May 2010

Cuddyer at 2B: Twins at Mariners 5/31

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

SEATTLE — Happy Memorial Day, everyone. I had a large group of service men and women on my flight to Seattle today and it was a real privilege to get to clap as they exited the plane before the rest of the passengers.

I had an update earlier on the blog about second baseman Orlando Hudson, who is scheduled to join the team in Seattle on Tuesday. A CT scan of Hudson’s surgically-repaired left wrist showed no new injuries and that’s good news for the Twins.

But with Hudson out tonight, Michael Cuddyer is getting his first start at second base since July 23, 2005.

Twins

(30-20)
Denard Span, CF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Michael

Cuddyer, 2B
Jason Kubel, RF
Delmon Young, LF
Nick
Punto, 3B
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano (4-3, 3.17 ERA)

Mariners (19-30)
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Chone Figgins, 2B
Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Milton Bradley, LF
Mike Sweeney, DH
Jose Lopez, 3B
Josh Wilson, SS
Rob Johnson, C
Matt Tuiasosopo, 1B
Pitching: Doug Fister (3-2, 2.03 ERA)

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Hudson update — will join team in Seattle on Tuesday

UPDATE: Twins general manager Bill Smith sent out an email to the team’s beat writers on Monday afternoon saying that Hudson will join the team in Seattle on Tuesday after the CT scan on his surgically-repaired left wrist showed no new injuries, just an old fracture.

“He reported to the clubhouse this morning with some
increased movement in his wrist, and our doctors were able to get a CT
scan on
the wrist this afternoon at Abbott Northwestern Hospital,” Smith wrote in the email.

“The scan shows an old fracture, but nothing acute
(new).  Dr. Dan Buss also spoke with the surgeon who did Orlando’s
wrist surgery at the end of the 2008 season and compared results.

“Orlando will fly to Seattle tomorrow and we will
re-evaluate
his status on a daily basis and hope that he can return to the lineup in 2-3 days.”

SEATTLE – Twins second baseman Orlando Hudson did not travel with his team to Seattle after injuring his surgically-repaired left wrist in a collision with center fielder Denard Span during the final play of Sunday night’s contest against the Rangers, general manager Bill Smith confirmed on Monday afternoon.

Hudson had X-rays done on his left wrist on Sunday night but those were inconclusive, Smith said, and he underwent a CT scan on the wrist on Monday morning.

Smith said the team will have a further update on Hudson sometime on Monday.

“We were able to get the CT Scan done,” Smith said. “He stayed back and felt better today and we’ll move accordingly.”

Hudson, 32, dislocated his left wrist back in August of 2008 and underwent surgery to repair it.

The Twins will kick off a four-game series with the Mariners on Monday night and prior to this series, Hudson had missed just one game for the club this season. He is batting .305 with 10 doubles, two triples, three home runs and RBIs in 49 games for the Twins. He’s been a solid fit for the club in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, posting a .377 on-base percentage and stealing four bases. Hudson has also paired with shortstop J.J. Hardy to give the club a solid middle infield presence, recording just two errors in 259 chances so far this season.

Sunday night baseball: Twins vs. Rangers 5/30

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Scott Baker takes the mound for the Twins in tonight’s ESPN Sunday night game as they try to cap off the series with a sweep over the Rangers.

Note, the game will air on ESPN and not ESPN2 as originally scheduled.

For now, here are the lineups.

Rangers (26-23)
Elvis

Andrus, SS
Michael Young, 3B
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Vladimir
Guerrero, DH
Josh Hamilton, LF
David Murphy, RF
Justin Smoak,
1B
Matt Treanor, C
Julio Borbon, CF
Pitching: LHP Derek Holland (2-0, 2.95 ERA)

Twins

(29-20)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando
Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael

Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Punto, 3B
Pitching: RHP Scott Baker (4-4, 4.48 ERA)

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Target Field bliss: Twins vs. Rangers 5/29

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Today is one of those days when I used to despise going into the Metrodome.

The sun is shining on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in the Twin Cities with temperatures expected to hit the high 80s. You can’t help but to smile as you head into Target Field on a day like this and realize what you’ve been missing during day baseball games in recent years. And yes, I know I’ve been focused on a lot on the weather since the season started but I’m making up for the previous four years I’ve been on the beat when I missed out on the beautiful Minnesota summers.

All right, back to baseball. Justin Morneau is getting a DH day. Nothing of concern, he just asked manager Ron Gardenhire if the DH spot was open today and both felt it would be a good day to give him a break from playing the field.

Nick Punto’s ring finger has been a little sore when he’s swinging from the right side so Gardenhire started Brendan Harris at third base today against Rangers left-handed starter C.J. Wilson.

This isn’t the first time the Twins have faced Wilson, but the southpaw is in a new role now. The former closer moved into the rotation at the start of this year. He has been tough on lefties, who are batting just .102 against him this season, so it will be interesting to see how the Twins’ lefties fare against him. Joe Mauer and Morneau have combined to tally just three hits and one home run in 21 at-bats against Wilson, although all of those did come when he was in a relief role.
 
