Ullger welcoming advice while at helm
Twins acting manager taps coaches to help decision-making
MINNEAPOLIS -- With manager Ron Gardenhire away from the team for the Twins' series against Detroit, third-base coach Scott Ullger has been acting as manager. But Ullger has used the collective knowledge of his fellow coaches to make decisions about the team.
Ullger consulted with his coaches, including batting coach Joe Vavra, bench coach Steve Liddle and bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek in the decision to move Mike Lamb to second in the batting order for Saturday's game. Lamb ended up going 2-for-4 and scoring the Twins' first two runs.
With Carlos Gomez out on Saturday after being hit in the head with a throw during Friday's game, all of the coaches made the decision to play Craig Monroe in center field on Saturday, and Monroe drove in the Twins' other two runs with a home run in the seventh. Monroe earned the designated-hitter slot for Sunday's game.
"[Saturday] we needed a center fielder, and I talked to Gardy about it and he said, 'You guys do what you want to do.' It was either him or Nick [Punto], and it worked out for us having Craig in center field," Ullger said.
With left-hander Kenny Rogers taking the mound for the Tigers, Sunday's lineup saw Matt Tolbert at third base, with Punto starting at short. Righties are hitting .341 against Rogers this season; lefties are batting .244.
"I've been getting suggestions from Joe, Steve and Stelly," Ullger said. "We decided to play Tolbert today because he hasn't played in a while. Plus righties are doing a lot better than lefties against Kenny, so we've got Nicky and Tolbert in there today."
Leslie Parker is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.