August 2010

Bring on the lefties: Twins at Rangers 8/25

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

ARLINGTON — The Twins added a lefty to their bullpen on Wednesday, claiming left-hander Randy Flores off waivers from the Rockies.

Flores was 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA in 47 games with Colorado this season. He was designated for assignment by the Rockies on Friday. Opponents are hitting just .224 off of Flores this season, but he has allowed 22 hits
and 13 walks in 47 appearances.

To make room for Flores on the 40-man roster, the Twins transferred left-hander Ron Mahay to the 60-day disabled list. Flores isn’t expected to join the Twins in time for Wednesday night’s game so a corresponding roster move to put Flores on the 25-man roster will be made after the contest. It’s likely that reliever Anthony Slama will be headed back to Triple-A Rochester.

The Twins are set to face left-hander C.J. Wilson tonight. It’s the first of four left-handed starters the club will see in the next five games — Cliff Lee on Thurs., Mariners’ lefty Jason Varags on Fri and Luke French on Sun.

Jim Thome had originally been slotted as the DH in tonight’s contest but he’s still sore after getting hit with a 97 mph fastball from Rangers closer Neftali Feliz in the ninth inning on Tuesday. Thome said he tried to run this afternoon and his leg was just too sore. So Jason Kubel will DH and Jason Repko is playing right field tonight.

Twins

(72-54)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon Young, LF
Jason Kubel, DH
Danny Valencia, 3B
Jason Repko, RF
J.J. Hardy, SS

Pitching: LHP Brian Duensing

(7-1, 1.92 ERA)

Rangers
(71-54)

Elvis Andrus, SS
Michael Young, 3B
Josh Hamilton, LF
Vladimir
Guerrero, DH
Bengie Molina, C
Mitch Moreland, RF
Jorge Cantu, 1B
Andres Blanco, 2B
Julio Borbon, CF
Pitching: LHP C.J. Wilson (12-5, 3.02 ERA)
 

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A little mustache magic? — Twins at Rangers 8/24

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

ARLINGTON — After nearly getting no-hit by the Rangers pitching staff on Monday night, the Twins will try to see if they can get the bats going at the Ballpark in Arlington tonight against right-hander Colby Lewis.

With Carl Pavano on the mound, Drew Butera is catching tonight and Joe Mauer is in the DH slot. That leaves Jim Thome on the bench. Thome is 4-for-6 with a home run off Lewis in his career. Still, there are very few numbers against Lewis. The only other that stands out is Orlando Hudson who is 4-for-7 off the right-hander.

Twins

(72-53)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, DH
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon Young,
LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Alexi Casilla, SS
Drew Butera

Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano

(15-8, 3.52 ERA)

Rangers
(70-54)

Elvis Andrus, SS
Michael Young, 3B
Josh Hamilton, LF
Vladimir Guerrero, DH
David Murphy, RF
Bengie Molina, C
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Andres Blanco, 2B
Julio Borbon, CF
Pitching: RHP Colby Lewis (9-10, 3.37 ERA)
 

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Bring on the Heat: Twins at Rangers 8/23

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

ARLINGTON — There is only one way to describe the weather here in Texas — HOT.

As you can see in the picture, when I drove to the ballpark today the temperature in my rental car read 110 degrees. So yes, it will be a steamy one tonight when the Twins square off against the AL West-leading Rangers.

The Twins did not get good news from the MRI on Ron Mahay’s right shoulder today. Mahay has a torn rotator cuff that he suffered in the awkward fall he took in Saturday’s game when the lefty stumbled off the mound trying to field a squibbler in the infield. It’s not Mahay’s pitching shoulder but he could need surgery to fix the problem and that means his 2010 season may be over. The Twins are still determining their next course of action for Mahay.
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Better news for the team when it comes to Kevin Slowey, who just has a mild strain of the triceps muscle in his right arm. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that the MRI on Slowey’s right triceps didn’t show too bad of a strain so that’s positive news. But they’ll take their time with Slowey’s recovery as they’ve got two weeks while he’s on the DL.