Rangers (26-22)
Elvis
Andrus, SS
Michael Young, 3B
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Vladimir
Guerrero, DH
Josh Hamilton, LF
David Murphy, RF
Justin Smoak,
1B
Max Ramirez, C
Julio Borbon, CF
Pitching: LHP C.J. Wilson (3-2, 3.07 ERA)

Twins

(28-20)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando
Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, DH
Michael

Cuddyer, 1B
Jason Kubel, RF
Delmon Young, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Brendan Harris, 3B
Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano (4-5,
4.17 ERA)

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Two division leaders meet: Twins vs. Rangers 5/28

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Nick Punto makes his return to the Twins lineup tonight after being sidelined with a sore ring finger as his club opens up a three-game series with the Rangers tonight.

Punto took early batting practice on Friday afternoon and got through it fine, so Gardenhire said he slotted him back in the lineup.

Kevin Slowey is on the mound for Minnesota and will see if he can get out of his season-long streak of running his pitch count up early in contests. Only once in Slowey’s nine starts has he lasted longer than 5 2/3 innings, which came in an eight-inning gem against the Indians on April 20.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was asked about Slowey’s inability to pitch deep into games before Friday’s contest and said the key will be for the right-hander to stop trying to make the “perfect pitch.”

“I’d like to see him pitch to more contact and get hitters to swing earlier in the count,” Gardenhire said. “To get some quicker innings and quicker outs instead of having 15 and 20 pitches every inning. It’s just about throwing quality pitches down in the zone and pitching to contact earlier in the game, and that will get you deeper in the game.”


Rangers (26-21)
Elvis Andrus, SS
Michael Young, 3B
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Vladimir Guerrero, DH
Josh Hamilton, LF
David Murphy, RF
Justin Smoak, 1B
Max Ramirez, C
Julio Borbon, CF
Pitching: RHP Colby Lewis (4-2, 3.45 ERA)

Twins

(27-20)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando
Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Michael
Cuddyer,
RF
Jason Kubel, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Punto, 3B
Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey (5-3,
4.53 ERA)

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Trying to avoid a sweep: Twins vs. Yankees 5/27

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s an absolutely beautiful early evening here at Target Field as the Twins try to pick up a win against the Yankees and try to prevent a sweep like they did a little less than two weeks ago in the Bronx.

The club will be taking on right-hander Javier Vazquez, who is a familiar opponent considering the time he spent with the White Sox.

Alexi Casilla gets the start at third base tonight. Nick Punto (sore left ring finger) took some swings in the cage and took ground balls, doing his normal pre-game routine. So Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Punto should be in the lineup for Friday’s series opener against the Rangers.

The Twins players also enjoyed a little pre-batting practice action on the field as a group of hockey players stopped by to get in some hitting of their own. Among the players on hand were Mark Parrish, Andrew Brunette, Nick Schultz, and Derek Boogaard. When asked whether any of the players could consider a baseball career if the hockey thing doesn’t work out, Gardenhire joked that Boogaard could hang out on the Twins bench and act as the club’s enforcer for any on-field altercations.

Yankees (26-18)
Derek
Jeter, SS
Brett Gardner, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez,
3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Juan Miranda, DH
Francisco
Cervelli, C
Kevin Russo, LF
Pitching: RHP Javier Vazquez (3-4, 6.69 ERA)

Twins

(26-20)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando
Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Michael Cuddyer,
RF
Jason Kubel, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Alexi Casilla, 3B
Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn (5-1, 4.50 ERA)

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Hardy returns to lineup: Twins vs. Yankees 5/25

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Shortstop J.J. Hardy returns to the lineup tonight for the Twins.

Hardy said his left wrist is still not 100 percent, that there is some residual pain but it’s manageable. Over the past few days, he’s been testing the wrist as much as he can (“trying to injure it,” he joked) to make sure that he’s ready to go. And he feels like he is so the Twins get their everyday shortstop back.

To make room for Hardy, the Twins have optioned shortstop Trevor Plouffe back to Triple-A Rochester.

The Twins will still be a little short in their infield depth on Tuesday, as Nick Punto’s left ring finger is still sore after he got a cortisone injection on Sunday. Punto can’t hit tonight and probably can’t field, but he is available to pinch run. And the expectation is that he’ll be ready within a couple days to return.

Yankees (26-18)
Derek Jeter, SS
Brett Gardner, CF
Mark Teixeira, DH
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Juan Miranda, 1B
Francisco Cervelli, C
Kevin Russo, LF
Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (4-2, 3.86 ERA)

Twins

(26-18)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando
Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer,
RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Brendan Harris, 3B
Pitching: RHP Scott Baker (4-4, 4.88 ERA)

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Going for the Sweep: Twins vs. Brewers 5/23

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins will try to wrap up their series against the Brewers on Sunday afternoon and they’ll do so facing right-hander Marco Estrada.

