Description: Pitcher Phil Hughes has agreed to a three-year deal with Minnesota, according to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune report.
Insight: It's probably a good move for Hughes to get out of New York. He has talent, but hasn't shown it since around 2010. Out of the spotlight, he may yet develop into a fantasy-worthy starting pitcher.
Description: Righthander Ricky Nolasco has agreed to a four-year, $49 million deal with Minnesota. SOURCE: Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports
Insight: Nolasco isn't an ace but with such little talent in this year's free agent pool, he still got a big pay day. He'll get his 200 innings in Minnesota and has posted double-digit wins in six consecutive seasons.
Description: The Twins announced they will move Joe Mauer to first base full time in 2014, according to the Associated Press.
Insight: Mauer missed the last six weeks of the season with a concussion that he suffered when he took a foul tip off his mask on Aug. 19. The move is great news for fantasy owners, as Mauer will remain catcher-eligible for one more year without having to go through the wear and tear of the position. Mauer never has played more than 147 games in a season and has played 140 or more just three times in nine years.
Description: Minnesota left fielder Josh Willingham isn't starting Sunday's game versus Cleveland.
Insight: By all accounts, it's been a miserable year for Willingham. After knocking the cover off the ball in 2012 (35 HR, 110 RBI), he's had a hard time making contact in 2013 (.208 AVG, 128 K's). Willingham's home run total (14 in 111 games) is his lowest since 2010.
Description: Twins left fielder Josh Willingham is 1-for-16 (.063) with seven strikeouts over his last four games and owns a .143 lifetime average against Cleveland starter Scott Kazmir.
Insight: After a career year in 2012 that saw him produce 35 homers, 110 RBI and an .890 OPS, Willingham has hit .208 with 14 homers and 48 RBI in 385 at-bats this season. He shouldn't be started Saturday against the Indians or in the final game of the year Sunday.
Description: Twins left fielder Josh Willingham only has 10 at-bats against Indians starter Zach McAllister, but he has picked up six hits, including three homers.
Insight: After a career year in 2012 that saw him produce 35 homers, 110 RBI and an .890 OPS, Willingham has hit just .211 with 14 homers, 48 RBI and a .720 OPS this season. Fantasy owners who have stuck with him for this long should start him Thursday.
Description: Twins catcher Joe Mauer had another good workout Thursday as he tries to work back from a concussion. Its been one month since he suffered the injury.
Insight: Mauer, who last played on Aug. 19, had his concussion symptoms return Wednesday and was sent home. He's still without a timetable for a return, but is hoping to get back on the field this season. Given how conservative the team was with Justin Morneau, it is possible we won't see Mauer this season.
Description: Twins starter Samuel Deduno will have arthroscopic shoulder surgery next week. SOURCE: Brandon Warner, 1500 AM ESPN Twin Cities
Insight: Deduno will finish the 2013 campaign at 8-8 with a 3.83 ERA. No timetable has been given for his return to pitching and it's up in the air as to whether or not Deduno will be ready for the start of next season.
Description: Minnesota DH Ryan Doumit isn't starting Friday against the Rays. SOURCE: Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Insight: The Twins also announced that Doumit won't play catcher again this season, sighting a concussion he suffered back in August. Instead, Doumit will get most of his at bats as the DH while making occasional appearances in the outfield. September call-up Josmil Pinto will fill in behind the plate until Joe Mauer, who is also dealing with a concussion, is ready to return.
Description: Baltimore second baseman Alexi Casilla is a career .516 hitter (16-for-31) versus Yankees ace CC Sabathia.
Insight: The light-hitting second baseman has little fantasy value, so this might be his only chance to help a fantasy lineup all season. He did steal 21 bases last season in 299 official at-bats, but he's only gotten 106 at-bats this season.
Description: Twins starter Andrew Albers blanked the Blue Jays on four hits with zero walks in seven innings Sunday.
Insight: The 27-year-old rookie started off his major league career with 17 1/3 six-hit scoreless frames but gave up 32 hits and 17 earned runs in his last 21 1/3 prior to Sunday. He's a risky streaming option.
Description: Minnesota righthander Samuel Deduno's shoulder injury may require surgery. SOURCE: LaVelle Neal, Star Tribune
Insight: Deduno was already expected to miss the rest of this season but if surgery is necessary he may be sidelined for the start of the 2014 season as well. Deduno had lost four out of five before the injury (5.96 ERA in those starts).
Description: Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer (concussion) was able to take batting practice on Friday. SOURCE: Rhett Bollinger, MLB.com
Insight: That's the first time he's done that in a few weeks so this is definitely a good sign. There's no timetable for Mauer's return but it sounds like he could be back before the end of the season.
Description: Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe went 3-for-3 with a solo homer Monday versus the Astros.
Insight: Plouffe (.239) had gone 10-for-45 (.222) with zero multi-hit games over his last 12 games. He has 13 home runs in 419 plate appearances (.031 HR/PA) this season after blasting 24 in 465 (.052 HR/PA) last season.
