June 2010

Lineup redux: Twins vs. Rockies 6/16

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Orlando Hudson was backing swinging right-handed during batting practice today, but manager Ron Gardenhire said that Hudson took some swings left-handed in the cage before BP.

That’s a positive step for Hudson and the target date now appears to be Friday for when he might be activated off the disabled list, as Gardenhire said Hudson feels he’ll be ready at that time.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy continues to rest and undergo his rehab program for his sore left wrist. Hardy has not started swinging yet and Gardenhire said the club is unsure whether he’ll need to go out on a Minor League rehab assignment before he’ll be ready to return.

“We just have to see when he gets well,” Gardenhire said. ” I would think that he should
probably be able to go right back into it, but again, I don’t know how
many more days it’s going to be, so I can’t tell you that.”

The Rockies have recalled former Twins reliever Juan Rincon from
Triple-A Colorado Springs in time for tonight’s game. Rincon was 2-2 with a 7.25 ERA and seven saves, having allowed 18 earned runs in 22 1/3 innings, along with 20 walks and 23 strikeouts. 

Rockies (33-31)

Carlos
Gonzalez, CF
Todd Helton, 1B
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Brad Hawpe, RF
Melvin Mora, 3B
Jason Giambi, DH
Seth Smith, LF
Chris Iannetta, C
Clint Barmes, 2B
Pitching: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-5, 4.04 ERA)

Twins

(37-27)
Denard Span, CF
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Nick
Punto, SS
Pitching: RHP Scott Baker
(5-5, 4.81 ERA)

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Waiting on O-Dog: Twins vs. Rockies 6/15

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — After a couple days off, I’m back on the beat today and hope that you enjoyed the coverage from associate reporter Jocelyn Syrstad this weekend.

The big question today for the Twins was whether or not Orlando Hudson would be activated from the DL. The answer to that is no.

Hudson (sprained left wrist) took part in batting practice today, but he’s still only swinging right-handed. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he won’t activate Hudson until he’s ready to swing left-handed as well and there is no clear cut answer on when that might happen. So for now Hudson remains day-to-day and there is no guarantee he’ll be ready to play at all during this series with the Rockies.

Matt Tolbert is getting the start at second base tonight against the Rockies and Nick Punto is at shortstop. Gardenhire said that Trevor Plouffe has been swinging at a few more pitches out of the zone since he was recalled, but he attributes a lot of that to the advance scouts. Still with both Hudson and shortstop J.J. Hardy still out, Plouffe and third baseman Danny Valencia should continue to see plenty of opportunities in the lineup.

Rockies (33-30)
Carlos Gonzalez, CF
Todd Helton, 1B
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Jason Giambi, DH
Ryan Spillborghs, RF
Seth Smith, LF
Miguel Olivo, C
Ian Stewart, 3B
Clint Barmes, 2B
Pitching: RHP Aaron Cook (2-3, 4.76 ERA)

Twins

(36-27)
Denard Span, CF
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Nick
Punto, SS
Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano
(6-6, 3.92 ERA)

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Saying goodbye to Bobby Cox: Twins vs. Braves 6/11

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Shortstop Trevor Plouffe has arrived in Minnesota after J.J. Hardy was placed on the 15-day disabled list last night. Plouffe and third baseman Danny Valenica will make the left side of the infield look like it has at Triple-A Rochester for much of this season.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire slotted Plouffe in the No. 2 spot in the order. While there have been some questions as to why Gardenhire doesn’t move Joe Mauer up into that spot, the skipper has said that he prefers not to shift his lineup dramatically and to leave Mauer in the third spot.

With the Braves in town, this series is a time for the Twins and their fans to reminisce about that classic 1991 World Series between the two clubs.

The Twins also are scheduled to have a tribute to longtime Braves manager Bobby Cox at 6:50 p.m. Cox is retiring at the end of this season, marking the end of a 29-year managerial career.

