September 2010

The MASH unit: Twins at Tigers 9/26

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

DETROIT — The Twins are a little banged up as they head into the series finale with the Tigers today trying to avoid a sweep.

Manager Ron Gardenhire is among the walking wounded. Gardenhire was feeling better on Sunday after getting hit in the right ear by a thrown baseball during batting practice on Saturday. Gardenhire’s ear is still not pretty but he will be managing the game today.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy has a swollen left knee and he is scheduled to be checked out by the doctor today. Hardy said he’s not sure how he injured his knee. He said he didn’t feel anything bother him during Saturday’s game but he woke up to a swollen knee on Sunday.

Denard Span fouled a ball off his right foot in his final at-bat on Saturday. He said he woke up with his foot feeling very sore, “almost fell out of bed,” he said. He was getting treatment on the foot and was not int he lineup..

Jim Thome’s back is still sore and he said that he has a knot in the left side of his back. He said he first felt something after Tuesday night’s clinching game. He seems to be a little
concerned, although the hope is that they’ll be able to get his back feeling better soon.

Jason Repko is still out with bruised right thumb after getting hit with a pitch last night.

As for Mauer, Gardenhire said that it’s possible that he could return to the lineup in Kansas City. If that’s the case, Mauer will probably be the DH. Gardenhire stressed that they just want to see the catcher healthy before he’s back behind the plate.

Twins

(92-62)

Ben Revere, CF

Orlando Hudson, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Jason Kubel, RF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Jose Morales, 1B
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Nick Punto, SS

Pitching: LHP Brian Duensing

(10-2, 2.19 ERA)

Tigers

(79-75)

Austin Jackson, CF
Casper Wells, RF
Ryan Raburn, LF
Miguel
Cabrera, 1B
Jhonny Peralta, DH
Brandon Inge, 3B
Scott Sizemore, 2B
Ramon Santiago, SS
Gerald Laird, C

Pitching: RHP Rick Porcello

(9-11, 5.22 ERA)

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Best record in baseball: Twins at Tigers 9/24

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

DETROIT — The Twins prepare to open up their series against the Tigers tonight at Comerica Park with a new distinction — owning the best record in the Major Leagues.

Thanks to the Rays winning two straight games over the Yankees, the Twins have taken over with the best overall record at 92-60. It’s a nice thing to have, manager Ron Gardenhire said, but he wishes that he can say that after the next 10 days when the regular season is over.

The key for the Twins down the stretch is to try to maintain the best record while also ensuring that the team is healthy entering the ALDS. The team’s opponent is still unknown as the Rays now trail the Yankees by just a 1/2 game in the AL East race. The Twins will face whoever finishes second in the race and one key thing to know is that Tampa Bay holds the tie-breaker over the Yankees with a 10-8 record against them this season.

Here are some Twins updates today:

Joe Mauer will not play in this series with the Tigers, Gardenhire said, after getting a cortisone shot in his left knee on Wednesday. It’s possible that Mauer could return to the lineup on Monday in Kansas City but that will all depend on how his knee is feeling.

Twins general manager Bill Smith said Thursday that there was nothing new to report on first baseman Justin Morneau, meaning that there has been no expectation for a return and also no official decision has been made to shut Morneau down either. On his weekly radio appearance on ESPN 1500 AM, Gardenhire was asked for a Morneau
update and said, “I don’t see how [a September or October return] can
possibly happen for him.” He then added, “I hope I’m wrong…I’m hoping all of a sudden he joins us somewhere.”

Jim Thome is not in the lineup for the series opener as he’s feeling a little stiff today, Gardenhire said.

Gardenhire also said that he tried to stack the lineup with as many left-handed hitters as possible today against Verlander. So Alexi Casilla is getting the start at shortstop, since he’s a switch-hitter, although Gardenhire stressed that J.J. Hardy is feeling just fine. Ben Revere also got the nod in right field.

