Nafisa Collier, Lynx Forward ( UP)
Collier is giving new meaning to the playoffs. Just 10 1/2 weeks after giving birth, Collier returned to the court for Minnesota—and played twice the expected minutes (she finished with six points in 21 minutes as the Lynx beat Atlanta)—playing with Sylvia Fowles. In the big reason of , who is retiring. Our quick casual research shows that Candace Parker had a baby with five months to get back in shape last December. In 2020, the Lynx’s Odyssey Sims had a baby in April and was playing for Minnesota four months later. If you’re not impressed by Collier’s coming back so soon, well, there’s something wrong with you. To end it all, Collier brought daughter Mila to his postgame press conference. Boss move. Mother move. We like it a lot. Anyway, with the Lynx fighting for a playoff spot if Collier can even come close to what he did for Minnesota in his first three seasons, these last few games are going to be interesting.
Vikings Rookies ( below)
Ahead of Sunday’s preseason opener, Minnesota produced its first unofficial depth chart. There were not many surprises, although no rookie was listed with the first team. This included first-round pick safety Lewis Caine (slots behind Cameron Bynum) and second-round corner Andrew Booth Jr. (behind Cameron Dantzler). It’s still early August. We hope that the coaches are keeping the rookies in their place and will not give them big heads in the camp. Right guard Ed Ingram, another Minnesota second rounder, is also listed as the second teammate behind Jesse Davis but ahead of Wyatt Davis, a third-round pick in 2021. Wyatt Davis’ Vikings career isn’t off, shall we say, a good start. He appeared in no offensive snaps last season and is now on the back of a rookie.
Nick Gordon, Twins outfielder ( UP)
Gordon is one of the surprises of this year’s Minnesota team. A former top prospect nearly scripted last season before making the Major at age 25, Gordon is slashing .279/.327/.429 (118 ops+). Last week he was dismissed for 7 for 22 with six runs, two doubles, a homer, three walks and a steal (.318/.400/.546) while playing left field, center field and shortstop. It took some time, but Gordon has transformed himself into a valuable commodity.
Twins starting pitching ( below)
It was a rough week for Minnesota’s rotation. Joe Ryan started well against Detroit and was then bombed by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sonny Gray bowled five shutout innings against Toronto – but had to leave early as his pitch count went up after five runs (and then the bullpen exploded). Dylan Bundy could not go beyond the fourth innings and Tyler Mahle conceded four runs in six innings. Chris Archer pitched decently but was limited to five innings, which matched the highs of his season. The captain is in the clear here, but the Twins need more than their start – and entering sixth (and the sky!) will be a boon.
Luis Arrez, Twins infielder ( UP)
You can’t keep arrays down for long. After going 0-for-7 in two games on 26–27 July, Arrez went on a five-game hit streak. Then he made two straight starts where he didn’t reach base—by the way, which matches his longest streak of not getting to base this season—and followed it up with back-to-back three-hit games, three Doubles collection. process. Arrez is .329, 19 points ahead of Boston’s Rafael Devers, building him on pace to become Minnesota’s first batting champion since Joe Maur in 2009. His .318 career average is second in Twins history with Kirby Puckett and Lyman Bostock (rounded up; Puckett is .31805, Arrez Wednesday entering .31762 and Bostock entering .31754).