Description: Twins shortstop Brian Dozier has hit .286 with nine doubles, a triple and seven homers over his last 27 games.
Insight: Dozier has crushed four home runs in his last nine games, including Monday against the Astros. The 26-year-old's .246/.314/.434 line doesn't look great, but Dozier has had a power surge over the last month. If you need a shortstop, he can help.
Description: Twins starter Samuel Deduno exited Thursday's game with right shoulder soreness, according to Lavelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune.
Insight: Deduno threw 71 pitches and allowed three runs over three innings before leaving the game. He has a 3.83 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 108 innings, making him a marginal fantasy talent.
Description: Minnesota rookie Andrew Albers allowed three runs (two earned) over seven innings Wednesday against the Royals.
Insight: After throwing 17 1/3 scoreless innings in his first two big league starts, Albers gave up 10 earned runs over 12 2/3 innings prior to Wednesday's start. The 27-year-old only has 13 K in 37 innings, so he isn't a fantasy option outside AL-only leagues.
Description: Twins left fielder Josh Willingham has struck out four times and gone 1-for-11 against Indians starter Scott Kazmir.
Insight: Willingham has had a season to forget, hitting .215 with 12 homers in 303 at-bats. He's 10-for-57 (.175) with 21 K in 71 plate appearances since returning from knee surgery. Avoid this matchup and keep Willingham on the bench until he does something positive.
Description: It's unlikely that Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer will be in the lineup next week against Kansas City. SOURCE: LaVelle Neal, Star Tribune
Insight: Mauer, who is out with a concussion, is eligible to return from the disabled list on Tuesday but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. He's been told to take it easy until Tuesday and then he'll be reevaluated. There's no timetable for Mauer's return.
Description: Twins starter Samuel Deduno looked sharp Friday in a win against Cleveland (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 6 K's).
Insight: Deduno dealt with shoulder pain earlier in the week but it didn't seem to affect him on Friday night. The win snapped a three-game slide for Deduno, who is now 8-7 for the season. He'll make his next start Thursday against Kansas City.
Description: Minnesota righthander Samuel Deduno is listed as questionable for Friday's scheduled start against Cleveland.
Insight: Deduno threw a bullpen session on Wednesday without incident and is expected to start. He's struggled in his last three starts giving up at least four earned runs in each and fantasy owners should avoid him until he turns it around.
Description: Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia is questionable for Friday's game against Cleveland with a sore left wrist. he still felt pain during a Thursday batting practice session.
Insight: Arcia has hit safely in nine of the last 11 games, but his average is still hovering below .260 with a .750 OPS. He has hit 10 homers in 272 at-bats which extrapolated over 500 plus at-bats would yield around 20 homers a season.
Description: Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe is just 3-for-20 (.150) with six strikeouts against Tigers starter Justin Verlander.
Insight: Plouffe is hitting a pitiful .155 with 28 strikeouts in 112 plate appearances since the All-Star break and .232 on the year. He has a 23.7 percent line-drive rate but his BABIP is just .263 due to a lack of production on flyballs (.171, 17 extra-base hits on 108 flyballs).
Description: Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia is questionable for Wednesday's game against Detroit with a sore left wrist.
Insight: Arcia has hit safely in nine of the last 11 games, but his average is still hovering below .260 with a .750 OPS. He has hit 10 homers in 272 at-bats which extrapolated over 500 plus at-bats would yield around 20 homers a season.
Description: Twins catcher Joe Mauer has been placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list.
Insight: Mauer was scratched from Tuesday's lineup after feeling dizzy during batting practice. According to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, the Twins catcher took a foul tip off his mask from Ike Davis Monday night and came in Tuesday with a bruised forehead.
Description: Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau cleared waivers and could be traded if the right deal comes along.
Insight: Morneau remains a good run producer and has pounded out six home runs in 13 August games. If Morneau were to play every day in a better offense he could certainly have increased fantasy value.
Description: Minnesota rookie Andrew Albers was phenomenal Monday in a shutout win over Cleveland.
Insight: Albers is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in his first two big league starts, allowing just six hits in 17 1/3 innings. At this rate, he might throw a perfect game in his next outing. Fantasy owners should definitely consider picking the lefthander up if he's still available.
Description: Minnesota starter Kevin Correia fired seven scoreless frames Sunday in a victory over the White Sox.
Insight: Correia got hammered for six runs in two innings in his previous start so Sunday's effort represents a dramatic improvement for the righthander. Correia's seven strikeouts matched a season-high.
Description: Twins left fielder Josh Willingham has only had seven plate appearances against Jose Quintana, but he has five hits, including two homers, one walk and five RBI against the left-hander.
Insight: Willingham has gone 2-for-13 (.154) with seven K and one HR in his first three games since returning from knee surgery rehab, but he should be active in all lineups Sunday with Quintana on the mound for the White Sox.
Description: Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau is making up for lost time in August. He had just eight homers from April through the end of July, but he has blasted six longballs in 10 games this month.
