The Twins start the regular season Friday night in Chicago against the White Sox at 7:10, pregame on WJON at 6:30.  Star Tribune Sports Columnist Jim Souhan joined me on WJON today.  Jim expects center fielder Byron Buxton to play Friday night in the season opener despite suffering an ankle injury last week.  The batting order last night against left hander Jon Lester had catcher Mitch Garver leading off followed by Josh Donaldson and Nelson Cruz.  Jim says he would go with Luis Arraez as the leadoff hitter because of his high on base percentage and ability to force pitchers to throw him lots of pitches.

 

Jake Odorizzi will start the season on the disabled list due to a back injury.  Jim says the Twins could go with Devin Smeltzer, Lewis Thorpe or Randy Dobnak to replace him in the rotation or just go with a whole staff day when that spot in the rotation comes up. Odorizzi is only expected to miss one start.

The Vikings have given head coach Mike Zimmer a contract extension.  Jim says this makes sense with the season about to start and considering the success he's had with the team.  The Vikings also signed first round pick receiver Justin Jefferson.  Jim says Jefferson will be counted on to be an impact players this season.

The Wilfs do not appear interested in pursuing ownership of the Timberwolves.  Jim Souhan says a group that could include Kevin Garnett would be a long shot to buy the team.  Jim says Garnett would have be a minority owner but would also likely be outspoken.  Jim also is sure why Glen Taylor would want to sell the team with Garnett as a part of this group because of bad blood between the Taylor and Garnett.

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