Braves (35-26)

Martin Prado, 2B
Jason Heyward, RF
Chipper Jones, 3B
Troy Glaus, 1B
Brian McCann, DH
Yunel Escobar, SS
Omar Infante, LF
David Ross, C
Melky Cabrera, CF
Pitching: RHP Tim Hudson (6-1, 2.44 ERA)

Twins

(35-25)
Denard Span, CF
Trevor Plouffe, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jim Thome, DH
Jason Kubel, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Nick
Punto, 2B
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano
(5-3, 3.10 ERA)

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Waiting on Hardy: Twins vs. Royals 6/10

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The bruised left wrist of shortstop J.J. Hardy is reportedly feeling better although it’s not perfect, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, but the team won’t know more about Hardy’s status until he is sees the team doctors around game time.

Hardy will be examined by the doctors and a decision on how to proceed will then be made. It’s possible that Hardy could be placed on the DL and if that’s the case, shortstop Trevor Plouffe will likely be called up from Triple-A Rochester. Gardenhire said he’s willing to wait a couple more days if Hardy will be ready at that time but they’ll have to see what the doctors say.

Right-hander Clay Condrey threw in the bullpen with no problems and he’ll soon be heading down to Fort Myers; Fla. where he’ll face hitters at
extended Spring Training.

The Twins also announced they have signed two of their draft picks. They are 9th round pick, Kyle Knudson, a catcher out of the University of Minnesota and 44th round pick, Daminksy, a left-handed pitcher out of St. Cloud State University.

Royals (24-36)

Scott

Podsednik, LF
Jason Kendall, C
David DeJesus, RF
Jose Guillen, DH
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Mitch

Maier, CF
Wilson Betemit, 1B
Chris Getz, 2B
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
Pitching: LHP Bruce Chen (2-0, 2.95 ERA)

Twins

(35-24)
Denard Span, CF
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Nick
Punto, SS
Pitching: RHP Scott Baker
(5-4, 4.52 ERA)

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Home Sweet Home: Twins vs. Royals 6/9

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Field has not been a home run hitter’s haven so far, but it certainly has been a welcome place for the Twins to return to after a long roadtrip.

While the Twins offense scuffled during their trip out West last week, the club erupted for seven runs in their first game against Kansas City on Tuesday night at home and that’s been a trend for this team. The numbers for the Twins hitters at Target Field have overall been better as they’ve hit .285 with a .374 on-base percentage and .418 slugging percentage, compared with  a .252/.322/.409 split on the road.

So the Twins will try to see if they can keep that up tonight against Kansas City.

As for news, not much going on today. The Twins are waiting until Thursday to see how J.J. Hardy’s left wrist is feeling following his cortisone shot yesterday. Hardy said his wrist was a little stiff today but that’s normal following such a shot.

Orlando Hudson was back on the field running around today, but manager Ron Gardenhire said that Hudson won’t be doing any swinging over the next few days. The hope is still that Hudson will be ready to go when he’s eligible to come off the DL on June 15.

Royals (24-35)

Scott
Podsednik, LF
Jason Kendall, C
David DeJesus, DH
Billy Butler,
1B
Jose Guillen, RF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Mike Aviles, 2B
Mitch
Maier, CF
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
Pitching: RHP Kyle Davies (4-4, 5.49 ERA)

Twins

(34-24)
Denard Span, CF
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Nick
Punto, SS
Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano
(5-6, 4.11 ERA)

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Orlando Hudson to the DL: Twins vs. Royals 6/8

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins have placed Orlando Hudson on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left wrist (retroactive to May 31) and they’ve reinstated outfielder Michael Cuddyer from the bereavement list.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Hudson visited the doctor in Arizona who performed his 2008 surgery. Everything was fine with his surgically-repaired wrist but the doctor agreed with the Twins physicians that he needs to rest the wrist for a few more days.

So Cuddyer will take Hudson’s spot on the roster for now. Hudson will be eligible to return from the DL on June 15.

J.J. Hardy was not placed on the DL, instead undergoing a cortisone shot in his left wrist on Tuesday. Hardy underwent another MRI and it showed that the bone bruise is still there. But since the medication Hardy started taking last weekend has helped his wrist, they felt this could help him to be ready to return to the club either Thursday or Friday.

