple-A Sacramento. MLB Pipeline rated Arroyo as the Giants’ No. 2 prospect behind pitcher Tyler Beede and the team’s best position player prospect.
Arroyo, 21, was selected in the first round (25th overall) of the 2013 draft. He started the year at Triple-A for the first time and he hit an astounding .446/.478/.692 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 69 plate appearances to start the season.
The Giants, 6-13, are looking to regain their balance after unexpectedly losing ace Madison Bumgarner, who sustained injuries riding a dirt bike on an off-day. Arroyo will likely play third base regularly over Eduardo Nunez.