Here are the lineups:

 Twins

(72-52)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon Young,
LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
J.J. Hardy, SS

Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn

(7-7, 6.66 ERA)

Rangers (69-54)

Elvis Andrus, SS
Michael Young, 3B
Josh Hamilton, LF
Vladimir Guerrero, DH
David Murphy, RF
Matt Treanor, C
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Andres Blanco, 2B
Julio Borbon, CF
Pitching: RHP Rich Harden (4-4, 5.45 ERA)
 

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Sunday night baseball: Twins vs. Angels 8/22

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

Angels (62-62)

Bobby Abreu, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Torii
Hunter, RF
Hideki Matsui, DH
Erick Aybar, SS
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jeff Mathis, C
Peter Bourjos, CF

Pitching: RHP Jered Weaver (11-8, 3.11 ERA)

Twins

(71-52)

Jason Repko, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Jason
Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon
Young,
LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Alexi Casilla, SS

Pitching: RHP Scott Baker

(10-9, 4.85 ERA)

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Torii and Target Field: Twins vs. Angels 8/20

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — There are only 41 games remaining in the regular season but the Angels are making their first ever trip to Target Field.

So this is Torii Hunter’s first glimpse at the new ballpark and he sure is loving it.

I’ll have more on that later on the site. For now, here are the lineups.

Angels (61-61)

Bobby Abreu, DH
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Torii Hunter, RF
Juan Rivera, LF
Mike Napoli, C
Erick Aybar, SS
Brandon Wood, 3B
Peter Bourjos, CF

Pitching: RHP Dan Haren (1-3, 3.44 ERA)

Twins

(70-51)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Jason
Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon
Young,
LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
J.J. Hardy, SS

Pitching: LHP Brian Duensing
(6-1, 2.00 ERA)

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Punto to the DL; Tolbert recalled

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins infielder Nick Punto has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and the club has recalled infielder Matt Tolbert from Triple-A Rochester to take his spot on the roster.

The move comes just three days after Punto came off the DL for the same injury.

Punto re-injured his hamstring during Thursday night’s game against the White Sox. It initially appeared that Punto dived into second base while trying to break up a double play. But manager Ron Gardenhire said after the game that Punto didn’t actually attempt a dive but rather fell into the base after he “blew out” the muscle while running to second base.

Tolbert is batting .283 in 42 games with the Red Wings. In 23 games with
the Twins this season, Tolbert is batting  .217.

Going for the sweep: Twins vs. White Sox 8/19

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS –The Twins will try for their sixth sweep of the season on Thursday night when they close out this three-game set with the White Sox.

The Twins have won 21 of their last 27 games against Chicago. Wednesday night’s win pushed the the Twins’ lead in the American League Central to a season-high five games and a victory tonight would certainly give them a big cushion over the White Sox with 41 games remaining in the season.

Drew Butera is catching tonight with Carl Pavano on the mound. Joe Mauer, who hit his first HR at Target Field last night, is the team’s DH.

White Sox
(65-53)

Juan Pierre, LF

Omar Vizquel, 3B
Alex Rios, CF
Paul Konerko, 1B
Mark Teahen, RF
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Mark Kotsay, DH
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Gordon Beckham, 2B

Pitching: LHP Mark Buehrle (11-9, 4.05 ERA)

Twins

(70-50)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, DH
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon Young,
LF
Jason
Kubel, RF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Nick Punto, SS
Drew Butera, C

Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano
(15-7, 3.27 ERA)

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Morneau takes early BP: Twins vs. White Sox 8/17

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins are set to open up a big series against the White Sox tonight but most eyes this afternoon were on first baseman Justin Morneau as he took early batting practice with the team.

Morneau has been working out on a nearly daily basis at Target Field, but this was the first time that us writers had been able to see him hit with his teammates on the field. He sure didn’t look rusty, hitting a few balls out of the park. Afterward, Morneau joked that it was due to “fresh hands.”

But while it was good to see Morneau on the field and he’s even been sitting in the dugout during some recent games — both positive steps — the first baseman said Tuesday that there is still “nothing new to report.”

Morneau said he has yet to make it through a day symptom-free from the concussion he suffered on July 7 at Toronto. That will be a critical step for the first baseman before he and the club explore any further progress.

“It feels good in the morning when I wake up and as the day goes on, it doesn’t feel as good,” Morneau said.

So for now, the focus is back on the White Sox. The Twins have won five of the seven games they’ve played vs. Chicago since the All-Star Break and this week they have the opportunity to increase their lead in the AL Central race, which currently sits at three games.

