It's been 74 days since Jake Cave appeared in a Twins game, but he'll end that career lull today. And he'll remind himself what Major League Baseball feels like when your back isn't aching as you do it.
Cave is in center field — the third starter at the position in this series — as the Twins try to salvage a split of four games with the Angels. He's hitting only .167 on the season, but was hampered by back soreness, which turned out to be a fractured disc, before going on the injured list May 12.
Bailey Ober will start for Minnesota, and though Twins fans had hoped to see Shohei Ohtani pitch in Target Field for the first time, the Angels will actually start journeyman righthander Jaime Barria instead.
Barria, called up from Class AAA Salt Lake City today, has pitched only six innings in the major leagues this year, and has allowed seven runs. He's walked five and struck out only one, so the challenge is at a different level as facing Ohtani, the AL's All-Star Game starter, would be.
Probably a different challenge, for that matter, than facing Patrick Sandoval, the righthander who came within two outs of no-hitting the Twins on Saturday.
The Twins made a transaction this morning, too: Catcher Mitch Garver has been activated from the paternity list after the birth of his son on Thursday, though the new father is not in the lineup today. Ben Rortvedt has been returned to Class AAA St. Paul.
Here are the lineups for the 1:10 p.m. game: