|FreePlays.com Home » Preview: Minnesota at Detroit, August 12th, 2017|
DETROIT -- It's still a little too early for Minnesota to be scoreboard watching, but that might change if the Twins can make a run at the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals.
"It's more still on the peripheral for me," Twins manager Paul Molitor said Friday night before Minnesota ran its winning streak to six games with a 9-4 victory over the Tigers.
"It's so exposed now, whether it's on the scoreboard or if you want to watch any of the highlight or the recap shows, it's just out there. You can't kind of help but knowing what's going on."
Minnesota went from buyers to sellers as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approached but now may think about picking up help by month's end if it can creep up on Cleveland and Kansas City.
"I'm sure you guys wouldn't have said a couple of weeks ago we would be where we are today," right-hander Kyle Gibson said. "We're pretty confident in who we are and who we have in here in our locker room."
All Molitor professes to be is worried about the next game.
That happens Saturday night when Minnesota sends right-hander Jose Berrios (10-5, 3.86 ERA) out against Detroit right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (7-9, 5.27).
Berrios, 22, is making his first start against Detroit this season, but he faced the Tigers twice a year ago, going 0-1 with a 19.06 ERA. Berrios was shelled as an inexperienced pitcher in his first start against Detroit but has learned a lot since then.
Zimmermann is making his sixth start against Minnesota and is 3-2 with a 5.52 ERA against the Twins. He is 0-2 in two starts against them this year.
Detroit is hopeful that right-hander Michael Fulmer, who has missed two starts while fluid buildup around his ulnar nerve subsides, will return to the rotation Monday in Texas. Right-hander Justin Verlander would be given an extra day of rest, pitching Tuesday.
Fulmer threw a 20-pitch bullpen Friday and reported no issues.
"I didn't feel anything, so that's good," he said. "I'll play catch the next couple of days and see what Brad says."
Detroit manager Brad Ausmus indicated Fulmer will start if there are no issues.
The Tigers' boss also said there probably wouldn't be much "looking ahead" when Detroit's miniscule wild-card chances are gone.
"Right now, we're still trying to win baseball games," he said. "I'm not saying there won't be something that happens here or there or moves here or there that are related to development. But right now we're trying to win baseball games.
"We don't have a lot of options in that sense. Even in September. Am I going to sit Justin Upton down? Sit Miguel Cabrera down? Not play Nick Castellanos?
"There's not a lot of things we can do. I don't know that we have a ton of position players down there that are ready to be major league regulars. There probably is one or two things that could happen, but there's not a ton of options."