One more newsy note: the Twins signed two additional draft picks before last night’s 11:01 p.m. CT deadline — 24th round pick catcher Michael Quesada and 46th round pick right-hander Adam Achter. The Twins agreed to terms with 31 of the 50 players they drafted, including all of their top 10 picks.

White Sox
(65-53)

Juan Pierre, LF

Omar Vizquel, 3B
Alex Rios, CF
Paul Konerko, 1B
Carlos
Quentin, RF
Mark Kotsay, DH
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Alexei Ramirez,
3B
Gordon Beckham, 2B

Pitching: LHP John Danks (12-8, 3.19 ERA)

Twins

(68-50)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Jason Kubel, RF
Delmon Young,
LF
Jim Thome, DH
Danny Valencia, 3B
J.J. Hardy, SS

Pitching: RHP Scott Baker (10-9, 4.76 ERA)


 

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Mauer behind the plate, Young gets day off — Twins vs. A’s 8/15

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer is back behind the plate today for the Twins after catching last night’s game.

Mauer hasn’t played many day games after night games recently, so it seems to be a sign that the catcher is feeling better. Manager Ron Gardenhire said that Saturday’s quick game and the lack of foul tips played a role in Mauer getting the start behind the plate as well.

Delmon Young is getting the day off today with Jason Repko starting in left field. Young had  started 56 straight games for the Twins and played every inning in those games, so Gardenhire felt that Young needed a rest. He said that Young looks to be fighting his swing a little bit right now, following a really hot stretch at the plate, and it could be due to the outfielder’s arms and legs being a little weary.

So Young will rest today and during Monday’s off day before returning to the lineup on Tuesday, but Gardenhire said Young is available off the bench if needed.

J.J. Hardy is getting one final day to rest his left wrist, but Gardenhire said Hardy will be back in the lineup on Tuesday. Hardy’s wrist has been feeling a lot better after taking a few days off.

A roster move is expected after the game to activate infielder Nick Punto. Gardenhire said on his weekly radio show on ESPN 1500 that the Twins will likely send out a catcher. So that means Jose Morales is likely headed back to Triple-A Rochester.

One other news note, the Twins activated Matt Tolbert from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Rochester.

Athletics (57-58)

Coco Crisp, CF
Daric Barton, 1B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Jack Cust, DH
Kevin
Kouzmanoff, 3B
Mark Ellis, 2B
Rajai Davis, RF
Chris
Carter, LF
Cliff Pennington, SS

Pitching: RHP Vin Mazzaro (6-4, 3.86 ERA)


Twins

(67-50)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Danny Valencia, 3B
Jason Repko, LF
Alexi Casilla, SS

Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey

(10-5, 4.45 ERA)

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Another one-run contest? — Twins vs. A’s 8/14

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins and A’s have played a total of four games against each other so far this season and all of the contests have been decided by one run.

Will that trend continue on Saturday night at Target Field?

The Twins have a stiff task ahead of them tonight against Oakland right-hander Trevor Cahill, who is 12-4 with a 2.56 ERA this season. Cahill has held opponents to a .192 batting average, which is the lowest mark in the American League and only once in his last six starts has he given up more than two earned runs in a contest.

In fact, in Cahill’s last three starts he’s pitched at least eight innings and has not allowed a single earned run in any of those outings.

Left-hander Brian Duensing will take the hill for Minnesota. Shortstop J.J. Hardy is out of the lineup for a third consecutive day due to a sore left wrist, but manager Ron Gardenhire said he’s just trying to give Hardy as many days as possible to get all the soreness out. With Alexi Casilla playing well at shortstop, it’s made that move a little easier and Hardy is available off the bench if needed.

Nick Punto (strained left hamstring) took batting practice with the Twins today. The club is now targeting Tuesday as a return date for him.

Gardenhire also said that left-hander Glen Perkins is available out of the bullpen tonight. Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain are two relievers the Twins would like to stay away from using and possibly closer Matt Capps as well. The rest of the relievers should be OK to pitch.

Athletics (57-57)

Coco Crisp, CF
Daric Barton, 1B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
Mark Ellis, 2B
Rajai Davis, RF
Jack Cust, DH
Chris Carter, LF
Steve Tolleson, SS

Pitching: RHP Trevor Cahill (12-4, 2.56 ERA)


Twins

(66-50)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon Young,
LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Alexi Casilla, SS

Pitching: LHP Brian Duensing

(5-1, 2.27 ERA)

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