Welcome Back, Denard Span

One of the first people I saw walking around on the field when I arrived at Miller Park this afternoon was Denard Span. The outfielder made it through his two rehab games at Triple-A Rochester alive — although not without a new bruise, this one on the palm of his left hand.

Span was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning of Rochester’s game on Tuesday night. His left thumb and the palm area around it are swollen and a bit sore today, but Span is planning to take batting practice with the team to see if he’ll be activated for Thursday’s series finale with the Brewers. Manager Ron Gardenhire said that he expects Span will be fine.

Jason Kubel is back in the lineup as he’s feeling a little better after battling through some cold and flu-like like symptoms. He’ll be in left field tonight and I’m sure that the heat won’t be a huge help to him. But he seemed confident that he’d be able to weather through it just fine.

Nick Punto said that his ribs are still sore and he is not in the lineup again. He left Tuesday night’s game with cramping in his ribs. Punto, who injured his ribs while diving head-first into first base on Saturday night, is listed as day-to-day.

With no batting cages or weight room currently at Miller Park due to the recent flooding, players have had to be a little more creative with their time. The Twins have a small room in the clubhouse with a batting tee that’s been constantly in use. But there have been a few more card games than usual — anything to pass the time, particularly for a team that usually spends a lot of time in the batting cage.

Here are today’s lineups:

Carlos Gomez, CF
Brendan Harris, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, LF
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Joe Crede, 3B
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Nick Blackburn, P

Craig Counsell, 2B
Mat Gamel, 3B
Ryan Braun, LF
Prince Fielder, 1B
Corey Hart, RF
Mike Cameron, CF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Jason Kendall, C
Braden Looper, P

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