Insight: Morneau remained a good run producer throughout the season despite lacking in the power department, but his fantasy value was limited. Suddenly, he's an option again for deep league owners and a must-own player in AL-only formats.
Description: Twins left fielder Josh Willingham (knee) has been activated from the disabled list in time for Friday's games.
Insight: Willingham underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in the first week of July after hitting just .224 with 10 HR and a .754 OPS in his first 246 at-bats. He's got a sweet spot in the order, batting third, between Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.
Description: Twins pitcher Andrew Albers nearly completed a shutout in his major league debut Tuesday against the red hot Royals.
Insight: Albers gave up four hits, struck out two and walked one over 8 1/3 scoreless innings. The 27-year-old had a 2.86 ERA and a 116/32 K/BB in 132 1/3 innings with Triple-A Rochester this season and has recorded a 2.64 ERA in 395 2/3 minor league innings. The Canadian left-hander doesn't have much fantasy upside, however.
Description: Twins left fielder Josh Willingham (knee) could be activated before the second game of Minnesota's doubleheader against Chicago Friday, according to Phil Miller of the Star Tribune.
Insight: Willingham underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in the first week of July after hitting just .224 with 10 HR and a .754 OPS in his first 246 at-bats. If he gets through his rehab games over the next few days without an issue he'll be back Friday.
Description: Twins first baseman Justin Morneau is 13-for-35 (.371) with three homers against Royals right-hander James Shields.
Insight: Morneau is batting just .265 with 10 home runs and a .731 OPS in 442 plate appearances this year, but has had a solid week batting .308 with a pair of home runs and might be ready to take advantage of the favorable matchup.
Description: According to Nick Cafardo of Boston.com, the Twins are getting a lot of calls about closer Glen Perkins but they will not move him prior to the trade deadline.
Insight: Perkins has allowed seven hits, walked three batters and given up two earned runs over his last four appearances but still has a 2.03 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP and 25 saves this season. He'll remain Minnesota's closer.
Description: If the Twins don't trade Justin Morneau by Wednesday's deadline, he has a favorable matchup Wednesday night against the Royals.
Insight: Morneau is 8-for-22 (.364) with four doubles and two home runs against Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie. Morneau is no longer the hitter he once was -- he's batting .262 with eight home runs, 53 RBI and a .716 OPS in 97 games -- but he's a solid option Wednesday if he's still a member of the Minnesota organization.
Description: Twins catcher Joe Mauer will return to the lineup Tuesday after missing six games due to the birth of his twins.
Insight: The 30-year-old is hitting .324 with eight homers, 34 RBI, 51 runs and an .881 OPS this season. He returns to a favorable matchup as he's a career .412 hitter against Royals starter Ervin Santana.
Description: The Orioles have been scouting Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau. SOURCE: Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun
Insight: The O's could target Morneau (.267, 8 HR, 53 RBI) at the trade deadline. They've also been keeping an eye on Seattle sluggers Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales. Chris Davis plays first base so Morneau would be the DH if he came to Baltimore.
Description: Minnesota righthander Samuel Deduno tossed seven scoreless frames Saturday against the Mariners.
Insight: The Mariners have been on a hot streak (15-8 record this month) so Deduno deserves props for shutting them down. Though he started the year in the minors, Deduno (3.18 ERA) has become an integral part of the Twins' rotation, winning seven of 12 starts since his call-up.
Description: Minnesota catcher/outfielder Ryan Doumit has faced Seattle's Aaron Harang 32 times and picked up 11 hits, including three doubles and three home runs.
Insight: Most of those at-bats came while Harang was a member of the Reds and Doumit a member of the Pirates. Doumit was a solid deep-league catching option last season with 18 homers, 75 RBI and a .781 OPS, but he has hit a disappointing .236 with nine round-trippers and a .679 OPS while getting regular playing time this year.
Description: Twins catcher Joe Mauer will remain out for the next three games to be with his wife after she gave birth to twins, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. He'll rejoin the team Tuesday against Kansas City.
Insight: Mauer has been on the paternity leave list since Wednesday. Players are only allowed to remain on the list for three days, so he'll be moved to the restricted list Saturday and will not be paid for the final two games of Minnesota's road trip.
Description: Minnesota catcher/outfielder Ryan Doumit is hitless in eight tries versus Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma with five strikeouts.
Insight: Doumit inherited the cleanup role on Wednesday with Joe Mauer (paternity leave) and Josh Willingham (injury) out of the lineup, but that shouldn't cloud your view that at this time you don't want any part of the Twins makeshift lineup.
Description: Twins first baseman Justin Morneau is just 6-for-47 (.128) with 10 strikeouts against Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia.
Insight: It's no wonder Sabathia is 17-8 with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 33 career starts against Minnesota -- he has held the Twins' two best hitters, Joe Mauer and Morneau, to a combined .151 batting average (13-for-86) with 25 K.
Description: Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer has had a terrible time hitting against Yankees starter CC Sabathia.
