August 2009

Pavano arrives in Detroit and Crede out for series

A busy day here at Comerica Park for the Twins, starting of course with the acquisition of pitcher Carl Pavano from the Indians. So here a few quick updates while I work on more stories for later.

— Carl Pavano arrived at the ballpark this afternoon after driving up from Cleveland and spoke with the media before batting practice. He’s excited to come to a division-contending team. He’ll get his opportunity to pitch quickly for Minnesota. Pavano is set to start Saturday against the Tigers and Glen Perkins will move into the bullpen for this series. Pavano will wear Torii Hunter’s old number, 48.

–Here is how the rotation will roll out for now. Scott Baker will make Sunday’s start in the series finale.Nick Blackburn is set to pitch Tuesday vs. Kansas City and he’ll be on regular rest, thanks to Monday’s off day. For now both Francisco Liriano and Perkins are still considered to be in the rotation, although as I said earlier Perkins will be out of the ‘pen for now. More decisions will be made on the rotation after they can talk to Liriano, who is currently in the Twin Cities dealing with a family matter.

— Third baseman Joe Crede will miss this series, as he’s going to have another cortisone shot in the AC joint of his right shoulder tonight. The pain has been steadily getting worse in his shoulder again and doctors feel another shot should help that. The hope is Crede will be ready to play Tuesday vs. Kansas City.

Twins (53-55)
3rd place in AL Central, 4.5 games back


Denard Span, LF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Brendan Harris, 3B
Carlos Gomez, CF
Nick Punto, 2B
Pitching: RHP Anthony Swarzak (3-4, 4.25)

Tigers (57-50)
1st place in AL Central

Curtis Granderson, CF
Placido Polanco, 2B
Clete Thomas, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Carlos Guillen, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Brandon Inge, 3B
Alex Avila, C
Adam Everett, SS
Pitching: RHP Armando Galarraga (5-10, 5.22)

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

Thursday lineups: Twins at Indians

Twins (53-53)
3rd place in AL Central, 3.5 games back


Denard Span, CF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joe Mauer, DH
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, LF
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Joe Crede, 3B
Mike Redmond, C
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn (8-5, 3.83)

Indians (44-62)
4th place in AL Central, 11.5 games back

Grady Sizemore, CF
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Shin Soo Choo, RF
Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Travis Hafner, DH
Chris Gimenez, 1B
Luis Valbuena, 2B
Trevor Crowe, LF
Wyatt Toregas, C
Pitching: RHP Fausto Carmona (2-6, 7.13)

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

One-liners with Gardy

Roadtrips are often very beneficial for a beat writer because it often gives you a little more time to talk to the players and coaches then you do when they’re at home.

And that usually leads to some humorous moments as well.

On the road, manager Ron Gardenhire’s pregame media sessions will often run much longer and feature a wide variety of topics. Like it did today when Gardenhire brought up former Twins pitcher, Rick Reed.

While talking about Scott Baker’s better pace on the mound of late, a reporter asked Gardenhire who was the slowest working pitcher that he’d had since taking over as manager. And Gardenhire didn’t hesitate with his answer of Reed.

“He was Father Time,” Gardenhire said. “He had birthdays during his starts. Not one birthday. Birthdays.”

This trip has already been memorable thanks to some of Gardenhire’s hilarious quotes, including one about Carlos Gomez’s bat flip following his home run on Tuesday night. While the manager didn’t see the flip, he said that it could have been worse.

“At least he didn’t have a cell phone at home plate and dig it up and call his mom or something like that,” Gardenhire joked.

As for Twins news, Michael Cuddyer is back in the lineup as the designated hitter. Gardenhire said that he’ll try to ease Cuddyer back into playing and there is a chance Cuddyer could return to right field in Thursday’s day game finale in Cleveland. But that will all depend on how his back responds tonight.

Joe Mauer is catching tonight. So there is a possibility he could be the DH on Thursday. Gardenhire said he’ll see how Mauer feels, adding that he’d like to have him as the DH in the contest.

