Description: Twins outfielder Torii Hunter had two hits in the, 2-1, loss to the Athletics on Tuesday.
Insight: Minnesota only had five hits, all of which were singles, so not much fantasy value there. Hunter didn't have the RBI or score the one run. He is hitting .263 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 95 at-bats this season.
Description: Twins outfielder Torii Hunter hit a three-run homer in the, 8-7, victory over the Athletics on Monday.
Insight: Hunter hit his home run in the sixth to give Minnesota a, 8-5, victory. Oakland scored a run in the eighth and ninth, but the Twins held on to win. Hunter was 1-for-5 in the game and he is hitting .253 with three home runs and 13 RBI this season.
Description: Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: Arcia was in the middle of a six-game hitting streak which raised his average to .276, so this comes at a bad time. He quietly hit 20 homers last season and seems to be continuing to improve his offense.
Description: Twins first baseman Kennys Vargas was 2-for-3 and scored the game-winning run in the, 1-0, victory over the White Sox on Friday.
Insight: Vargas scored on a wild pitch in the fifth and that proved to be the difference on Friday. Vargas has had a rough start to the season, however, as he is hitting .194 with one home run and four RBI this season.
Description: Twins first baseman Joe Mauer was 3-for-5 with two RBI and one run in the, 12-2, victory over the White Sox on Thursday.
Insight: Mauer drove in the first run of the game with an RBI-single in the first and then had another RBI-single in the eighth. Mauer has really turned it on lately, going 6-for-10 with four RBI in the last two games, but he is still looking for his first home run.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is hitting just .059 against Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez in his career.
Insight: Dozier is 1-for-17 versus Sanchez. Dozier is off to a slow start, hitting .205 with one home run and six RBI in 73 at-bats this season, so it would be better if fantasy owners had a different second baseman start on Tuesday.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier was 2-for-5 with a RBI-double and two runs in the, 8-5, victory over the Mariners on Saturday.
Insight: Dozier hit his double in the seventh to give the Twins some insurance runs late. Dozier hasn't been great to start 2015, so perhaps this game gets him going. He is hitting .215 with one home run and five RBI this season.
Description: Twins first baseman Joe Mauer has nine hits, including three home runs, against Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Insight: Mauer is 9-for-25 overall with four RBI and six walks versus Guthrie. It would be nice for Mauer to show some of that power on Wednesday because he still doesn't have a home run in 52 at-bats in 2015.
Description: Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had two hits and an RBI in the, 6-5, loss to the Royals on Tuesday.
Insight: Mauer had an RBI-single in the fourth to score Danny Santana. It was his fifth RBI, but he still doesn't have a home run. Because of the lack of power, Mauer is only fantasy relevant in very deep leagues.
Description: Twins first baseman Kennys Vargas was 2-for-4, hitting his first home run of the season on Thursday against the Royals.
Insight: Vargas tied the game with a two-run homer in the bottom of the second. Minnesota went on to score six of the next seven runs and beat Kansas City, 8-5. Vargas is hitting .250 with one home run and three RBI this season.
Description: Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had three RBI in the, 8-5, victory over the Royals on Thursday.
Insight: Mauer was just 1-for-4, but he was a solid run producer on Thursday. Danny Santana scored on Mauer's groundout in the third, Torri Hunter scored on Mauer's single in the fourth and then Shane Robinson scored on Mauer's sacrifice fly in the eighth. Mauer, however, needs to hit more home runs to be fantasy relevant in standard leagues.
Description: Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Arcia is off to a slow start, batting just .200 through the first seven games with one extra-base hit. Shane Robinson and Eduardo Escobar will join Torii Hunter in the Twins outfield. Neither youngster has shown much with the bat.
Description: Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki will get Thursday afternoon off.
Insight: The catcher is just 1-for-6 this season and not much of a fantasy asset. Chris Herrmann will get the start behind the plate. He's a career .196 hitter, so you can easily guess that he's not the guy to have in your lineup.
Description: Twins starter Ricky Nolasco had a horrible start versus the Tigers on Wednesday to begin the season.
Insight: Nolasco allowed six runs, all earned, on six hits in three innings of work. He really struggled with his command, walking four batters as well while striking out two. Nolasco had the highest ERA among pitchers who threw for than 150 innings last season. Because he is also on a weak offensive team, Nolasco should not be on many fantasy teams.
Description: The Twins Danny Santana has been named the starter at shortstop for 2015, by manager Paul Molitor.
Insight: No surprise here. He batted .319 with 70 runs, 20 steals and an impressive .824 OPS last season in his rookie year. We'd like to see more walks and less strikeouts, but he quietly put together a nice fantasy season. Don't overlook him on Draft Day.
Description: Twins outfielder Jordan Schafer could be the starting center fielder on Opening Day.
Insight: Schafer is the likely candidate to start as the team sent Aaron Hicks to Triple-A Rochester. His bat has never been fantasy worthy and after five seasons in the majors that isn't likely to change. He does have the ability to steal 25-35 bases.
Description: Minnesota outfielder Aaron Hicks has been sent to Triple-A Rochester.