Insight: Mauer has faced Sabathia 39 times and picked up just seven hits (.179) while striking out 15 times. Mauer usually has no problems hitting against left-handers -- he's batting .348 with an .892 OPS against southpaws this season -- but Sabathia is the exception.
Description: Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer is just a .171 hitter with 14 strikeouts in 35 at-bats against Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia.
Insight: When a career .323 hitter is batting under .200, fantasy owners have to take notice. He's a prime candidate to get a rest day (1-for-20 over his last five games) and even if the Twins don't sit him, fantasy owners should.
Description: The Twins have placed left fielder Josh Willingham on the DL with a left knee injury.
Insight: He had an MRI on Tuesday and the results must not have been good. Willingham has underachieved this season, hitting just .224 with ten homers in 70 games. There's no reason to waste a roster spot on him at this point.
Description: Twins left fielder Josh Willingham is doubtful for Tuesday's game against the NY Yankees due to a sore left knee.
Insight: Willingham will get an MRI on Tuesday. After two monster seasons, Willingham's numbers have fallen to a disappointing level. He's batting .224 with 10 homers and a .754 OPS. The OPS statistic is the lowest since he became a full-time starter in 2006.
Description: Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe crushed a first-inning two-run homer and later drove in a run with a sacrifice fly Saturday against the Royals.
Insight: Plouffe is batting .327 with two homers and 12 RBI in 13 games since returning from the disabled list. The third baseman has a 28 percent line-drive rate this season and should see his average rise from .273.
Description: Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson gave up two runs on eight hits and didn't walk anyone in six innings Saturday against the Royals. Gibson, the No. 22 overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, was making his major league debut.
Insight: He had a 3.01 ERA and a 79/28 K/BB in 92 2/3 innings with Triple-A Rochester this season. He would have made it to the big leagues sooner but he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011. He should be a solid mixed league option in deep leagues.
Description: Twins first baseman Justin Morneau has a .316 average (6-for-19) with two doubles, two homers and five RBI against Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Insight: Morneau should be refreshed after sitting out Wednesday. The first baseman is hitting .281 with three homers and a .712 OPS this season. He's only worth owning for his run production (42 RBI).
Description: Twins left fielder Josh Willingham has a .417 average with three extra-base hits in 12 at-bats against Jeremy Guthrie of the Royals.
Insight: Willingham has struggled mightily this season, hitting .218 with 10 homers and a .743 OPS. That includes a .209 average and a .626 OPS with one homer in June. If he can't take advantage of this matchup with Guthrie, you can probably just place him on the bench for the foreseeable future.
Description: Twins catcher Joe Mauer scored three runs and went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk Sunday against Cleveland.
Insight: Mauer has batted second for most of the season and his 46 runs are tied for 19th in the majors. He's 11-for-27 (.407) with four doubles, two homers, four RBI and eight runs over his last six games.
Description: Twins right fielder Chris Parmelee slugged two homers Saturday in a loss at Cleveland.
Insight: Parmelee came up huge on Saturday, delivering three hits and two runs in five trips to the plate. He's only batting .232 for the season so fantasy owners shouldn't expect performances like this to be an everyday occurrence.
Description: Twins first baseman Justin Morneau is 11-for-35 with three homers and 10 RBI against White Sox starter John Danks.
Insight: Morneau is hitting .292 with 40 RBI, but he has just three home runs this season and his HR/FB is at a career-low. He's not the power hitter he once was, but he' s still a reliable RBI man and this is a favorable matchup.
Description: Minnesota left fielder Josh Willingham is not in the lineup Sunday. He's dealing with left knee soreness, according to Tyler Mason of FoxSportsNorth.com.
Insight: Willingham has had a rough season -- his K rate is up, his average is just .211 and his ISO is .201. He has posted just a 12.6 percent line-drive rate, a 14.3 percent HR/FB and a 24.3 percent infield flyball rate. He had a cortisone shot in his knee Saturday night for the nagging knee soreness and hopes to play Tuesday.
Description: Twins first baseman Justin Morneau has collected eight hits in 22 at-bats (.364) against Tigers starter Doug Fister, who will be on the mound Sunday against Minnesota.
Insight: Morneau is hitting .292 with 38 homers, but he has just two home runs this season and his HR/FB is a career-low 2.8 percent. Due to the lack of power, he's a poor fantasy option outside AL-only leagues, but Sunday is a good time to get him in the lineup if you own him.
Description: Minnesota left fielder Josh Willingham has hit two homers and gone 6-for-20 (.300) with three walks in his career against Tigers starter Doug Fister.
Insight: Willingham has had a rough season -- his K rate is up, his average is just .211 and his ISO is .201. He has posted just a 12.6 percent line-drive rate, a 14.3 percent HR/FB and a 24.3 percent infield flyball rate. Sunday will present a favorable matchup for him, but if he doesn't start heating up soon, fantasy owners might want to move on.
Description: Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe came off the DL and went 3-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and two runs Saturday against Detroit.
