June 2010

The Soul Patrol lineup? — Twins vs. Tigers 6/30

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS –With Joe Mauer not starting as he gets a day off to rest, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire did a little tweaking with the top of his batting order.

Rather than moving Justin Morneau up to the 3rd spot as he’s done when Mauer is not playing, Gardenhire shifted Delmon Young up from the eighth spot last night into the No. 3 hole for today’s game.

“We have the soul patrol leading off,” Gardenhire said. “We have [Denard] Span, [Orlando] Hudson, and Delmon. And that was
self-proclaimed by Delmon that the soul patrol will be the top three in the lineup today.”

Young’s reference of course was to the Twins’ original “Soul Patrol” which was the outfield consisting of Jacque Jones, Torii Hunter and Matt Lawton. And Young said that he was part of another soul patrol outfield during his time in Tampa Bay with B.J. Upton and Carl Crawford.

Even without Mauer, the Twins lineup appears pretty deep today. Michael Cuddyer is back at third base and Jim Thome gets his third straight start at DH as he sits one HR behind Harmon Killebrew (573) for 10th place on the all-time home run list.

Tigers (41-35)
Austin
Jackson, CF
Johnny Damon, LF
Magglio Ordonez, DH
Miguel
Cabrera, 1B
Brennan
Boesch, RF
Carlos Guillen, 2B
Brandon Inge, 3B
Gerald Laird, C
Danny Worth, SS
Pitching: LHP Andy Oliver (0-1, 3.00 ERA)

Twins

(42-35)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Delmon Young, LF
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 3B
Jim Thome, DH
Nick
Punto, SS
Drew Butera, C
Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey (7-5, 4.79 ERA)

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A.L. Central battle cont. w/o Zumaya: Twins vs. Tigers 6/29

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Tigers right-hander Joel Zumaya was diagnosed with a fracture in his elbow and will miss the rest of the 2010 season. But while it’s a disappointing injury for Detroit, it’s perhaps the best news for the pitcher since he suffered no ligament or tendon damage after he injured his arm while throwing a 99-mph fastball to Delmon Young in the eighth inning last night.

Zumaya could be back next season. But for now the Tigers will have to proceed on without their flame-throwing reliever.

Due to Zumaya’s injury, it was almost forgotten in last night’s contest that the Tigers now have a half-game lead in the AL Central. It’s a lead that the Twins hope will be short-lived as the two meet up for the second of three contests at Target Field tonight.

Right-hander Nick Blackburn will try to get back on track against the Tigers after a rough month of June. Michael Cuddyer is back at third base and Jim Thome, who brought a smile to everyone’s face with his triple last night, is back in the lineup at DH.

Tigers (41-34)
Austin
Jackson, CF
Johnny Damon, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Brennan
Boesch, LF
Carlos Guillen, 2B
Brandon Inge, 3B
Alex Avila, C
Ramon Santiago, SS
Pitching: RHP Armando Gallaraga (3-1, 3.68 ERA)

Twins

(41-35)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 3B
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Nick
Punto, SS
Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn
(6-5, 6.10 ERA)

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A special birthday wish

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

Today is Harmon Killebrew’s 74th birthday.

But while the Twins legendary slugger is celebrating his b-day today, his birthday wishes are likely directed at someone else special in his life that’s going through a difficult time.

Killebrew’s granddaughter, Caitlyn May White, was diagnosed with
Dilated Cardiomyopathy with WPW Syndrome just two weeks before her 9th
birthday this past April. Caitlyn now has to wear an AED vest all day, every day, in case her
little heart stops. If the medications don’t work, she will need a heart
transplant. Because of her “severe” condition, her cardiologist
immediately put her on the heart transplant list and began what he
called “long-shot” immediate medication treatment to try and shrink her
heart.

So Harmon is asking his friends and fans to help raise money for Caitlyn’s
care and medical treatment.

He is hosting a golf tournament in Arizona on Wednesday, June 30. The Killebrews are also setting up an online auction. Harmon and his wife, Nita, are first
asking for everyone’s prayers and secondly, asking for any auction
items, prize or cash donations.

All proceeds will go into a care and medical treatment trust account for
Caitlyn set up at Wells Fargo Bank.