Denard Span had an MRI exam on his right shoulder on Wednesday in a precautionary move since it had already been scheduled, and it didn’t show anything of concern. Gardenhire said that the MRI was part of his routine end-of-year physical and Span is back in the lineup again today.

.

Twins

(92-60)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Jose Morales, 1B
Ben Revere,
RF
Alexi Casilla, SS

Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano

(14-8, 3.44 ERA)

Tigers

(77-75)

Austin Jackson, CF
Scott Sizemore, 2B
Ryan Raburn, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Casper Wells, RF
Brennan Boesch, DH
Brandon Inge, 3B
Gerald Laird, C

Pitching: RHP Justin Verlander

(17-8, 3.46 ERA)

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Span to get precautionary MRI on shoulder; Mauer gets cortisone shot

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

Twins center fielder Denard Span is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his right shoulder on Thursday.

General manager Bill Smith said that the team had scheduled the MRI after Span missed three games last weekend after injuring the shoulder while diving for a ball in a game at Chicago on Sept.16. Span returned to the lineup on Monday and played all three games against the Indians.

“When he missed a couple games last week set this up,” Smith said. “And we decided to go ahead and have the MRI as a precautionary measure.He’s played a few games without any significant problems but we decided just to have it done.”

Span told ESPN 1500 AM on Thursday that he initially injured the shoulder during a dive in Oakland in early June. He said he’s been dealing with soreness in the shoulder on and off since that time, but said that it’s nothing that he can’t play through.

Smith also confirmed that catcher Joe Mauer received a cortisone shot in his left knee on Wednesday. Mauer injured his knee in Sunday’s game against the A’s, leaving after his at-bat in the sixth inning, but an MRI revealed no structural damage, just some tissue inflammation. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Mauer, who has not played since Sunday, would miss a few days if he received a cortisone shot.

The day after the clinch: Twins vs. Indians 9/22

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — What was joked about on Tuesday might be a celebratory brunch for the Twins has instead turned into one of those “day-after” contests.

As everyone knows, the Twins did indeed stick around last night to watch as the White Sox suffered a 7-2 loss to the A’s and then celebrated their sixth division title in the last nine years. Considering how the Twins rallied with a four-run inning in the eighth on Tuesday night to defeat the Indians 6-4, the timing was just too good for the club not to celebrate.

So today, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had to run around the clubhouse and see who was available to play. He said that Jim Thome was a little sore and Delmon Young said there was no chance he’d be OK to play.

Gardenhire  confirmed on Wednesday that Francisco Liriano will be the Game 1 starter for the Twins in the ALDS. Carl Pavano is in line for Game 2 and Brian Duensing will pitch Game 3. There is still no official decision as to whether the Twins will use a four-man rotation but if that’s the case, Nick Blackburn is in line right now to be the starter for a possible fourth game.

Indians (62-89)
Michael Brantley, CF
Drew Sutton, SS
Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Travis
Hafner, DH
Shelley Duncan, LF
Jayson Nix, 3B
Matt LaPorta, 1B
Luis
Valbuena, 2B
Chris Gimenez, C

Pitching: RHP Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 2.70 ERA)

Twins

(91-60)

Denard Span, CF

Alexi Casilla, SS
Jason Kubel, DH
Danny Valencia, 3B
Jose Morales, 1B
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Ben Revere, LF
Jason Repko, RF
Drew Butera, C

Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn
(9-10, 5.43 ERA)

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Magic number now at 2: Twins vs. Indians 9/21

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins have an opportunity to clinch the American League Central division title tonight with a little help from the Oakland A’s.

A victory by the Twins plus a White Sox loss would reduce the club’s magic number from 2 to 0 and give the Twins their sixth division title in the last nine years. But due to the White Sox playing on the West Coast and their game not starting until two hours after the Twins, it’s unclear whether the team will celebrate tonight if that happens.,

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that he will be at home by the time the White Sox are finished playing tonight. He brought up the fact that the Twins will finish off their series against the Indians with a 12:10 p.m. CT game on Wednesday.