Insight: Hicks (.215, 1 HR, 18 RBI) was supposed to be the reason the Twins could trade Denard Span and Ben Revere a couple of years ago, but it simply hasn't worked out. Jordan Schafer is the likely starter in center field.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier signed a four-year, $20 million extension.
Insight: Dozier was a great value for fantasy owners in 2014, but most of his production came before the All-Star break and fantasy owners should be wary of selecting him too high. Although he was a 20-20 hitter, he hit 18 of 23 homers and accumulated 16 of 21 steals before the break.
Description: Twins first baseman Joe Mauer is not a good fantasy start on the last day of the season.
Insight: Not many are against Tigers pitcher David Price, but Mauer is just 3-for-20 against Price in his career. One of those hits is a double while Mauer also has two RBI, four walks and six strikeouts against the Tiger lefty.
Description: Twins starter Tommy Milone threw a scoreless inning in his return to the mound on Saturday.
Insight: Milone had not pitched since Sept. 2 due to shoulder fatigue and a neck injury. He did not receive another start, but the scoreless inning is encouraging. Milone finishes the year with a 6-4 record and 4.19 ERA in 118 innings.
Description: Twins starter Ricky Nolasco wins sixth game of season.
Insight: In his final start of 2014, Nolasco went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks, and struck out six. It has not been a good year, however (6-12, 5.38 ERA). Nolasco will look to rebound in 2015.
Description: Twins starter Phil Hughes turned down an opportunity to pitch this weekend to reach his 210 innings quota and earn a $500,000 bonus according to MLB.com.
Insight: That's a head scratcher. Hughes pitched eight innings on Tuesday before the game was stopped due to rain, which ultimately left Hughes 1/3 inning short of 210 on the season. Minnesota offered to let him pitch this weekend to receive the bonus, but he turned it down. If you really don't need the money Hughes, I'll take a half a million bucks. In all seriousness, Hughes has been excellent this year, posting a 16-10 record with a 3.52 ERA and 186 strikeouts versus just 16 walks.
Description: Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe tweeted on Thursday that he will not need surgery to repair his fractured left forearm.
Insight: Plouffe broke his forearm on Wednesday when A.J. Pollock's leg hit his arm on a slide at third base. He will not need surgery but will be in a cast for six-to-eight weeks. We expect him to be fine for spring training next year.
Description: Twins starter Ricky Nolasco pitched eight shutout innings, allowed five hits, struck out five and walked one in a no-decision against the Tigers on Tuesday.
Insight: Nolasco was in line for the victory until Twins closer Glen Perkins yielded three runs in the top of the ninth. Minnesota rallied in the bottom of the inning to win, 4-3. Nolasco is 5-11 with a 5.34 ERA, but he has an ERA of 1.35 in his last three starts.
Description: Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia had to be taken out of Monday's game with upper back tightness.
Insight: Arcia was 1-for-3, including his 18th homerun of the season, before bing removed. He has struggled from an average standpoint in 2014 (.231/.304/.456), but has shown nice power. Consider Arcia day-to-day going forward.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is 2-for-12 in his career against White Sox pitcher Hector Noesi.
Insight: Dozier does have a home run against Noesi, but other than that, has struggled against the right hander. Dozier also struggled in a doubleheader on Saturday, going 0-for-7 in the two games combined.
Description: Twins starter Tommy Milone is unlikely to start on Monday due to a sore neck.
Insight: Milone was already pushed back to start Monday when Friday's game was rained out. With only two weeks remaining in the season, it is possible Milone is done for the year. Anthony Swarsak is the best candidate to start in Milone's place on Monday.
Description: Twins first baseman Kennys Vargas went 2-for-4 with a RBI against Corey Kluber in Minnesota's loss to Cleveland on Thursday.
Insight: Vargas singled to score Danny Santana in the top of the first, and the Twins didn't score again until the ninth. Vargas is batting .306 with seven home runs and 35 RBI in 160 at-bats this year. The Twins and Indians will play again on Thursday.
Description: Twins leadoff hitter Danny Santana is back in the starting lineup Thursday afternoon against the Indians.
Insight: Santana missed two games due to a lower back strain. Minnesota has a double header against Cleveland on Thursday, and Santana is slated to bat lead off and play center field in the first game. In 84 games this season, the rookie has been impressive, batting .320/.358/.475 with seven home runs and 15 stolen bases.
Description: Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia went 2-for-4 and hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning as the Twins beat the Indians, 4-3, on Tuesday.
Insight: Arcia's home run capped off a four-run fourth inning for the Twins, who then held on to win. Arcia does not hit for much of an average .220/.293/.439, but he does occasionally hit a long ball. He has 16 homers and 48 RBI on the year.
Description: Twins leadoff hitter Danny Santana has been downgraded to out for Tuesday's game against Cleveland due to a strained lower back.
Insight: Santana hasn't played since leaving Saturday's game. He's hitting .320 with seven homers, 37 RBI, 57 runs and 15 steals in 337 at-bats and has been one of the biggest fantasy surprises this season.
Description: Twins closer Glen Perkins is questionable for Tuesday's game against Cleveland due to a sore neck.
Insight: Perkins had an MRI which showed no structural damage, but hasn't pitched since Sept. 4. He's 3-2 with 33 saves and a 2.88 ERA. Jared Burton is likely the closing option if Perkins isn't ready to go.
