Another edition of the Banged up and Bruised

After getting two straight days off thanks to Monday’s off day, Joe Mauer is back in the lineup for the Twins in the series opener against the Indians tonight. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Mauer is still a little sore after taking his share of hits behind the plate in Saturday’s game at Tampa Bay, but he feels good enough to play so he’s in there.

Joe Crede and Michael Cuddyer are both still out of the lineup. Crede’s left knee is still slightly swollen and he showed off some nasty-looking bruises to a group of us reporters today. He’s got one right above the knee and one below it that extends down the leg. But Crede took batting practice with the team and fielded at third, so Gardenhire thinks Crede might be back in the lineup for Wednesday’s contest.

Cuddyer got good news when the MRI on his finger came back negative, meaning there is no structural damage. The doctors have told him they just have to wait for the swelling to get out of the knuckle, and the hope is that it will only be a couple days. Gardenhire sounded a little more concerned due to the fact that he doesn’t want to be short a player for very long, since  he only has a four-man bench right now. Cuddyer wasn’t doing anything on the field on Tuesday.

When I got to the ballpark this afternoon, the Twins were taking early batting practice but it wasn’t just the hitters this time. The pitchers were down there doing some bunting drills. Their upcoming 10-game roadtrip ends in Chicago with three contests agianst the Cubs so it’s time to get those pitchers’ bats warmed up for Interleague Play. I’ll admit, it’s always enjoyable to get a glimpse at some of the swings at this time of the year.

Here are today’s lineups:

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Ben Francisco, LF
Victor Martinez, 1B
Shin-Soo Choo, DH
Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Mark DeRosa, RF
Luis Valbuena, 2B
Trevor Crowe, CF
Kelly Shoppach, C
Pitching: David Huff, LHP  (making just his 4th career start)

Denard Span, RF
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Brendan Harris, SS
Delmon Young, LF
Brian Buscher, 3B
Carlos Gomez, CF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Pitching: Kevin Slowey, RHP

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