“There is plenty of time to do what you have to do,” Gardenhire said of celebrating. “If we win tonight, and [the White Sox] lose tonight, I guarantee you
we’ll have some fun tomorrow, one way or another.”

One reporter jokingly asked, “A celebration brunch?”

“We’ll let you have a celebratory brunch,” Gardenhire said. “We’re
going to play a baseball game [Wednesday] and after the game, we’ll do
our thing … and we might even let you in.”

Indians (62-88)
Michael Brantley, CF
Drew Sutton, SS
Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Travis Hafner, DH
Jordan Brown, 1B
Andy Marte, 3B
Trevor Crowe, LF
Luis Valbuena, 2B
Lou Marson, C

Pitching: RHP Fausto Carmona (12-14, 3.81 ERA)

Twins

(90-60)

Denard Span, CF

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

Pitching: RHP Scott Baker

(12-9, 4.60 ERA)

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Mauer’s MRI provides good news

MINNEAPOLIS – The MRI on Joe Mauer’s left knee showed some tissue inflammation but nothing more serious, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before Tuesday’s game against the Indians.

“Everything came out good, so good news,” Gardenhire said.

Gardenhire said that Mauer would probably receive a cortisone shot to help with the inflammation in his knee, which would sideline him for around 4-5 days. A decision on whether Mauer will get the shot will be made once he consults with the Twins doctors on Tuesday night.

Mauer injured his knee while swinging in the sixth inning of Sunday’s 6-2 loss to the A’s, and the catcher left the game after it started to get worse while he ran up the first-base line.

The Twins are on the verge of clinching the American League Central title as their magic number was 2 entering Tuesday and there are 12 games remaining in the regular season, so Gardenhire said the timing of the injury isn’t such a bad thing.

“If they decide to do [the cortisone shot], then it’s probably 4-5 days, which he could use,” Gardenhire said. “That would be good [for him].”

Although Gardenhire had said that he wasn’t concerned that Mauer’s knee injury was anything serious since the doctors had not seemed concerned, he acknowledged that the positive results of the MRI were a bit of a relief.

“They told me in the first place it was nothing so I was listening to them,” Gardenhire said. “But I think you never know until you see an MRI, you never know what you can find.”

Until Mauer is ready to return to the lineup, the Twins catching duties will be split between Drew Butera and Jose Morales. Butera was behind the plate for Tuesday’s contest to catch starter Scott Baker and Morales was slated to catch Wednesday afternoon’s contest with Nick Blackburn on the mound.

Span is back in the lineup: Twins vs. Indians 9/20

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Denard Span is back in the Twins lineup after missing three games with a sore right shoulder that he had injured while diving for a ball on Thursday night in Chicago.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that outfielder Jason Kubel (sore left wrist) was swinging well during batting practice today and could possibly return to the lineup on Tuesday.

Catcher Joe Mauer (jammed left knee) was getting treatment this afternoon and is still considered to be day-to-day. So far Gardenhire said he’s been told Mauer just “tweaked” the knee and there is no reason to be overly concerned about the injury.

Here are the lineups:

Indians (62-87)
Michael Brantley, CF
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Shelley Duncan, LF
Jayson Nix, DH
Matt LaPorta, 1B
Andy Marte, 3B
Drew Sutton, 2B
Lou Marson, C

Pitching: RHP Jeanmar Gomez (3-4, 4.02 ERA)

Twins

(89-60)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Michael
Cuddyer, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
J.J.

Hardy,
SS
Jose Morales, C
Jason Repko, RF

Pitching: LHP Brian Duensing

(9-2, 2.07 ERA)

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Span out again: Twins vs. A’s 9/18

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — A quick turnaround with a day game today for the Twins.

It’s another lefty on the mound for the A’s and Denard Span is out of the Twins lineup for a second straight day due to a sore right shoulder. Joe Mauer is the DH today after spending some time behind the plate at the end of last night’s game, meaning Jim Thome is getting the day off.