Description: Twins leadoff hitter Danny Santana is questionable for Tuesday's game against Cleveland due to a strained lower back.
Insight: Santana hasn't played since leaving Saturday's game. He's hitting .320 with seven homers, 37 RBI, 57 runs and 15 steals in 337 at-bats and has been one of the biggest fantasy surprises this season.
Description: Twins first baseman Joe Mauer was 2-for-3 with a walk on Saturday in a loss against the Angels.
Insight: Mauer has been getting on base a lot lately, with at least a hit and a walk in each of his last four games. In his last eight games, Mauer is batting .344 with a double, a triple and six RBI. For the season, he is hitting just.277 with four home runs and 46 RBI, which is disappointing based on his standards.
Description: Minnesota first baseman Joe Mauer is a career .393 hitter versus White Sox left-hander John Danks
Insight: Interestingly, none of the 22 hits are home runs and only three are extra-base hits. Mauer's numbers are below expectations this season and he's also missed time due to injury. The career .319 hitter is batting just .273 this season.
Description: Minnesota first baseman Joe Mauer went 3-for-4 with a triple and four RBI Monday at Baltimore.
Insight: Mauer went 3-for-23 (.130) in his last seven games of August after getting his average up to .281 on Aug. 23. After his three-hit game Monday, Mauer is hitting .276 with four homers, 45 RBI, 51 runs and a .731 OPS in 377 at-bats.
Description: Twins starter Ricky Nolasco allowed eight runs on 12 hits in five innings against the Orioles on Sunday.
Insight: Nolasco also allowed two home runs, struck out two and walked two. He followed up his masterful start from last week against Kansas City, seven shutout innings, with arguably the worst start of his season. Nolasco cannot be counted on down the stretch.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier went 3-for-5 with two runs in the loss to Baltimore on Sunday.
Insight: Dozier seems back on track, with hits in his last 10 games. Over that stretch, Dozier is batting .405 with eight RBI but no home runs. He is hitting .244 with 20 bombs, and 61 RBI this season.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is just 1-for-11 with seven strikeouts against Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer. The only good news is the one hit was a home run.
Insight: Dozier has struggled since the All-Star break, hitting .202 with two homers in 142 plate appearances. He did most of his damage from April to June (15 of his 20 HR) and should not be started Sunday.
Description: Minnesota first baseman Joe Mauer went 2-for-3 with a double, three RBI, two walks and two runs in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader against Detroit.
Insight: Mauer has gone 15-for-42 (.357) with four doubles, two homers, 10 RBI and 10 walks since he returned from an oblique strain on Aug. 11. His average is up to .281, the highest it's been since May 27.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier has reached base eight times in the past two games.
Insight: Dozier went 1-for-2 with a double, one RBI, three walks and three runs in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Tigers. He's struggled since the All-Star break, hitting .207 with two homers in 121 at-bats.
Description: Minnesota first baseman Joe Mauer has batted .333 with three doubles, two homers, seven RBI, eight walks and five runs in 11 games since he returned from the disabled list.
Insight: Mauer has his average up to .278 and his OPS to .732. He hit .300 or better seven times in the previous 10 seasons and has never batted below .287, but he'll need to bat nearly .360 in the final 35 games to hit .300 this season. He's 23-for-62 (.371) with four doubles, three homers and 12 walks in his career against Tigers starter Justin Verlander, so he could be a solid first base option Saturday.
Description: The Twins put 20 runs on the board against the Tigers Friday night, and leadoff hitter Danny Santana went 3-for-6 with a walk, a homer, four RBI and two runs.
Insight: Santana has settled in as Minnesota's starting center fielder, but he also has eligibility at shortstop, which makes him extra valuable. He's hitting .319 with six homers, 32 RBI, 44 runs and 12 steals in 273 at-bats.
Description: Twins starter Phil Hughes pitched seven great innings against the Indians on Thursday, only allowing a solo home run to Zach Walters in the fourth inning.
Insight: Hughes has won four straight starts to raise his record to 14-8 and his ERA from 4.01 to 3.65. During that stretch, he has 1.32 ERA and 30 strikeouts versus two walks. Hughes had eight K's and no BB on Thursday.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is just 1-for-11 against Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber.
Insight: Two players heading in oppositite directions. Dozier is batting .204 since the All-Star break with two home runs and a .647 OPS in 30 games, while Kluber has been one of the best pitchers in the league going 4-0 with a 0.76 ERA and 0.692 WHIP. Avoid this matchup.
Description: Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton (concussion) isn't expected to play again this season.
Insight: Buxton, ranked as the first overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com and Baseball America, suffered a concussion when he collided with a teammate on Aug. 13. He also dealt with a wrist injury earlier this season and has played just 31 games. He's batted .240 with four homers, 16 RBI and six steals. The earliest we're likely to see the 20-year-old in the majors is late 2015.
Description: Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki is not in Monday night's starting lineup.
Insight: Suzuki went 5-for-10 in the most recent series with the Royals. He has had a very good season, but home runs haven't been a big part of it. He's hitting .307 with three long balls, 49 RBI, 32 runs and a .768 OPS.