For more information, everyone can go to www.harmonkillebrewfoundation.org

Battle for 1st place: Twins vs. Tigers 6/28

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins and Tigers enter this series separated by just a half-game. And while it’s only the end of June, it’s certainly an important three-game stretch for both clubs since the AL Central lead is on the line.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy was out on the field during batting practice today and said he’s not having any pain in his left wrist. Hardy has missed all but 12 games since suffering a bone bruise in the wrist back on May 4.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday that he hoped for Hardy to go out on a rehab assignment this weekend and perhaps join them for the series opener in Toronto on July 6. Hardy seems to be pushing to head out on his rehab stint a little earlier, giving him an “outside chance” to rejoin the team sometime this weekend during their series with the Rays at Target Field. Gardenhire said they’ll have to wait and see how Hardy does over the next couple days before making that decision.

As expected, Michael Cuddyer is back at third base for the series opener against the Tigers. Gardenhire wanted to get Jim Thome back in the lineup at DH without taking Jason Kubel or Delmon Young out of the lineup.

And Young is batting eighth tonight, providing quite a deep lineup since Young is tied for the team lead in RBIs with Justin Morneau.

Also, Nick Blackburn’s mustache is gone almost as quickly as it arrived. I first noticed that Blackburn had gotten rid of his beard, leaving just a mustache behind on Saturday night when I ran into him near the team hotel in New York. Blackburn said he was just trying out the look, but during a dinner he had with teammate Scott Baker he couldn’t help but laugh whenever he thought of the look. So although some of the media suggested sticking with the ‘stache through his start on Tuesday, Blackburn was clean-shaven on Monday. Still, Francisco Liriano said he might be up for the mustache look so perhaps Carl Pavano won’t be the only Twins starter donning one.

Tigers (40-34)
Austin Jackson, CF
Ryan Raburn, 2B Ramon Santiago, 2B
Magglio Ordonez, RF Ryan Raburn, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Brennan Boesch, LF RF
Carlos Guillen, DH
Brandon Inge, 3B
Gerald Laird, C
Danny Worth, SS
Pitching: RHP Jeremy Bonderman (3-5, 4.20 ERA)

Twins

(41-34)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 3B
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Nick
Punto, SS
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano
(6-5, 3.11 ERA)

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Facing Johan: Twins at Mets 6/26

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

NEW YORK — No surprise that much of today’s pre-game session with manager Ron Gardenhire focused on the club facing Johan Santana today.

Sure the team got some of the intrigue out of the way this spring when they faced Santana for the first time since he was traded to the Mets before the 2008 season. But with the Twins having lost four in a row, there is nothing they’d like better than to see things turn around and doing so against a pitcher like Santana would certainly be a boost as well.

But while everyone expects Santana and the Twins to be serious about the competition, Gardy still added that “we’ll get him to smile, I guarantee that.”

Left-hander Jose Mijares is at Citi Field. Pitching coach Rick Anderson was going to watch Mijares throw before the club made a decision on whether or not to activate him. Due to the family emergency Mijares was dealing with at home, he understandably was not able to throw at all while he was away from the team. So the club wants to make sure everything is OK and a roster move could still be made before today’s contest. Right-hander Jeff Manship is expected to be the player sent down when a move is made.

And here are the lineups:

Twins

(40-33)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, 3B
Jason Kubel, RF
Delmon Young, LF
Nick
Punto, SS
Carl Pavano, P
Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano
(8-6, 3.64 ERA)

Mets (42-31)
Jose
Reyes, SS
Jesus Feliciano, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jason
Bay, LF
Rod Barajas, C
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Ruben Tejada, 2B
Johan Santana, P
Pitching: LHP Johan Santana (5-4, 3.31 ERA)

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A first glimpse at Citi Field: Twins at Mets 6/25

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

NEW YORK — OK, I’ll admit that my first impression of Citi Field had everything to do with the maze that I had to go through in order to find the press box.

But looking out at the field, it’s certainly a much prettier ballpark than Shea Stadium which I got the chance to visit during Interleague Play back in 2007.

Jason Repko has arrived here at Citi Field. The team is waiting to see if Jose Mijares will make it to the ballpark before game time. Even then, it’s not a guarantee he’ll be activated tonight as manager Ron Gardenhire said he wants to find out if Mijares threw at all during his absence. The feeling is that it would be best if Mijares got a chance to throw a bullpen before he’s reinstated from the bereavement list so a roster move could likely wait until tomorrow.

