June 2009

Welcome to Sunny Seattle

I don’t know what it is about the Twins’ trips to Seattle, but they always tend to come at ideal weather times in the city. I took advantage of the weather this morning and did something I rarely do — played a round of golf on the road. For any of you who might travel to the Seattle/Tacoma area, I would highly recommend playing Chambers Bay. It’s about 45 min. or so away from Seattle and ranked among Golf Magazine’s top courses in the country that anyone can play. It is also scheduled to host the 2015 U.S. Open. Just a beautiful course and a challenge as well.

OK, enough with golf and back to baseball.

Michael Cuddyer (strained right finger) took early BP and regular BP on Friday, but was not back in the lineup. Cuddyer said that his finger felt fine after hitting and throwing during the early session, but the club wants to watch his finger and see how much the swelling comes back. He could be ready to return to the lineup on Saturday.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire also reported that Glen Perkins’ left elbow felt fine after his first rehab start on Thursday for Class A Fort Myers. Perkins pitched four innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits — including two home runs– and struck out five. Gardenhire siad the reports were that Perkins threw a lot of fastballs and didn’t start mixing in his breaking pitches until after giving up the home runs. The expectation is still that Perkins will make one more start for Fort Myers on Tuesday — throwing between 90-100 pitches — and the club will evaluate his status after that.

Today’s Lineups:

Twins
Denard Span, LF
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, RF
Joe Crede, 3B
Brendan Harris, SS
Brian Buscher, DH
Carlos Gomez, CF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Pitching: Francisco Liriano, LHP

Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Russell Branyan, 1B
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Mike Sweeney, DH
Jose Lopez, 2B
Wladimir Balentien, LF
Rob Johnson, C
Ronny Cedeno, SS
Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Pitching: Felix Hernandez, RHP

Back in Action…Thursday Lineups: Twins vs. Tribe

Sorry for the lack of blogging yesterday. It was one of those crazy days on the job where I had a lot of stories to get done and not enough time to add blogging into the mix. So my apologies and I’ll try not to let it happen again when I’m on game coverage.

OK, back to baseball. Jason Kubel gets the start in right field today as Joe Mauer is slotted in as the DH. Kubel’s numbers against Indians starter Fausto Carmona are likely a big reason that he’s in the lineup. Kubel is 8-for-18 (.444) vs. Carmona with two RBIs.

Alexi Casilla also gets a day off as manager Ron Gardenhire wanted to give Matt Tolbert a chance to try out some swing adjustments in a game. Tolbert has been working hard on his swing of late and this seemed the right time to give him a shot to see if those changes will help.

As for Michael Cuddyer, the soreness in his strained right index finger is moving from the knuckle to the palm of his hand. Gardenhire said he’s been told that it’s a good sign that the soreness is moving in that direction. Cuddyer was going to try to swing today and see how that goes.

And here are today’s lineups:

Indians
Ben Francisco, RF
Jamey Carroll, 3B
Victor Martinez, C
Shin-Soo Choo, LF
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Mark DeRosa, DH
Chris Gimenez, 1B
Trevor Crowe, CF
Luis Valbuena, 2B
Pitching: Fausto Carmona, RHP

Twins
Denard Span, LF
Joe Mauer, DH
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, RF
Joe Crede, 3B
Brendan Harris, SS
Mike Redmond, C
Carlos Gomez, CF
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Pitching: Scott Baker, RHP

Also a reminder that you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

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:

Indians
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)

Twins
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