Description: Minnesota first baseman Joe Mauer is a career .417 hitter (10-for-24) versus Royals starter Jason Vargas.
Insight: Mauer has hit safely in five of six games, including a pair of home runs since he returned from the DL to raise his average to .275. He still has more to go if he's to reach his career average of .320, but this favorable matchup could help.
Description: Minnesota third baseman Trevor Plouffe is an ugly 1-for-12 with five strikeouts against Royals starter Danny Duffy.
Insight: Plouffe has not hit for the power he has in past seasons. He hit 24 in 2012 and fantasy owners were hoping for more than the 14 he blasted last season and the eight he's hit in 100 games this year. Avoid him Friday.
Description: Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton was carted off the field after colliding with a teammate playing for Double-A New Britain Wednesday. UPDATE: Buxton has a concussion but no broken bones, according to Jeff Passon of Yahoo Sports
Insight: Buxton, ranked as the first overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com and Baseball America, has been limited to 31 games by a wrist injury this season. He's batted .240 with four homers, 16 RBI and six steals. Wednesday was his first game since he was promoted to Double-A.
Description: Minnesota CF/SS Danny Santana has gone 21-for-54 (.389) with three doubles, five RBI, five steals and 12 runs in August.
Insight: Santana hasn't stopped hitting since he was called up in May. The 23-year-old is batting .331 with five homers, 27 RBI, 39 runs and 11 steals in 236 at-bats and he has shortstop eligibility. He's a must-own in all leagues.
Description: Twins first baseman Kennys Vargas has hit .300 with two homers, 11 RBI and a .792 OPS since he was called up on July 31.
Insight: Vargas isn't a high-level prospect in Minnesota's organization, but the Twins had him skip Triple-A altogether after he hit .281 with 17 home runs over 97 games with Double-A New Britain. He's unlikely to keep this up.
Description: Minnesota right-hander Kyle Gibson gave up one run on six hits in 7 2/3 innings to beat the Astros Wednesday afternoon.
Insight: Gibson (11-9, 3.96 ERA) has thrown at least seven innings while allowing two runs or less nine times this season, but he's also allowed five earned runs or more eight times. Such is the life for a pitcher with good control but just 4.97 strikeouts per nine innings.
Description: Minnesota CF/SS Danny Santana went 3-for-5 with a steal and two runs Sunday against the Athletics.
Insight: Santana's .315 average, five homers, 27 RBI, 37 runs and 10 steals in 239 plate appearances would make him an ordinary fantasy option in the outfield, but he has eligibility at both second base and shortstop.
Description: Twins starter Phil Hughes struck out nine batters and allowed one run on seven hits in six innings Tuesday against the Padres.
Insight: Hughes has the second largest difference between his ERA and FIP among qualified starters this season (4.01 ERA, 2.68 FIP). He should continue to trim that ERA in the last two months of the season.
Description: Twins starter Ricky Nolasco (elbow) will return on Aug. 15 barring a setback, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Insight: That means Nolasco, who has been out with a flexor pronator injury in his elbow since July 7, will make two rehab starts. He has had a miserable season, going 5-7 with a 5.90 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP in 103 2/3 innings. Among pitchers with 100 innings this season, only one player has an ERA higher than Nolasco's.
Description: Twins starter Ricky Nolasco (elbow) will begin a rehab assignment next week, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Insight: Nolasco has been out with a flexor pronator injury in his elbow since July 7. He's had a miserable season, going 5-7 with a 5.90 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP in 103 2/3 innings. Among pitchers with 100 innings this season, only one player has an ERA higher than Nolasco's.
Description: Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki has signed a two-year, $12 million contract extension with a vesting option for 2017, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Insight: Suzuki, who made the All-Star team this year, was reportedly on the trade block, but the Twins have decided to make a commitment to the 30-year-old rather than hand the catcher job to Josmil Pinto.
Description: The Athletics have traded left-hander Tommy Milone to the Twins for Sam Fuld.
Insight: Milone went 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP over his last 11 starts but was sent down when Oakland traded for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. He was moved further down the starting pitcher hierarchy when Oakland acquired Jon Lester from Boston on Thursday. It's surprising the A's couldn't get more than Sam Fuld, who's a strong defensive outfielder but isn't a good hitter. Oakland waived Fuld in April but needed him back with Coco Crisp (neck) hurting and Yoenis Cespedes moved in the deal for Lester.
Description: Twins starter Phil Hughes (shin) will not miss a start, according to the Star Tribune.
Insight: Hughes was hit in the shin by a comebacker in his last start. After posting a 6.31 ERA in his last seven starts, Hughes has the second largest disparity in baseball between his FIP (2.71) and his ERA (4.10).
Description: Twins starter Phil Hughes left Thursday night's game after being hit with a ball off the bat of Adam Dunn.
Insight: Hughes will get an X-ray and then we will know the extent of the injury. The right-hander had given up five earned runs in each of his last two outings heading into tonight and five or more earned runs in five of his last six so likely wasn't in any lineups.