Justin Morneau is also back in the lineup after missing two days with the stomach flu. Gardenhire said that Morneau is still working to get his strength back but he’s ready to play.

Royals (24-34)
Scott Podsednik, LF
Jason Kendall, C
David DeJesus, RF
Billy Butler, 1B
Jose Guillen, DH
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Mike Aviles, 2B
Mitch Maier, CF
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
Pitching: RHP Zack Greinke (1-7, 3.60 ERA)

Twins

(33-24)
Denard Span, CF
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Nick
Punto, SS
Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey
(6-3, 3.84 ERA)

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Valencia makes his debut: Twins at Mariners 6/3

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

SEATTLE — Third baseman Danny Valencia will make his Major League debut against the Mariners tonight, as the Twins try to split the series with Seattle.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy is not in the lineup tonight, which likely is just a break for him and his sore left wrist against the Mariners’ tough right-hander, Felix Hernandez.

UPDATE: Hardy said that his left wrist has gotten a little irritated the more swings he takes and tonight manager Ron Gardenhire wanted to give him a rest. Hardy didn’t take batting practice yesterday and likely won’t over the next few days as he tries to give his wrist a break.

Gardenhire said that Orlando Hudson took a few ground balls on Wednesday but that his left wrist is still sore. The club will see how Hudson is doing in Oakland, but the expectation is still that it could be a couple more days before he’s ready to return to the lineup.

Valencia is excited to be in the lineup tonight and make his debut — even if it is against King Felix.


Twins

(31-22)
Denard Span, CF
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Jason Kubel, RF
Delmon Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Nick
Punto, SS
Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano
(5-5, 3.99 ERA)

Mariners
(21-31)

Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Chone Figgins, 2B
Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Jose Lopez, 3B
Milton Bradley, DH
Casey Kotchman, 1B
Josh Wilson, SS
Rob Johnson, C
Michael Saunders, LF
Pitching: RHP Felix Hernandez (2-4, 3.50 ERA)

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Bring on Cliff Lee: Twins at Mariners 6/2

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

SEATTLE — Sorry for the lack of a lineup post yesterday. For some reason, I typed a blog entry and it never ended up posting. Oh well, guess I need to learn technology a little better.

After facing two pitchers who throw similar to their own starting staff the last two days, the Twins now face a bigger test in the final two contests of this series. Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez — perhaps two of the best pitchers in the American League — will start for Seattle beginning tonight with Lee on the mound.

Having gone 1-1 over the first two games of the series, it seems the Twins would be happy to walk out of Safeco Field tomorrow night with a split.

Here are the lineups. I’ll have more news later.

UPDATE: Of course the big news here in Seattle today is Ken Griffey Jr.’s retirement which came about suddenly. Griffey issued a statement and the Mariners were reacting to the news that the 22-year career of the future Hall of Famer had come to an end.

As for Twins news, there was plenty of that as well. Michael Cuddyer’s father-in-law, Jon Rente, passed away on Monday night and the Twins outfielder is leaving the team on Thursday for the funeral in the Arlington, Virginia/Washington D.C. area. Cuddyer is scheduled to rejoin the Twins on Tuesday for their homestand in Minnesota. The Twins will put Cuddyer on the bereavement list after tonight’s game and make a corresponding roster move.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire also said that infielder Alexi Casilla will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow to remove a bone spur and loose bodies on Friday. Casilla will miss 4-8 weeks. 


Twins

(31-21)
Denard Span, CF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael

Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Nick
Punto, 3B
Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey (6-3, 4.15 ERA)

Mariners
(20-31)

Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Chone Figgins,
2B
Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Mike Sweeney, DH
Milton Bradley, LF
Jose
Lopez, 3B
Casey Kotchman, 1B
Rob Johnson, C
Josh Wilson, SS
Pitching:
LHP Cliff Lee (3-2, 3.22 ERA)

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