Orioles @ Twins -series opener

Greetings from Target Field, where the Orioles will take on the Twins for a three-game road trip.

*In case you missed it, Miguel Gonzalez was placed on the disabled list (blister) and the Orioles recalled reliever Alex Burnett yesterday in his place. Burnett is expected to be the guy to go when they make a move to add right-hander Steve Johnson, who is here in Minnesota and will get his first big league start this season on Saturday.

*Alexi Casilla is in the lineup tonight against a right-handed starter, and he could move over to the right side and hit from there. Casilla, a switch-hitter, has been working on moving just to the right side because the organization feels he gets on top of the ball better that way. He said he will start off a lefty tonight, but could make the switch tonight. It’s still an experimental thing, but Casilla said he feels comfortable over there and –depending on the game–could try it out tonight. He is a career 0-for-5 as in two games as a right-handed hitter against a right-handed pitcher.

*There was some drama on Friday afternoon when news quickly spread that the pink bats of Nick Markakis and Trevor Plouffe wouldn’t be allowed on Sunday because they weren’t Louisville Slugger issued, although that’s not entirely true.

Markakis and Plouff’s proposed bats are black with a pink circle that reads MAX Bats and a memo sent to equipment managers around the league stated that while the use of plain pink bats by other companies is OK, any logo by a company other than Louisville is not.

“The fact is that players can use [Mother's Day] bats from any bat manufacturer as long as the bat manufacturer makes a modest donation to the Susan B. Komen Foundation,” Matt Bourne, VP Business Public Relations for Major League Baseball said in a statement.

Major League Baseball encourages players to wear pink equipment on Sunday with players around the sport donning pink bats, cleats and wristbands to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer. The game-worn equipment is later auctioned off on MLB.com to support breast cancer research. Both Markakis and Plouffe have mothers who are cancer survivors.

Louisville, MLB’s official bat, started the initiative in 2006 and donates the pink bats every year as well as makes a sizable monetary donation to the cause. Spokesman Rick Redman said those donations total up to roughly a quarter-million dollars.

You can read the full story on this on Orioles.com

*With Mother’s Day on Sunday, I wrote about catcher Matt Wieters and his mother, Pam, and you can read that here.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Nick Markakis DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Dickerson RF
Alexi Casilla 2B

Jason Hammel RHP

TWINS LINEUP
Jamey Carroll 2B
Joe Mauer DH
Josh Willingham LF
Justin Morneau 1B
Trevor Plouffe 3B
Ryan Doumit C
Oswaldo Arcia RF
Aaron Hicks CF
Eduardo Escobar SS

Mike Pelfrey RHP

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