Description: Minnesota CF/SS Danny Santana (knee) has been activated from the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: Santana has been out since June 26 due to a knee injury. He'll return to a .328 average, two homers, 16 RBI, six steals and an .814 OPS, though his production has been assisted by a .400 BABIP.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier went 3-for-6 with a double, two homers and four RBI Sunday at Colorado.
Insight: Dozier didn't make the All-Star team because the American League second-base field is so deep, but he has a strong case. He's hit just .242 but has 18 homers, 45 RBI, 69 runs and 16 steals. AL captain Jose Bautista picked Dozier to participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday.
Description: Twins third base prospect Miguel Sano (elbow) will not play in the Arizona Fall League but could get some action in winter ball, according to Rhett Bollinger of mlb.com.
Insight: Sano underwent Tommy John surgery in March. The 21-year-old third baseman already has 90 home runs in 1,375 minor league at-bats. Baseball America ranked Sano as the No. 6 prospect in baseball prior to this season.
Description: Twins starter Ricky Nolasco's MRI ruled out UCL damage and revealed flexor pronator stiffness on the opposite side of his elbow, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Pres.
Insight: He's out indefinitely but this is good news for him because he won't need Tommy John surgery. Nolasco has had a miserable season, going 5-7 with a 5.90 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP in 103 2/3 innings. He has the worst ERA in baseball among qualified starters.
Description: Twins left fielder Josh Willingham has been dreadful against Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda in 12 career at-bats (.083 average, one hit, five strikeouts)
Insight: Willingham's average has dropped 82 points since June 11 (.311 to .229) and he's not a good bet to turn things around this afternoon against Kuroda as his lifetime numbers against him are poor and he's hitting righties worse than lefties this year, too.
Description: Twins starter Phil Hughes has allowed 17 earned runs on 27 hits in his last 19 innings.
Insight: Hughes gave up two home runs and seven earned runs in 6 1/3 innings Thursday against the Yankees and is now 8-4 with a 3.95 ERA. He has a 1.18 WHIP and a 2.78 FIP this season, but it could be problematic if his home run issue from his years with New York resurface. He'll take on the Mariners in Seattle on Tuesday.
Description: Twins left fielder Josh Willingham usually hits lefties well, but he's batted .105 with seven strikeouts in 19 at-bats against Royals starter Jason Vargas.
Insight: Willingham has a career .856 OPS against left-handers, but he's never been able to solve Vargas. The outfielder also has hit .136 with 17 Ks in his last 44 at-bats, so he's someone to avoid Wednesday.
Description: Twins left fielder Josh Willingham is not in the lineup Tuesday.
Insight: Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said he wanted to get as many lefties in the lineup as possible against James Shields, according to Rhett Bollinger of mlb.com, so Willingham will take a seat. The outfielder has hit .136 with 17 Ks in his last 44 at-bats.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Royals. He's getting his first rest day of the season.
Insight: Dozier has started all but two games for the Twins this season and he missed both of those due to a back injury. He went 10-for-54 (.185) with zero homers in his last 15 games of June so manager Ron Gardenhire will get him some rest.
Description: Twins DH/1B Kendrys Morales is 1-for-12 (.083) against Royals starter James Shields.
Insight: Morales didn't play the first two months of the season and entered the Twins lineup immediately after signing, so some rust was to be expected and that's what we've seen so far (.215, 1 HR, 9 RBI in 20 games). This unfavorable matchup isn't likely to turn it around.
Description: Minnesota right-hander Kyle Gibson allowed two runs on eight hits over eight innings in a win over Texas on Sunday.
Insight: Gibson gave up seven runs over two innings in his last start, but he'll finish with a 3.16 ERA in June. With a 3.77 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and 50 Ks in 93 innings, Gibson is an AL-only starter at best.
Description: Twins DH/1B Kendrys Morales is 3-for-22 (.136) with nine strikeouts against Texas ace Yu Darvish.
Insight: Morales didn't play the first two months of the season and entered the Twins lineup immediately after signing, so some rust was to be expected and that's what we've seen so far (.239, 1 HR, 8 RBI in 17 games). This unfavorable matchup isn't likely to turn it around.
Description: Twins DH/1B Kendrys Morales hit his first homer of the season Tuesday against the Angels.
Insight: Morales has hit .222 in 54 at-bats since he signed with the Twins. He didn't play the first two months of the season and entered the Twins lineup immediately after signing, so some rust was to be expected.
Description: Twins DH/1B Kendrys Morales will try his hand at fielding for the first time this season.
Insight: Morales is batting just .209 since signing with the Twins 11 games ago. He hit .277 with 23 homers, 80 RBI and a .785 OPS in 2013 and the Twins (and fantasy owners) hope he'll provide them with similar power.
Description: Minnesota right-hander Kyle Gibson allowed just one hit and no walks in seven scoreless innings Wednesday at Boston.
Insight: Gibson is unscored upon in his last 21 innings (9 H, 5 BB, 16 Ks) and now has a 3.25 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP on the year. The right-hander's value is limited because his K/9 is just 4.99, but he has a 55.8 percent ground-ball rate, a 0.43 HR/9 and a 3.51 FIP.
Description: Three of the Twins' four hits on Wednesday came off the bat of Chris Parmelee.
