The Tigers get their first crack at the team that leapfrogged them for the AL Central title on the final day of last season. For what it's worth, Detroit had a 7-2 record against the Twins at Comerica Park in 2006 (and won those first seven in a row). You might also remember that Minnesota was pounded like a veal cutlet in their first visit, losing three games by a combined score of 33-1.
Ortiz might be the biggest surprise of the season thus far, after learning the change-up from the master, Johan Santana. He hasn't given up more than three runs in either of his four appearances, and has walked only two batters in 29 innings.
However, Robertson has been just as good, if not better, in his first four starts. Due to last night's rainout in Chicago, his turn in the starting rotation was pushed back. (Unfortunately, that means Sunday's anticipated match-up of Santana vs. Bonderman won't happen.) Last season, Robertson went 3-2 against the Twins with a 3.38 ERA.
Twinkie Town provides the SB Nation opposing view for this series.
▪▪ We won't get to see old friend Rondell White return to Detroit this weekend, as he re-injured a strained right calf that put him on the 15-day disabled list. White felt something pop in that calf on Wednesday on his way to the outfield during pre-game warm-ups. A subsequent MRI revealed a tear, which means White will be out indefintely.
UPDATE: Via Danny Knobler, Pudge Rodriguez is out tonight with a sore left foot. The foot was painful enough that Rodriguez couldn't walk on it yesterday, but X-rays showed no break. And we'd all better hope that Mike Rabelo doesn't get hurt, because if he goes out, Neifi Perez is the emergency catcher.