Greetings from Target Field, where it is 55 and sunny. It’s supposed to be a bit overcast and a little chillier later in the night, but it seems like a perfect day for baseball.

It’s Kyle Gibson (R, 0-1, 8.00 ERA) vs. Danny Salazar (R, 0-1, 4.63). Gibson has yet to get past of the 5th inning this season, an anomaly among the Minnesota Twins pitching staff, which leads MLB with a 2.46 ERA.

“There is always some internal competition in different parts of your team, and it usually makes you better if you know how to use it right. It’s early, but we have had a high number of quality starts, and they seem to be passing the baton each and every day to the next guy, and hopefully we can continue to respond in that fashion,” said manager Paul Molitor.

“It’s unfortunate that we’ve squandered some of those outstanding starts and not been able to put them in the win column. But Gibby’s had a couple of nice starts to his first couple of games and just couldn’t maintain it through the middle innings, and hopefully it will be different result tonight.”

Byron Buxton sits today. In his place will be Max Kepler, who his hitting .302/.375/.512 so far this season:

The Tribe counter with Carlos Santana leading off and Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion anchoring their lineup:

Buxton continues to scuffle at the plate, and Molitor feels Kepler is capable of taking his place in center field.

“Generally if you can play a corner, I think you have a pretty good chance of being fairly comfortable out in center field. You have a really nice view, you can see the pitches, and you’re gonna get some tail on some cut balls and things like that, but not like you do in the corners,” said Molitor.

“Kep was out there a couple times in the spring, and he did fine. Rosie we know does fine. It was just kinda more of where I thought Robbie played a lot more left field than other positions, but we kinda like how he fits at right field in this park a little bit better.”

As for Buxton’s struggles at the plate (.093/.152/.140, 23 Ks), Molitor sees signs that he’s turning things around — to an extent.

“There’s been a couple of at-bats where we’ve seen a little bit of a better approach in terms of either trying to get into a hitter’s count or recognition in trying to put a better swing according to what you see,” he said.

“Just trying to keep having those talks and work sessions where he can translate some of the things that he knows that he needs to do once the adrenaline starts flowing and the game’s on the line.”

Maybe there’s some hope in how Kepler’s season is panning out so far. He struggled early on, but now has hit his stride.

“He’s had some good at-bats, he’s hit some balls like he can — really hard. And he’s just kinda starting to find it a little bit. The start wasn’t good and it wasn’t horrible, he was just kinda feeling his way a little bit, maybe adjusting to some different roles in the lineup and some of those types of things,” he said.

“He’s been starting to swing the bat really well.”

We spoke to Derek Falvey, the Twins chief baseball officer, who was hired off of the Indians staff last year. I’ll have more on that in an upcoming piece that should be out soon.

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