Insight: Parmelee gave the Twins a 1-0 lead with his solo shot in the tenth but Casey Fien quickly coughed up the lead by allowing David Ortiz and Mike Napoli to hit back-to-back homers in the bottom of the inning. Even after going 3-for-4, Parmelee's season average is still barely over .200. He's not a fantasy option.
Description: Minnesota third baseman Trevor Plouffe has been placed on the disabled list with a left oblique strain.
Insight: Plouffe suffered the injury in the bottom of the third inning Saturday when he attempted to make a diving stop on an Ian Kinsler ground ball. He has hit .241 with 22 doubles, five homers, 38 RBI and a .720 OPS this season so he's replaceable in fantasy leagues.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier (back) had a pinch-hit two-run homer in the ninth inning Saturday against the Tigers.
Insight: Dozier left Wednesday's game with lower-back tightness and didn't start the past two games, but the Twins put him up to bat while trailing 12-7 in the ninth inning Saturday. He must be feeling better.
Description: Minnesota third baseman Trevor Plouffe left Saturday's game with a left oblique strain, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Plouffe suffered the injury in the bottom of the third inning when he attempted to make a diving stop on an Ian Kinsler ground ball. He has hit .241 with 22 doubles, five homers, 38 RBI and a .720 OPS this season so he's replaceable in fantasy leagues.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, who left Wednesday's game and did not play Friday due to a tight lower back, will sit out Saturday as well.
Insight: Dozier is just 1-for-13 (.077) against Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez. Hopefully his sore back won't linger too much longer, but it won't be the end of the world if he takes another day to rest the injury in an unfavorable matchup. He has been one of the biggest surprises this season filling up box scores with 14 HR, 33 RBI, 54 runs, 14 SB and an .808 OPS.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, who left Wednesday's game did not play Friday due to a tight lower back and ought to consider sitting Saturday as well in an extremely unfavorable matchup.
Insight: Dozier is just 1-for-13 (.077) against Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez. He has been one of the biggest surprises this season filling up box scores with 14 HR, 33 RBI, 54 runs, 14 SB and an .808 OPS. Hopefully his sore back won't linger too long, but it won't be the end of the world if he takes another day to rest the injury.
Description: Twins first baseman Joe Mauer went 3-for-4 with a double Wednesday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Mauer's 19 percent K rate, .263 average and .678 OPS are all career worsts. This may be the last year he's even worth owning in fantasy, as he will lose catcher eligibility next year and is a below-average fantasy first baseman.
Description: Twins DH/1B Kendrys Morales has gone 6-for-13 (.462) with three doubles and three RBI in three games with the team.
Insight: Morales signed with the Twins on June 7 after failing to draw interest on the free-agent market due to the draft-pick compensation he was tied to prior to the 2014 MLB Draft. He hit .277 with 23 homers, 80 RBI and a .785 OPS in 2013.
Description: Twins starter Phil Hughes threw 80 of his 101 pitches for strikes over seven scoreless innings Wednesday afternoon at Toronto.
Insight: Hughes struck out nine and didn't walk anyone. He has just eight walks all season and is 7-2 with a 3.17 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. The right-hander has the highest zone percentage in baseball and the fourth-highest chase rate.
Description: The Twins have demoted catcher Josmil Pinto to the minors.
Insight: The 25-year-old backstop had five homers, 17 walks and a .902 OPS in April, but he went 14-for-70 (.200) with two homers, three walks and a .555 OPS in his last 23 games and has been sitting often.
Description: Twins shortstop-turned-outfielder Danny Santana is leading off against Toronto on Wednesday and playing center.
Insight: Santana enters the matchup against Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman on a six-game hitting streak during which he's collected seven singles, one double, two homers and nine RBI. Since being called up in May, Santana's done nothing but hit as he boasts a .370/.407/.506 slash line and .913 OPS in 81 at-bats.
Description: Twins starter Kevin Correia was dealing in Tuesday's win over Toronto.
Insight: He held a stacked Blue Jays lineup to just six hits over six scoreless innings. Even after throwing all zeros Tuesday, Correia still has an ERA well over five. Don't expect him to be a fantasy factor any time soon.
Description: Twins utilityman Danny Santana continued his hot hitting Monday at Toronto.
Insight: Santana went 2-for-5 with a solo homer and is batting .364 with five doubles, two homers, 11 RBI, nine runs and four steals in 77 at-bats this season. He has eligibility at both second base and shortstop as well as in the outfield.
Description: Twins shortstop Eduardo Nunez clubbed his second home run of the season Sunday against Houston.
Insight: It was part of a three-hit game for Nunez, who finished with two RBI in his five trips to the plate. Nunez has only seen 55 at bats this year but he's made the most of them, hitting .291 with a .436 slugging percentage.
Description: Free agent DH/1B Kendrys Morales has agreed to a one-year, prorated $12 million deal with Minnesota.
Insight: That computes to around $7.6 million. In retrospect, Morales (.277, 23 HR, 80 RBI in 2013) probably would have been better off accepting Seattle's one-year qualifying offer last winter. That would have paid him $14 million. Regardless, Morales should provide an offensive boost for a team that has struggled to score runs this season.
Description: The wind will be blowing out to right field on Saturday and Minnesota's left-hand hitter, Joe Mauer, already has a favorable matchup against Houston starter Scott Feldman.
Insight: Mauer is a career .333 hitter with a home run versus Feldman. Mauer has played 54 of 59 games this season, but the move to be an exclusive 1B hasn't helped his batting stroke. He's hitting just .269 with 15 RBI and a .690 OPS. That's well below expectations for this career .320 hitter.
Description: Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia won't suit up Friday against Houston. SOURCE: Fox Sports North
Insight: Arcia (.286, 4 HR, 13 RBI) sprained his ankle last night on a pickoff play at second base. He's confident he'll return on Saturday. Jason Kubel (.230, 1 HR, 13 RBI) is filling in at right field tonight.
Description: Minnesota right fielder Oswaldo Arcia sprained his right ankle and left the game in the sixth inning Thursday against Milwaukee.
Insight: Arcia, who hit a grand slam in the third inning, rolled his ankle when he was picked off second base. It's a bad break for the 23-year-old, who's batting .366 over his last 10 games and .286 overall (4 HR, 13 RBI). Consider Arcia, who was replaced by Chris Parmelee, day-to-day.
Description: Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey (right elbow) is scheduled to have his elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews on Monday in Florida. Source: Brian Murphy, Pioneer Press.
Insight: Uh oh. A visit to MLB's equivalent of "He Who Shall Not Be Named" is never a good thing for pitchers. After initally landing on the DL with a groin strain, Pelfrey then reported having elbow issues. Regardless of how the visit goes, Big Pelf was never much of a fantasy option anyway, posting a 7.99 ERA in five starts.
Description: Minnesota could be close to demoting outfielder Aaron Hicks. SOURCE: Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Insight: We imagine Hicks, who is hitting just .190 this season, will be sent down as soon as Sam Fuld returns from his concussion. Hicks still has a long career ahead of him but the Twins can't afford to keep trotting him out there when he's not hitting.
Description: Minnesota first baseman Joe Mauer mashed three hits Monday in a loss to Milwaukee.
Insight: 2014 has not been one of Mauer's better seasons (.275, 2 HR, 15 RBI in 50 games) but his catcher eligibility remains an asset in fantasy leagues. Of course, he won't have that next season so enjoy using him at catcher while you still can.
Description: Twins starter Phil Hughes pitched well against his former team on Sunday.
Insight: Hughes held the Yankees to three hits and two runs in eight innings. That lowers his ERA to 3.12, which leads all Minnesota starting pitchers. He'll face the Astros in his next start Friday at Target Field.
Description: Twins utilityman Danny Santana left Friday's game with a lacerated eyelid and is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: His helmet caused the injury when he stole third base in the second inning. Santana will need stitches. The 23-year-old has hit .375 with four doubles and two steals in 40 at-bats this season. Eduardo Escobar (.322, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 11 runs) will get the start and bat second.
Description: Twins utilityman Danny Santana left Friday's game with a lacerated eyelid, according to LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune.
Insight: His helmet caused the injury when he stole third base in the second inning. Santana will need stitches. The 23-year-old has hit .375 with four doubles and two steals in 40 at-bats this season.
Description: Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia went 3-for-5 in Thursday's loss to the Rangers.
Insight: By doing so, he extended his hitting streak to six games. Now that Chris Colabello (.232, 4 HR, 30 RBI) is back in the minors, Arcia (.257, 1 HR, 2 RBI) should see regular at bats in right field.
Description: Twins outfielder Sam Fuld (concussion) was evaluated on Wednesday in Pittsburgh and it was termed "positive" but there is still no timetable for his return. SOURCE: Twins beat writer Mike Berardino.
Insight: Fuld has never shown any indication of being fantasy worthy. He's batting .232 with a homer and seven RBI this season.
Description: Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks is questionable for Thursday afternoon's game against Texas due to a stiff lower back.
Insight: Hicks was a late scratch on Wednesday. He's still not producing much offensively, batting .195 with a homer, eight RBI and 13 runs scored, so this shouldn't change fantasy lineups. The Twins used rookie Danny Santana in center on Wednesday, who is off to a nice start to his major league career (.324, .807 OPS in 34 at-bats).
Description: If you're selecting a catcher for Wednesday, don't pick Minnesota's Kurt Suzuki.
Insight: Suzuki is 2-for-31 (.065) against Rangers left-hander Joe Saunders. He's had a strong season, hitting .297 with two homers, 27 RBI and just 12 Ks, but he isn't likely to have a good day Wednesday against Saunders.
Description: Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes hasn't walked a batter since April 20.
Insight: He's thrown 40 1/3 innings over his last six starts without issuing a single free pass. He's also allowed just four home runs all season after dealing with homer issues for years with New York, especially in Yankee Stadium. After allowing three runs on eight hits in seven innings Tuesday against the Rangers, Hughes has a 3.23 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP to go with a 50/6 K/BB.
Description: Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes has won five of him last six starts (the other was a no-decision) yielding two runs or less in his last five outings.
Insight: He dominated the Tigers, Red Sox and Padres giving up just one total run over his last 20 innings as he's become a solid fantasy option. He'll need to be at his very best facing Yu Darvish and the Rangers Tuesday night.
