BALTIMORE -- The Twins shook up the bottom of their batting order in the series finale against the Orioles on Sunday, as Sean Burroughs started at third base over Danny Valencia, while Luke Hughes started at second instead of Alexi Casilla.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he made the decision to start Burroughs and Hughes against Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel because he wants to give everyone playing time early in the season. Trevor Plouffe is the lone bench player who hasn't made a start this year. But he's expected to be in the lineup in the home opener on Monday, with Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson set to take the mound.
"Everybody's going to play," Gardenhire said. "We're mixing it up as best we can. We've got Opening Day [at Target Field on Monday], and that's going to be our lineup as best we can. But we've got a left-hander going. So if I don't play Burroughs against this right-hander, I'm not going to play him [on Monday]. That'll be like five days before he gets into the lineup. We can't leave guys on the bench. You kind of think ahead here."
Gardenhire made it clear that he wasn't benching Valencia after a rough game on Saturday, when he went 0-for-4 at the plate and had a ball hit off his glove down the line that ended up being a key double.
"It wasn't easy plays [on Saturday]," Gardenhire said. "The backhand down the line was hit hard. But the thing you have to understand is that he's worked hard at it. But there's times he gets lazy, and he gets flat-footed. But you can't take a pitch or a ball off. ... I still think he's working his tail off. I like the kid. But it's a process."