Insight: Plouffe had not appeared in a game since May 21 a left calf strain. The third baseman had one of the top line-drive rates in baseball at 28.7 percent when he went on the DL, and yet his BABIP is only .299 and his average is .270 after Saturday's game.
Description: Minnesota third baseman Trevor Plouffe is probable for Saturday's game against Detroit after being actibvated from the disabled list.
Insight: Plouffe hasn't appeared in a game since May 21st. He's batting .254 with four homers and 17 RBI. he hit 24 home runs last season and will have to get hot fast if he is going to match that total.
Description: The Twins have recalled Oswaldo Arcia from Triple-A to replace injured center fielder Aaron Hicks.
Insight: Arcia has shown a couple of glimpses that he can play at the major league level, but overall his numbers aren't worthy of attention from fantasy owners. One note, he's been much better on the road (.333, .975 OPS) than at home (.271, .592 OPS). The bad news, however is Minnesota's next nine games are at Target Field.
Description: The Twins have promoted top prospect Miguel Sano (3B) from High-A to Double-A, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Insight: Sano, who is rated as the No. 11 prospect on MLB.com's list of the top-100 prospects in baseball, is hitting .330 and slugging .655 with 16 homers in 206 at-bats this season, so he has certainly earned the promotion. The 20-year-old still needs to work on his defense and plate discipline and is unlikely to make the majors until next season.
Description: The Nationals picked up 10 hits and scored seven runs (six earned) in 4 2/3 innings off Twins starter Scott Diamond Sunday.
Insight: Diamond has been shelled for 79 hits and 35 earned runs in 60 2/3 innings. For someone who pitches to contact as much as Diamond, a .350 BABIP is devastating. However, the right-hander's line-drive rate is actually lower than the league average so he should see better luck soon.
Description: Twins catcher Joe Mauer is a career .462 hitter with a pair of home runs versus Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Insight: Mauer is doing what Mauer does - hit for high average. He's batting .332 this season which is fourth in the AL behind only Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis and Jhonny Peralta. We would like to see him with more than 18 RBI at this point, but that's a function of the Twins top of the lineup which hasn't gotten on base enough in front of him.
Description: Twins first baseman Justin Morneau (flu-like symptoms) is probable for Tuesday's game against Kansas City.
Insight: Morneau missed two games because of the illness. He's no longer the power hitter he once was, but he's batting a respectable .288 and has knocked in 34 runs. He's 5-for-8 against Kansas City starter Luis Mendoza.
Description: Minnesota third baseman Trevor Plouffe is out with a strained calf. The Twins are expected to move him to the disabled list, which would sideline Plouffe until the middle of June. SOURCE: Tyler Mason, Fox Sports North
Insight: Plouffe hasn't appeared in a game since May 21st. Jamey Carroll will start at third Thursday against the Brewers.
Description: Twins right-hander Samuel Deduno tossed seven innings and allowed one earned run on four hits Wednesday against the Brewers to grab his first victory of the year.
Insight: Deduno broke out during the World Baseball Classic, allowing just one run and posting a 17/5 K/BB in 13 innings to help the Dominican Republic win the tournament. He allowed six runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings in his first start this season, but since it came against the Tigers we're willing to give him a pass. He's worth owning in AL-only leagues.
Description: Though he was just activated from the 7-day concussion disabled list, Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe was scratched from Wednesday's lineup with left calf tightness, according to Tyler Mason of FOXSportsNorth.com.
Insight: Wednesday was the first day Plouffe was eligible to come off the DL. He hasn't played since May 21. The infielder has one of the best line-drive rates in the majors this season at 28.7 percent but his BABIP is just .286. Once his luck begins to turn, his .254 average will increase. That is, if he can ever get back on the field.
Description: Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks is batting .202 with five homers in May.
Insight: That doesn't seem all the good, but considering he hit .113 with zero homers in April, we'll take it. The rookie is batting .161 with 17 RBI, 21 runs and four steals in 155 at-bats this season. We'll see if the Twins' patience with the 23-year-old pays off or if they eventually have to send him down.
Description: Minnesota third baseman Trevor Plouffe has been activated from the seven-day concussion list.
Insight: Wednesday was the first day he was eligible to return. Plouffe had a monster June last season (.327, 11 HR, 27 RBI, 1.126 OPS) and hopefully he can repeat that performance in the upcoming weeks.
Description: Twins catcher Joe Mauer crushed his third home run of the season Saturday in a win against the Tigers.
Insight: Mauer (.347, 3 HR, 15 RBI) had an 0-for-8 stretch earlier in the week but since then he's gone 8-for-17 with two RBI. Only Joey Votto (.355) and Miguel Cabrera (.385) are hitting for a higher average this season.
Description: Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe passed his concussion test Wednesday and did cardio Thursday with no issues, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com.
Insight: Plouffe took a blow to the head while he was sliding into second base Tuesday night. He said he was placed on the 7-day disabled list due to his initial wooziness rather than an actual concussion.
Description: Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe is not in the starting lineup for Wednesday afternoon.
