September 2010

Fox claimed by Red Sox

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Right-hander Matt Fox was claimed off waivers by the Boston Red Sox, the Twins announced on Thursday.

The move comes less than a week after Fox made his Major League debut for the Twins. With the club desperate for pitching help after a 13-inning loss to Detroit, the Twins added Fox to their 40-man roster and called him up from Triple-A Rochester to make a spot start against the Rangers.

Fox delivered a solid outing for the Twins, holding the Rangers to two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He finished the start with a no
decision, as the Twins came back to win 4-3.

Two days later the Twins designated Fox for assignment in order to open up a spot on their 40-man roster for outfielder Ben Revere, who was brought up to the Majors from Double-A New Britain. It wasn’t an easy move for the club considering Fox’s performance, but the pitcher wasn’t considered a top prospect and it was the only move the club could make.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had said that he would be very excited for Fox if another Major League team picked him up and put the right-hander on their roster.

“I wish we could have done something there (to keep
him), but like I said, the roster’s such a tough thing,” Gardenhire
said. “One of these teams could bring him up and say, ‘We’re going to
keep you.’ That would be wonderful. Honestly, that would be good for
him. He’s a nice kid and did a heck of a job.” 

Now, Fox is getting that opportunity with another Major League team.

Thome scratched from lineup

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Designated hitter Jim Thome has been scratched from the Twins lineup tonight.

No reason has been given yet for the lineup change.

Left fielder Delmon Young has been moved up to sixth in the batting order. Jose Morales will take Thome’s spot as the DH and will bat seventh.

Fuentes getting an MRI

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Left-hander Brian Fuentes was getting an MRI on his lower back on Wednesday evening as the reliever continues to battle some stiffness in his back.

Fuentes threw a bullpen session on Tuesday at about 70 percent effort, manager Ron Gardenhire said, and when the lefty arrived in the clubhouse on Wednesday he was feeling pretty stiff.

“They want to get his back checked out,” Gardenhire said. “We’ll see where we’re at, see what’s going on.””

Fuentes missed 16 days during a stint on the disabled list in April with a lower-back issue.
Gardenhire said he’s been told that Fuentes’ back problem earlier this
season was due to a bulging disk.

Fuentes has faced just one batter since the Twins acquired him on Aug. 27 in a waiver trade with the Angels. He recorded the last out of a game against Seattle, retiring Russell Branyan for a save on Aug. 28.

Labor day baseball: Twins vs. Royals 9/6

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

Royals (57-79)
Gregor Blanco, CF
Mitch Maier, RF
Billy Butler, DH
Kila Ka’aihue, 1B
Wilson Betemit, 3B
Alex Gordon, LF
Brayan Pena, C
Chris Getz, 2B
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

Pitching: RHP Sean O’Sullivan (2-4, 5.50 ERA)

Twins

(80-57)

Denard Span, CF

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

Hardy,
SS
Matt Tolbert, 3B

Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey (11-6, 4.39 ERA)

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Pitching, pitching, pitching: Twins vs. Rangers 9/3

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — As many of you already know, the Twins have called up three pitchers from Triple-A Rochester to join the club in time for tonight’s game against the Rangers.

Right-hander Matt Fox will make his Major League debut as he gets the start vs. Texas. Nick Blackburn had originally been slated to start tonight, but he was forced into action in the 13th inning of last night’s 10-9 loss to the Tigers.

An interesting tidbit on Fox is that he was college teammates with Drew Butera at Central Florida. I was interested to see if Butera might get the start but with the Twins looking for offense, Joe Mauer is back behind the plate after catching all 13 innings last night.

In addition to Fox, the Twins will have right-handers Rob Delaney and Alex Burnett available out of the bullpen. This is Delaney’s first Major League callup while Burnett spent a good part of the first half with the team, going 1-2 with a 4.39 ERA.

While the Twins needed pitching, the rest of the club isn’t exactly in full health either. Good news is that Jim Thome and Orlando Hudson are both back in the lineup tonight. Hopefully we’ll get some updates on other players such as Jason Kubel, Brian Fuentes,
Kevin Slowey and Justin Morneau, who was expected to be back at Target Field today.