I’ll have more updates later in the Twins Beat. For now, here are the lineups:

Athletics (73-73)
Coco Crisp, CF
Daric Barton, 1B
Mark Ellis, 2B
Jack Cust, DH
Landon Powell, C
Rajai Davis, RF
Akinori Iwamura, 3B
Chris Carter, LF
Cliff
Pennington, SS

Pitching: LHP Dallas Braden (9-12, 3.56 ERA)

Twins

(88-59)

Ben Revere, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, DH
Michael
Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
J.J.

Hardy,
SS
Jason Repko, RF
Drew Butera, C

Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey

(12-6, 4.24 ERA)

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A little banged up and bruised: Twins vs. A’s 9/17

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins have been the hottest team since the All-Star break, but the club returns home from its six-game roadtrip to Cleveland and Chicago a little banged up after cutting their magic number in the AL Central race down to 8 games.

Here are some of the noteworthy things to know today:

– Denard Span was scratched from the lineup with a sore right shoulder. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Span suffered the injury while diving for a ball on Thursday night in Chicago. Span tried to go out and take some swings today but was sore. So Ben Revere will get his first Major League start in center field tonight and will lead off for the Twins.

– Jason Kubel’s sore left wrist is feeling better but it looks like Sunday is the return date the Twins are targeting for the outfielder. Kubel said he didn’t plan to take any swings today.

– Joe Mauer is getting the night off from behind the plate. The Twins have a 12:10 p.m. CT on Saturday and so the decision was likely made to have him sit out tonight before catching Kevin Slowey tomorrow.

– It looks like Scott Baker could be used in a spot start sometime soon. The Twins are exploring options to give some of the other starters an extra day in between starts. Gardenhire did say that the start wouldn’t come anytime this weekend, so Francisco Liriano will remain on his normal five-day routine and start Sunday.

– Justin Morneau was at Target Field again on Friday and Gardenhire said that the first baseman told the skipper that he was “feeling really good.” Still, there was no real update on Morneau. The possibility of his return to the field this season still has not been eliminated.

Athletics (72-73)
Coco Crisp, CF
Daric Barton, 1B
Mark Ellis, 2B
Jack Cust, DH
Kurt Suzuki, C
Rajai Davis, RF
Akinori Iwamura, 3B
Chris Carter, LF
Cliff Pennington, SS

Pitching: LHP Brett Anderson (5-6, 2.94 ERA)

Twins

(83-57)

Ben Revere, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Delmon Young, LF
Michael
Cuddyer, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Danny Valencia, 3B
J.J.

Hardy,
SS
Jason Repko, RF
Drew Butera, C

Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn
(9-9, 5.51 ERA)



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Valencia is back in the lineup: Twins at Indians 9/10

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

CLEVELAND — Third baseman Danny Valencia is back in the lineup after missing five games with a tight right hamstring.

The Twins had good news in regards to a few other injured players as well.

– Jose Mijares threw 35 pitches in a  simulated game and everything went well. The left-hander will be available out of the bullpen for Saturday’s game against the Indians.

–Left-hander Brian Fuentes’ stiff back felt great while he played catch. He’ll throw a bullpen tomorrow and the Twins will see how he feels after that.

–Jim Thome is feeling good and he was swinging in the batting cages this afternoon. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Thome should be ready to play on Saturday

–Infielder Nick Punto (strained left hamstring) has been activated from the DL. Gardenhire said he’s not sure that Punto is quite 100 percent, but he can use him as a defensive replacement in games. Punto took swings during Mijares’ simulated game as well but Gardenhire said the team will stay away from using Punto as a pinch-runner.

Twins

(83-57)

Denard Span, CF

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

Hardy,
SS
Drew Butera, C

Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano (16-10, 3.52 ERA)

Indians (57-83)

Michael Brantley, CF
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Travis Hafner, DH
Jayson Nix, 3B
Matt LaPorta, 1B
Trevor Crowe, LF
Jason Donald, 2B
Lou Marson, C

Pitching: RHP Fausto Carmona (11-14, 4.05 ERA)

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