Description: Minnesota 3B Trevor Plouffe went 1-for-4 with a solo homer Monday against the Rangers.
Insight: Plouffe only has four home runs, but he's doubled 18 times and driven in 30 runs. He's shown much better plate discipline this season (20.6 O-swing%, 10.5 BB%) and his .309 BABIP is low for a player with a 28 percent line-drive rate.
Description: The Twins are expected to activate left fielder Josh Willingham from the disabled list on Monday. SOURCE: Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Insight: He needed a month and a half to recover from a fractured wrist. Willingham's home run potential is intriguing (78 round-trippers since 2011) but his low batting average (.256 in 3,632 career at bats) makes him a risk in fantasy.
Description: Twins closer Glen Perkins has pitched in four of the last five days, including three straight, and recorded a win, two saves and a blown save.
Insight: He saved the last two games after blowing one on May 15 against the Red Sox. He has 12 saves, a 3.54 ERA and an impeccable 29/3 K/BB in 20 1/3 innings this season. Minnesota signed him to a four-year contract extension in March, so he has more job security than most closers.
Description: Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar went 3-for 4 against the Red Sox on Thursday.
Insight: Escobar has been a pleasant surprise for Minnesota this season. In 75 at bats, he's hitting .347 with a .533 slugging percentage. The 25-year-old has been especially effective over his last five outings, collecting a .450 average over that stretch (9-for-20).
Description: Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes pitched well in a no-decision Thursday against Boston.
Insight: He limited the BoSox to five hits and one earned run over six innings. Closer Glen Perkins coughed up the lead in the ninth inning but the Twins got it back on a walkoff single by Aaron Hicks in the tenth. Hughes is undefeated with a 1.95 ERA over his past five starts.
Description: Twins prospect Byron Buxton's latest left wrist injury isn't any worse than his initial one, but the team doesn't know how much time he'll miss. SOURCE: Rhett Bollinger, mlb.com
Insight: Buxton, ranked as the first overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com and Baseball America, missed the first five weeks of the regular season with a wrist injury and aggravated it on a slide into third base on Saturday. Even if he stays healthy, the 20-year-old is a year away from the majors.
Description: Twins prospect Byron Buxton re-injured his left wrist on a slide into third base Saturday while playing for High-A Fort Myers and will undergo an MRI, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
Insight: Buxton, ranked as the first overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com and Baseball America, also hurt his wrist while diving for a ball in mid-March and sat out the first five weeks of the season. Even if he stays healthy, the 20-year-old is a year away from the majors.
Description: Twins first baseman Joe Mauer is in Saturday's lineup, at DH, according to beat writer Mike Berardino.
Insight: He missed his fifth straight game due to back spasms on Friday night, but apparently won't need more time, or a trip to the disabled list. He's batting .296 with two homers and 22 runs scored.
Description: Minnesota 3B Trevor Plouffe is 1-for-13 (.077) with seven strikeouts against Detroit ace Max Scherzer.
Insight: Plouffe has zero hits in his last 16 at-bats. Add an unfavorable matchup and he shouldn't be in any fantasy lineups on Saturday. Update: Plouffe is not in the Twins starting lineup for Saturday
Description: It will once again be Danny Santana at shortstop on Saturday with Eduardo Escobar at 3B for Trevor Plouffe.
Insight: Santana is batting .385 through his first five games, but fantasy owners shouldn't expect that level of production to continue for very long. He batted .268 at Rochester this spring and is a career .274 in seven minor league seasons.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is an ugly 0-for-8 with six strikeouts versus Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer.
Insight: Dozier is hitting .237 this season, but he's been highly productive with 32 runs, eight homers, 14 RBI and 11 steals. Add his 28 walks, which ranks him third in baseball, and gives him a respectable .367 OBP.
Description: Twins right-hander Phil Hughes ran his record to 4-1 with seven shutout innings Friday at Detroit.
Insight: Hughes has won four straight starts with a 2.05 ERA in that span after starting out 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in his first three. The right-hander now has a 3.92 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP on the year. The move to Minnesota appears to have solved his home-run issues; he has allowed four in 41 1/3 innings.
Description: Twins left fielder Josh Willingham (wrist) will take batting practice on the field Saturday for the first time since his injury, according to Rhett Bollinger of mlb.com.
Insight: Willingham was hit in the left wrist by a pitch on April 6 and suffered a fracture. He had to stop a batting practice session on April 29 when he felt continued soreness, but he's had no issues since then.
Description: Minnesota 3B Trevor Plouffe is a .167 career hitter against Tigers starter Justin Verlander.
Insight: Plouffe certainly isn't alone in his failure against Verlander. What really concerns us though, is that he's hitting just .132 in May with a whopping 15 strikeouts in 38 at bats. Until Plouffe (.254, 1 HR, 22 RBI) figures it out, we don't recommend playing him in fantasy.
Description: As expected, Twins first baseman Joe Mauer won't suit up Wednesday against the Indians. SOURCE: Mike Berardino, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Insight: He's still dealing with back spasms. The team is holding out hope Mauer (.296, 2 HR, 11 RBI) won't have to go on the DL. Chris Colabello (.270, 4 HR, 28 RBI) has been filling in at first base.