Before the game tonight Minnesota is inducting Torii Hunter into the Twins Hall of Fame. Hunter and John Gordon, who is being inducted on Sunday, will become the 27th and 28th members of the team’s Hall of Fame.
Hunter played 19 years in the major leagues, including 12 seasons with the Twins from 1997-2007 and spent last year with the team before retiring.
“I think it’s special for a player to be honored by their organization where they spent the majority of their playing time. He’s symbolic of a lot of the things we try to do here, in the way he played, the way he handled himself, the way he gave back to the community,” said manager Paul Molitor.
“Certainly talented, but it goes way beyond that with him in terms of character and other ways he’s been able to influence other people, other players, and certainly he’s given back in a lot of ways off the field.”
Bullpen coach Eddie Guardado, a teammate of Hunter’s with the Twins, will give his induction speech. Guardado is known for using colorful language and telling some crude stories.
“He’s sweating already trying to figure out how to condense it into two minutes. And keep it clean, I’ve heard that,” said Molitor. “Eddie, when he speaks from the heart, is as good as anybody. We saw that with his induction speech a few years back. I’m sure it will be special for those two friends to be able to share that.”
It’s Tyler Duffey vs. Trevor Bauer today. Robbie Grossman, Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana are all out of the lineup, with Miguel Sano, Brian Dozier and Max Kepler constituting the middle of the order.
“It’s not like I’ve got a set nine,” said Molitor. “I gotta find ways to, at least for now, try to win games, try to keep people fresh, try to get everyone a chance to play the best I can.”
Byron Buxton throw yesterday was measured at 90 miles per hour and traveled 214 feet, according to Statcast.
“He’s well above-average in arm strength. I think his accuracy is a plus too,” said Molitor.
“For the most part, he’s been accurate to the cutoff man, which for me is as important as actually throwing somebody out sometimes. Just judging that play last night, reading the carom, getting yourself in position to make a throw from the track.”
That doesn’t mean the manager doesn’t have a few bones to pick.
“I guess if there was any complaining, it wasn’t a short-hop or a long-hop, it was a little bit in-between, but Dozier did a nice job of corralling it and putting a tag on,” he said.
“But his defensive package is pretty inclusive, and throwing is something that I think as he develops and goes forward, hopefully we’ll see the assists continue to climb.”
May’s gone wild
Trevor May leads Major League Baseball with eight wild pitches, which is more than double he had had last year in around a quarter of the innings pitched.
“I couldn’t tell you exactly what all eight of them have been. Some of them have been curveballs when he’s tried to get [batters] to chase pitches. Last night I think it was a 2-0 slider, which I thought was kind of a puzzling pitch anyways with the bases loaded,” said Molitor.
“Since he’s come back here, after his four minor league appearances, trying to get a good gauge if he’s concerned more about thinking about his stride length and what he’s doing mechanically than just making pitches.”
May recently spoke to the media about what he’s doing to correct his mechanics. Keep in mind, too, that he has 25 starts in his career, but has only been used as a reliever this season.
“It seems like we’ve spent a lot of time in him coming back from his DL stint to try to do things a little bit differently to try and protect his back a little bit better,” said Molitor.
“It seems like we’ve spent a lot of time in him coming back from his DL stint to try to do things a little bit differently to try and protect his back a little bit better.”
Molitor spoke to Guardado about the situation, and he told him that May is really focused on his stride after coming off the disabled list stint.
“He said right now he makes a pitch and he looks down to see where his landing foot is, and it’s kinda normal when you’re trying to make a little bit of an adjustment to make sure you’re not letting the emotion cause you to fall back into the other patterns,” said Molitor.
“Hopefully it becomes more natural where it’s not something that he has to think about.”
That’s all for now. Make sure to follow Brandon (@Brandon_Warne) and I (@tschreier3) for Twins coverage all season long.