Lots of afternoon baseball today. The biggest individual performance out of these early games came from Miguel Cabrera, who put on a hitting clinic while helping the Tigers trounce the Twins 13-1.
Cabrera went 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI. He hit an RBI single in the first and then hit a two-run homer in the sixth off of Brian Duensing and another two-run homer in the seventh off of J.R. Graham.
On Twitter I saw a reasonably large sports media account refer to this game as “vintage Miguel Cabrera.” Nah, it’s pretty contemporary Miguel Cabrera, actually. This is the third time he’s hit two bombs in a game this season, the last time being against these same Twins two weeks ago. Cabrera is now hitting .328/.437/.568 with eight home runs, 26 RBI.
I’d say that reports of him departing his prime have been greatly exaggerated.
Brian Duensing has an intercostal strain, so the Twins have placed him on the disabled list and called up Caleb Thielbar from Triple-A to take his spot as a left-handed reliever.
Thielbar spent most of the past two seasons in Minnesota’s bullpen and pitched well with a 2.59 ERA and 74/30 K/BB ratio in 94 innings, but the Twins still demoted him to Triple-A at the end of spring training and went with Duensing and Aaron Thompson as their lefty setup men.
Duensing had an ugly outing Thursday in which he turned a blowout into a save situation for closer Glen Perkins and he heads to the DL with a 7.36 ERA in six appearances.
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities reports that the Twins have inquired about watching free agent reliever Rafael Soriano throw.
Soriano, 35, faltered in the closer’s role for the Nationals last season. He was taken out of the role in early September when he allowed runs in three consecutive appearances, the last of which included surrendering a game-tying ninth-inning home run to Phillies light-hitting outfielder Ben Revere. Soriano finished with a 3.16 ERA, 32 saves in 39 opportunities, and a 59/19 K/BB ratio in 62 innings.
The veteran reliever remains unsigned presumably because of his age and declining fastball velocity. The Twins are set with Glen Perkins as their closer, but Soriano could potentially share some late innings with Brian Duensing.