Manny Parra had originally been scheduled to start for Milwaukee but the Brewers turned to him for the 11th and 12th innings in Saturday’s 8-7 win for the Twins. Estrada actually pitched in the sixth inning on Saturday as well, facing four batters. So it will be a pieced together effort by Milwaukee for the finale.

The Twins will be without a few guys in their lineup. Joe Mauer is getting a “day off” as he’s not starting behind the plate but he’ll be available to pinch hit late in the game. Nick Punto has a sore left ring finger and will be getting a cortisone shot today, but he said he should be ready to be back in the lineup on Tuesday.

Second baseman Orlando Hudson continued to show that it will take a lot to keep him out of the lineup. After suffering a bruised right elbow when he was hit by a pickoff throw in the seventh inning, Hudson is back in the starting lineup today as his elbow feels much better.

Also, it’s looking more and more like shortstop J.J. Hardy will be ready to be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday for the start of the Yankees series. Hardy took batting practice in the cage on Sunday morning at 100 percent and said his wrist didn’t hurt too badly afterward.

The plan is to have Hardy come in on Monday’s off day and get a work out in. Then if everything goes well during early batting practice on Tuesday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Hardy could be activated for the contest.

Funny moment of the day. There was a picture of a football player with his arm in the air and his finger pointed hanging next to the lineup today. Denard Span’s head had been taped on the photo — a reference to Span’s premature home run celebration in the ninth inning on Saturday. He’s certainly take some grief for that.
 
Brewers (16-27)
Rickie
Weeks,
2B
Carlos Gomez, CF
Ryan Braun, LF
Prince Fielder, 1B
Casey
McGehee, DH
Corey Hart, RF
Craig Counsell, 3B
Alcides Escobar, SS
George
Kottaras, C
Pitching: RHP Marco Estrada (0-0, 6.23 ERA)

Twins

(26-17)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando
Hudson, 2B
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer,
RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Brendan Harris, 3B
Trevor Plouffe, SS
Drew Butera, C
Pitching: RHP
Carl Pavano (4-4, 4.11 ERA)

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15 runs = No lineup changes: Twins vs. Brewers 5/22

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — As the old saying goes, if something isn’t broke don’t fix it.

The same goes for the Twins lineup.

One day after scoring 15 runs against the Brewers, the Twins are running out the same lineup as they get set to face Milwaukee’s ace Yovani Gallardo.

Shortstop Trevor Plouffe will get his second straight start for the Twins. Plouffe said he received plenty of texts and phone calls following his strong Major League debut in which went 2-for-5 with two RBIs. His family has flown in from California and will be here for today’s contest.

Infielder Alexi Casilla said his sore right elbow is feeling better today. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that the MRI on Casilla’s elbow showed some irritation from an old bone spur and a few loose bodies. But while his arm is still a little sore, Casilla will be available if needed today.

As for a more definitive timetable on shortstop J.J. Hardy, Gardenhire said he still doesn’t have an exact date although the club is still hoping to have him ready for Tuesday’s game.

Brewers (16-26)
Rickie Weeks,
2B
Carlos Gomez, CF
Ryan Braun, DH
Prince Fielder, 1B
Casey
McGehee, 3B
Corey Hart, RF
Joe Inglett, LF
Alcides Escobar, SS
George Kottaras, C
Pitching: RHP Yovani Gallardo (4-2, 2.89 ERA)

Twins

(25-17)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando
Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer,
RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Trevor Plouffe, SS
Nick
Punto, 3B
Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey (5-3, 4.70 ERA)

A
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Go-Go makes his return: Twins vs. Brewers 5/21

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Carlos Gomez was donning his usual mile-wide smile inside the visiting clubhouse at Target Field on Friday afternoon.

Gomez was activated from the disabled list on Friday, just in time to return to the lineup against the Twins. He’s excited to face his former team as both kick off Interleague Play. Gomez is playing center field and batting second for Milwaukee.

Shortstop Trevor Plouffe has arrived in Minnesota and he’s in the starting lineup, making his Major League debut. Plouffe, 23, was a first round pick of the Twins in the 2004 Draft. He’s gotten off to a hot start at Rochester this year, batting .303 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 38 RBIs before getting his first callup.

The Twins are going to be a little thin on infield depth tonight as Alexi Casilla went to get an MRI on his right elbow. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Casilla has been battling a sore right arm for the last 5 days to a week but it was worse on Friday, prompting the test.


Brewers (16-25)

Joe Inglett, 2B
Carlos Gomez, CF
Ryan Braun, LF
Prince Fielder, 1B
Casey McGehee, DH
Corey Hart, RF
Craig Counsell, 3B
George Kottaras, C
Alcides Escobar, SS
Pitching: RHP Dave Bush (1-4, 4.27 ERA)

Twins

(24-17)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando
Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer,
RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Trevor Plouffe, SS
Nick Punto, 3B
Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn (4-1, 4.63 ERA)

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