Insight: Plouffe took a blow to the head while he was sliding into second base and came away a little wobbly. Given the team's history with Justin Morneau is a similar situation, they will play it safe and put Plouffe on the seven-day concussion list.
Description: Twins outfielder Josh Willingham is 2-for-16 (.125) against Braves veteran left-hander Paul Maholm.
Insight: Willingham hit a home run on Monday to break up Julio Teheran's shutout bid and is 2-for-6 in the series. Still, it would be best to avoid this matchup as he's batting just .154 over the past two weeks.
Description: The Twins will recall Samuel Deduno from Triple-A Rochester to start Friday's game against the Tigers.
Insight: Deduno broke out during the World Baseball Classic, allowing just one run and posting a 17/5 K/BB in 13 innings to help the Dominican Republic win the tournament. He went 6-5 with a 4.44 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP in 79 innings last year and shouldn't have much fantasy value outside AL-only leagues.
Description: Minnesota 1B minor league prospect Chris Colabello is pounding the ball at Triple-A Rochester, batting 360 with 12 HR, 38 RBI and a 1.089 OPS in 45 games.
Insight: The Twins have the heir apparent to Morneau down on the farm and it appears that he's ready to get his shot at the major league level. Don't be surprised if they make Colabello the starting DH before the season is out.
Description: Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer is just 1-for-7 versus Atlanta right-hander Tim Hudson.
Insight: It isn't often that this career .323 hitter has a bad matchup, but today is one of them. In fact, the heart of the Twins lineup; Mauer, Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham are a combined 4-for-37 (.108) off Hudson. Tuesday doesn't figure to be a good offensive game for Minnesota.
Description: Baltimore second baseman Alexi Casilla is a career .583 hitter (14-for-24) versus Yankees ace CC Sabathia, including 2-for-3 in an April 12 matchup.
Insight: The light-hitting second baseman has very little fantasy value, so this might be his only chance to help a fantasy lineup all season. He did steal 21 bases last season in 299 official at-bats, but he's a lifetime .249 hitter with a .635 OPS.
Description: Twins starter Scott Diamond allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings Saturday against Boston and has given up 17 hits and 12 runs in his last two starts.
Insight: Diamond has little margin for error with his 88-89 mph fastball, and he clearly hasn't had his good command over his last two starts. He has walked six batters in that span after walking three in his first five starts combined.
Description: Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer has hit safely in all 14 games this month and is batting .456 in 57 at-bats during that span.
Insight: Mauer has been dealing with some back stiffness but he returned to the lineup Saturday after missing Friday's game and went 2-for-5. Mauer has a favorable matchup against John Lackey of the Red Sox Sunday; Mauer is 11-for-27 (.407) against the right-hander.
Description: Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer is back in the lineup Saturday against the the Red Sox.
Insight: Mauer (.349, 2 HR, 13 RBI) missed Friday's game due to back stiffness. He'll serve as the DH Saturday. He's just 1-for-10 with six K against Saturday's scheduled starter Ryan Dempster, but it will be difficult to sit him since he has hit safely in all 13 games this month and is batting .462 during that span.
Description: Twins starter Scott Diamond beat the Red Sox with seven scoreless innings Tuesday night. The lefty didn't walk a batter, struck out two and gave up just three hits (all singles).
Insight: Diamond started the season on the DL after having elbow surgery in the offseason and allowed four runs on right hits in 4 1/3 innings in his first start, but he has gotten back to what made him successful last year. He rarely walks anyone (15/3 K/BB in 29 2/3 innings), throws more than 50 percent groundballs, and pitches well with men on base (74.5 LOB%).
Description: Twins first baseman Justin Morneau is a career .500 hitter (7-for-14) against Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz.
Insight: Morneau is batting .252 with eight extra-base hits in 103 at-bats. That's not enough from a power position like first base for fantasy owners. He's no longer a every day fantasy option in most mixed leagues, but Monday's matchup is favorable.
Description: Twins starter Kevin Correia failed to go at least seven innings for the first time this season Saturday against the Indians.
Insight: Correia brought a 3-1 record and a 2.23 ERA into the game but gave up six hits and four runs in five innings. Correia also had tremendous Aprils in 2011 and 2012, but struggled the rest of those seasons.
Description: Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks went 1-for-3 with a solo homer Saturday against the Indians.
Insight: It was the first homer of his major league career. The rookie won the center field job after a strong spring, but he started off 2-for-48 (.042) with 20 strikeouts and was bumped out of the leadoff spot. He's still looking for his first multi-hit game.
Description: Minnesota utility man Jamey Carroll should be in fantasy lineups for Saturday considering he's 6-for-10 with a home run and a 1.367 OPS.
Insight: Carroll (.292, 0 HR, 3 RBI in 10 games) hasn't started since Wednesday, but if the manager is paying attention should be in the Twins starting lineup. If that happens, he should be in your lineup too.