Twins (53-53)
3rd place in AL Central, 2.5 games back


Denard Span, RF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, LF
Michael Cuddyer, DH
Joe Crede, 3B
Carlos Gomez, CF
Nick Punto, 2B
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano (4-10, 5.56)

Indians (44-62)
4th place in AL Central, 11.5 games back

Grady Sizemore, CF

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS

Shin Soo Choo, RF

Jhonny Peralta, 3B

Chris Gimenez, 1B
Jamey Carroll, 2B

Kelly Shoppach, C

Andy Marte, DH
Trevor Crowe, LF

Pitching: LHP Aaron Laffey (4-3, 4.08)

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

Back in Cleveland, but facing a much-different team

The Twins are set to get their first look at the Indians following the club’s recent fire sale. There are still a few recognizable names in Cleveland’s lineup including Grady Sizemore, Shin Soo Choo, Jhonny Peralta and Travis Hafner.

But perhaps the most stark reminder of the changes that took place in Cleveland is the two posters that have been painted over in the upper deck — which used to feature Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez.

As for Twins news — Michael Cuddyer was on the field this afternoon, taking early batting practice and running the bases. Everything went well and Cuddyer said he was feeling ready to play, but team trainers didn’t want Cuddyer to start the contest without seeing how his back reacted to the outfielder’s first activity in a couple days.

So Cuddyer will have to wait until Wednesday to be back in the lineup. Manager Ron Gardenhire did say that Cuddyer is available as a pinch-hitter for tonight’s contest.

UPDATE: Kevin Slowey underwent successful surgery on his right wrist Tuesday in Baltimore. The doctor was able to remove the bone chip in Slowey’s wrist. Afterward, Slowey went a text message to team trainer Rick McWane saying, “It went exactly as planned and we were happy with the outcome.”

Twins (52-53)
3rd place in AL Central, 3.5 games back


Denard Span, RF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Joe Crede, 3B
Delmon Young, LF
Carlos Gomez, CF
Nick Punto, 2B
Pitching: RHP Scott Baker (8-7, 4.86)

Indians (44-61)
4th place in AL Central, 11.5 games back

Grady Sizemore, CF

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS

Shin Soo Choo, RF

Jhonny Peralta, 3B

Travis Hafner, DH

Chris Gimenez, C

Luis Valbuena, 2B

Andy Marte, 1B
Trevor Crowe, LF

Pitching: LHP David Huff (5-5, 6.39)

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

Sunday updates: Twins vs. Angels series finale

Michael Cuddyer said that his back was feeling better on Sunday morning, but he was not in the starting lineup as expected. The plan still is to have Cuddyer use today and Monday’s off day to rest his stiff lower back before playing again on Tuesday when the club opens a three-game series in Cleveland.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said that Cuddyer could possibly be available to pinch-hit, although my guess is that he’ll try to avoid that option if at all possible.

Francisco Liriano threw a bullpen session this morning. Gardenhire hadn’t gotten an update on how it went before he spoke with the media, but indications were that no news was good news. So it’s still expected that Liriano will start Wednesday at Cleveland.

Here are today’s lineups:

Angels (62-40)
1st place in AL West

Chone Figgins, 3B
Erick Aybar, SS
Bobby Abreu, DH
Juan Rivera, RF
Kendry Morales, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Gary Matthews Jr., CF
Jeff Mathis, C
Sean Rodriguez, LF
Pitching: RHP Jeff Weaver (10-3, 3.71)

Twins (52-52)
3rd place in AL Central, 3.0 games back


Denard Span, RF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Brendan Harris, 3B
Carlos Gomez, CF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Pitching: LHP Glen Perkins (6-6, 5.42)

Buscher optioned to Triple-A Rochester

The Twins announced on Saturday afternoon that they had optioned infielder Brian Buscher to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Orlando Cabrera on the roster.

Buscher batted .227 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 53 games for the Twins this season. 

The club had expected to make a move following Friday night’s game, but Michael Cuddyer left the contest in the 11th inning with a strained lower back. Cuddyer said he expected to be fine for Saturday’s game.