Twins

(40-32)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, 3B
Jason Kubel, RF
Delmon Young, LF
Nick
Punto, SS
Kevin Slowey, P
Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey (7-4, 4.58 ERA)

Mets (41-31)
Jose Reyes, SS
Jesus Feliciano, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jason Bay, LF
Josh Thole, C
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Ruben Tejada, 2B
Mike Pelfrey, P
Pitching: RHP Mike Pelfrey (9-2, 2.69 ERA)

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Trying to avoid the sweep: Twins at Brewers 6/24

Twins

(40-31)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, 3B
Jason Kubel, RF
Delmon Young, LF
Nick
Punto, SS
Drew Butera, C
Nick Blackburn, P
Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn
(6-4, 5.80 ERA)

Brewers
(31-40)

Rickie Weeks, 2B
Corey Hart, RF
Prince
Fielder, 1B
Ryan Braun, LF
Casey McGehee, 3B
Jim Edmonds, CF
Jonathan

Lucroy, C
Craig Counsell, SS
Yovani Gallardo, P

Pitching: RHP Yovani Gallardo (6-3, 2.59 ERA)

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Kubel in lineup vs. lefty Parra: Twins at Brewers 6/23

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MILWAUKEE — The Twins lineup looked a little different on Wednesday, as Michael Cuddyer moved to third and Jason Kubel was back in the lineup in right field against left-hander Manny Parra.

I’ll have more later. For now, here are the lineups:

Twins

(40-30)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, 3B
Jason Kubel, RF
Delmon Young, LF
Nick
Punto, SS
Francisco Liriano, P
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano
(6-4, 2.98 ERA)

Brewers
(30-40)

Rickie Weeks, 2B
Corey Hart, RF
Prince
Fielder, 1B
Ryan Braun, LF
Casey McGehee, 3B
Carlos Gomez, CF
Jonathan
Lucroy, C
Alcides Escobar, SS
Manny Parra, LHP

Pitching: LHP Manny Parra (1-5, 3.91 ERA)

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Border Battle resumes: Twins at Brewers 6/22

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MILWAUKEE — Greetings from Miller Park and after missing the Phillies series this weekend, I’m back with the Twins for the rest of this Interleague roadtrip.

Tonight’s contest will mark the second and final series between the Twins and Brewers this season. The Twins took two of three in Minnesota last month without former Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy in the lineup and they’ll have to be without him again for this tilt.

Hardy didn’t make the trip to Milwaukee. He’s back in Minnesota as he rehabs from the bone bruise in his left wrist. But the good news is that Hardy has been taking swings off the tee and has not reported any of his symptoms worsening in his wrist. Still, it’s unclear exactly when he’ll be back for the club. Manager Ron Gardenhire reiterated that the club will wait until Hardy doesn’t have any pain in his wrist to make sure the bone bruise is healed this time before he returns.

Twins

(40-29)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Delmon Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Nick
Punto, SS
Scott Baker, P
Pitching: RHP Scott Baker
(6-5, 4.41 ERA)

Brewers (29-40)
Rickie Weeks, 2B
Corey Hart, RF
Prince Fielder, 1B
Ryan Braun, LF
Casey McGehee, 3B
Jim Edmonds, CF
Jonathan Lucroy, C
Alcides Escobar, SS
Chris Narveson, LHP

Pitching: LHP Chris Narveson (5-4, 5.79 ERA)

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Dueling Dominican aces: Twins vs. Rockies 6/17

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s the pitching matchup that Twins fans have been waiting all week to see: Liriano vs. Jimenez.

One Twins batter who won’t be in the lineup against Jimenez today is catcher Joe Mauer. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Mauer had gotten banged up by foul tips behind the plate in last night’s game (about 18 of them, he added) and over the entire homestand.

So Mauer will get the day off for the day game following the night game, but he will be available off the bench to pinch hit if needed.

Also, Gardenhire said there will be no roster move after the game. The team will head to Philadelphia with its roster as is, and they’ll evaluate Orlando Hudson during early batting practice on Friday. Hudson has been swinging left-handed but only off a tee in the cage and Gardenhire wants to see more before activating him.


Rockies (33-32)
Carlos Gonzalez, CF
Todd Helton, 1B
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Ryan Spillborghs, LF
Miguel Olivo, C
Melvin Mora, 3B
Brad Hawpe, RF
Chris Iannetta, DH
Clint Barmes, 2B
Pitching: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (12-1, 1.16 ERA)

Twins

(38-27)
Denard Span, CF
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Delmon Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Nick
Punto, SS
Drew Butera, C
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano
(6-3, 2.90 ERA)

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