Description: Twins first baseman Justin Morneau is not in the starting lineup for Saturday's game against Seattle due to illness
Insight: Youngster Chris Colabello will get the start who was having an excellent season at Rocheste (.358, 12 HR, 39 RBI in 46 games)r before being called up last week. He's just 1-for-11 in five games with the Twins.
Description: Twins starter Vance Worley served up 10 hits (3 HR) and six runs in 4 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Tigers.
Insight: Worley has not enjoyed the American League so far. He has given up 46 hits and 23 earned runs in 28 2/3 innings this season and is 0-4. He shouldn't be used in any fantasy leagues until he shows some improvement.
Description: Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe is hitless in seven at-bats against Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer with five strikeouts.
Insight: Plouffe was a big surprise in 2012 putting up 24 homers in 422 at-bats last season, but he's started slowly in 2013, batting .226 with two home runs and four RBI in 18 games. Avoid this matchup.
Description: Twins starter Kevin Correia fired eight shutout innings Sunday against the Rangers to improve to 3-1.
Insight: Correia has thrown at least seven innings in all five of his starts this season and has a 2.23 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. Correia has done this the last three Aprils as well only to struggle the rest of the year, so don't go out of your way to acquire him.
Description: Twins starter Kevin Correia fired seven innings, allowed five hits and two runs, walked one and struck out five in a win over Miami Tuesday afternoon.
Insight: Correia has been fantastic over four starts this year, throwing at least seven innings in all of them and carrying a 2.86 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Correia has done this the last three Aprils as well, only to struggle the rest of the year, so don't go out of your way to acquire him.
Description: Twins catcher Joe Mauer would probably be the first hitter to bat .400 since Ted Williams if he could face Gavin Floyd every day. Mauer is 19-for-43 (.442) with four doubles, a triple, three homers and 10 walks against the White Sox right-hander.
Insight: Mauer is on a 10-game hitting streak and has 10 hits in his last 14 at-bats, and Floyd has little chance of cooling him off.
Description: After being crushed for 25 hits and 14 earned runs over his first 12 innings this season, Twins starter Vance Worley held the White Sox to one run on five hits, walked two and struck out seven in seven innings Saturday.
Insight: Worley keeps the ball on the ground, but batters have put good wood on his pitches. He had a 24.2 percent line-drive rate last season and a 25.5 percent line-drive rate over the first three starts this year, so it's not hard to see why he has seen a BABIP above .340 since last year.
Description: Minnesota OF Josh Willingham is hitless in 15 at-bats against White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy.
Insight: Willingham hasn't played since Saturday due to the flu and with this unfavorable matchup might get one more day off to rest. He's started slowly, batting .222 with a pair of homers, but 13 Ks in 36 at-bats.
Description: Minnesota OF Josh Willingham is just 1-for-12 against Angels starter Tommy Hanson with four strikeouts.
Insight: Willingham missed Monday and Tuesday due to the flu and with this unfavorable matchup might get one more day off to rest. He's started slowly, batting .222 with a pair of homers, but 13 Ks in 36 at-bats.
Description: Minnesota OF Josh Willingham is just 2-for-19 against Angels left-hander Jason Vargas with seven strikeouts.
Insight: Willingham did not play in Monday's game, reportedly due to an illness, but is expected to return on Tuesday. He is coming off a career year for power numbers (66 extra base hits, 30 HR, 110 RBI). Avoid this matchup, but Willingham is a very good fantasy option this season.
Description: Minnesota OF Josh Willingham is just 2-for-16 against Angels veteran right-hander Joe Blanton with half his at-bats ending in strikeouts.
Insight: Willingham is coming off a career year for power numbers (66 extra base hits, 30 HR, 110 RBI). He's batting just .222 through the first 11 games, but he's still showing the power (.889 OPS). Avoid this matchup, but Willingham is a very good fantasy option this season.
Description: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire admits that the team has discussed moving rookie outfielder Aaron Hicks down in the order, but he will remain in the leadoff spot for now. SOURCE: LaVelle E. Neal III, Star Tribune
Insight: Hicks hit .286, 21 doubles, 11 triples and 13 homers, walked 79 times and swiped 32 bags at Double-A last season and he batted .370 with four home runs in 73 at-bats this spring to win the center field job, but he has started off 2-for-35 (.057) with 16 strikeouts. It doesn't get much colder than that.
Description: Twins lefty Scott Diamond will make his season debut Saturday against the Mets. He said he's good to throw 100 or more pitches if need be, according to Tyler Mason of FOX Sports North.
Insight: Diamond used a 1.61 BB/9, 53.4 percent groundball rate and 73.3 percent strand rate last season to produce a 3.54 ERA. He had surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in December and started the season on the DL.
Description: Baltimore second baseman Alexi Casilla is a career .571 hitter (12-for-21) versus Yankees ace CC Sabathia.
Insight: The light-hitting second baseman has little fantasy value, so this might be his only chance to help a fantasy lineup all season. He did steal 21 bases last seasom in 299 official at-bats, but he's a lifetime .250 hitter with a .639 OPS.
Description: Twins rookie center fielder Aaron Hicks will get a night off Tuesday.
Insight: Hicks hit .286, 21 doubles, 11 triples and 13 homers, walked 79 times and swiped 32 bags at Double-A last season and he batted .370 with four home runs in 73 at-bats this spring to win the center field job, but he has started off 2-for-30 (.067) with 13 strikeouts.
Description: Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer is 12-for 26 (.462) against Royals starter Ervin Santana with five extra base hits and a 1.231 career OPS.
Insight: Mauer had a good 2012 for the Twins (.319, 10 HR, 85 RBI), but is off to a slow start this season batting a very un-Mauer-like .231 through six games. Hopefully this favorable matchup can wake up his bat.
Description: Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau owns a 1.298 career OPS against Kansas City starter Ervin Santana with three homers and a .333 batting average in 18 at-bats.
Insight: Morneau isn't the 30-plus home run guy he used to be four years ago, but he is off to a solid start with a .364 batting average. The difference is that his OPS is still only .916 and he has yet to hit a home run this season.
Description: Twins rookie center fielder Aaron Hicks has started off 1-for-22 with 10 strikeouts.
Insight: He has been leading off but he likely will be moved down if he continues to struggle. Hicks hit .286, 21 doubles, 11 triples and 13 homers, walked 79 times and swiped 32 bags at Double-A last season and he batted .370 with four home runs in 73 at-bats this spring to win the center field job.
Description: We only have eight at bats to base it on but history tells us that Josh Willingham usually does pretty well when Rick Porcello is on the mound.
Insight: He's 5-for-8 against Porcello with two doubles. Willingham is one of the more underrated power hitters in the league, having produced 64 HR and 208 RBI over the past two seasons. He'll have a chance to add to those totals Thursday against the Tigers.
Description: Twins first baseman Justin Morneau missed Thursday night's exhibition because of a tight back.
Insight: Nothing to worry about. It's only a precaution. The injury seems very mild and we should see Morneau back in uniform Friday afternoon against the Red Sox. He isn't in danger of missing Monday's season opener versus Detroit.
Description: Aaron Hicks will open the season as the Twins' starting center fielder.
Insight: Darin Mastroianni was expected to win the job but instead Hicks impressed by hitting .350 in spring training. The 23-year-old hit .286 with 13 HR and 61 RBI last season at Double-A New Britain. He also swiped 32 stolen bases.
Description: Twins lefty Scott Diamond has been placed on the disabled list and is expected to return in mid-April.
Insight: Diamond had surgery to remove a bone chip from his throwing elbow in December. He was an unexpectedly high quality starter before the All-Star break, going 7-2 with a 2.62 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. After the break he stumbled with a 5-6 record and a 4.31 ERA and 1.298 WHIP.
Description: Free agent starting pitcher Carl Pavano says the snow-shoveling accident that he was involved with this winter nearly cost him his life.
Insight: Pavano reportedly lost six and a half liters of blood and was "hours away from going into cardiac arrest." Fortunately, Pavano is now out of the hospital and expected to make a full recovery. He went 2-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 starts for the Twins in 2012.
Description: Minnesota pitcher Anthony Swarzak will miss about a month with two broken ribs, according to beat writer Tyler Mason.
Insight: The Twins have used him as both a starter and long relief guy, but fantasy owners have never had him on their radar. He's got a career 5.03 ERA, 1.436 WHIP and only strikes out 5.3 batters per nine innings. None of those numbers are fantasy worthy.
Description: Righthander Carl Pavano will miss 6-to-8 weeks after rupturing his spleen in a snow shoveling accident.
Insight: Pavano was oddly effective for the Twins in 2010 (17-11, 3.75 ERA) but has since regressed by posting an 11-18 record and a 4.67 ERA over the last two seasons. The 37-year-old is still a free agent and this news probably won't make his search for a new team any easier.
Description: Former Oakland starter Rich Harden has agreed to a minor league deal with the Twins.
Insight: Harden used to be a front of the rotation starter but injuries have driven his career trajectory off course. There's a small chance he could crack Minnesota's starting rotation but we're not holding out much hope. The 31-year-old missed all of last season while rehabbing a shoulder injury.
Description: The Twins have signed right-hander Mike Pelfrey to a one-year contract. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com
Insight: Pelfrey went 50-54 with a 4.36 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 153 games (149 starts) over seven seasons with the New York Mets, who drafted him with the ninth overall pick in 2005. However, he only made three starts in 2012 before having Tommy John surgery. Pelfrey is the third starter Minnesota has added this offseason after Vance Worley and Kevin Correia.
Description: Righthander Kevin Correia has signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Minnesota Twins.
Insight: Correia was his typical up and down self for the Pirates in 2012, finishing the year with a 12-11 record and a 4.21 ERA. Moving from the NL to the AL can sometimes be a rude awakening for starting pitchers, though Target Field is usually considered to be one of the more pitcher-friendly venues in the major leagues.