Tonight’s first pitch will be pushed back to 7:40, as the Twins begin their 50 year celebration weekend by honoring
their 50 greatest all-time players.

Oh and I wasn’t able to get this tidbit in my game story last night. This courtesy of Dustin Morse of the Twins and the Elias Sports Bureau.Brian Duensing tossed two innings of relief two days after a 6?-inning
start.  He was the first major-leaguer in more than 10 years to throw
at least two innings in relief in a game that followed by only one or
two days a start of more than six innings.  The last pitcher to do that
had been Steve Woodard of the Brewers in May 2000.

INJURY UPDATES:

Jason Kubel said that he had an x-ray and an MRI on his left wrist and said they didn’t show any damage. So his goal is to return to the lineup by Sunday.

Brian Fuentes’ back is feeling better but it sounds like he won’t be available tonight.

Here is how Gardy says the rotation will stack up over the next few days:

Sat– Pavano, Sun – Blackburn, Mon -Slowey, Tues – Liriano and Wed – Duensing

Rangers (75-58)

Elvis Andrus, SS
Michael Young, 3B
David Murphy, LF
Josh Hamilton, DH
Nelson Cruz, RF
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Bengie Molina, C
Julio Borbon, CF

Pitching: LHP Derek Holland (2-2, 4.76 ERA)

Twins

(77-57)

Denard Span, CF

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

Hardy,
SS

Pitching: RHP Matt Fox

(Major League Debut)

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Twins call up three pitchers — Matt Fox to start tonight

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — After having to use a total of eight pitchers in Thursday night’s 10-9 loss in 13 innings to the Tigers, the Twins have brought up some additional arms from Triple-A Rochester.

The Twins announced Friday that three pitchers will join the club in time for Friday’s game against the Rangers. Right-hander Matt Fox will get the start against Texas, after scheduled starter Nick Blackburn had to pitch in Thursday’s loss. The team will also have right-handed relievers Rob Delaney and Alex Burnett available out of the bullpen.

Fox, who will be making his Major League debut, is the somewhat surprise pick of the group. He was not on the 40-man roster but had been one of the best pitchers recently for Rochester. He’s moved back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen for the Red Wings this season, last pitching on Monday at Pawtucket. He pitched six innings in that start, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits. He is 6-9 with a 3.95 ERA in 35 appearance (21 starts) for Rochester this season and is 2-2 with a 3.07 ERA in last 10 games (seven starts).

This is also the first call-up for Delaney. He is 7-9 with a 4.73 ERA in 61 appearances (80 innings) for the Red Wings this season.

Burnett will be rejoining the team after two stints with the club earlier this season. The right-hander was 1-2 with a 4.39 ERA in 35 appearances for the Twins this season.

To put Fox on the 40-man roster, the Twins transferred Justin Morneau to the 60-day disabled list. That isn’t necessarily a sign that Morneau’s season is officially over. He has been on the DL close to 60 days already so he can be added back to the roster if he proves to be ready sometime later this month.

Trying for the brooms: Twins vs. Tigers 9/2

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins will try to capture their sixth series sweep of the season tonight when they close out their three-game set with the Tigers.

It’s pretty quiet out here at the ballpark today in terms of media. Of course, that likely has a lot to do with the fact that the Twins and Vikings are playing at the same time — marking the first time that’s likely happened in the two teams history since for most of the last 50 years they shared facilities. The University of Minnesota Gophers are also playing tonight, although they are on the road to face Middle Tennessee State. And tonight is also the high school football opener for many schools. Certainly a lot of sports in the Twin Cities tonight.

The Twins will be facing Justin Verlander, who is 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA in two starts vs. MIN this year.

Below is one great stat thanks to Dustin Morse, the Twins manager of baseball communications. You can follow him on twitter @Twins_morsecode

Joe Mauer is career .357 hitter off Detroit’s
Justin Verlander…for Mauer, Verlander is the only pitcher he has hit 3
home runs against.

INJURY UPDATES:

Jason Kubel’s left wrist is still sore and swollen. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Kubel will likely undergo further testing on the wrist due to the soreness he’s still experiencing.

Orlando Hudson’s right foot is feeling better and he was out taking part in all of batting practice with the team, but Gardenhire said he’s still a day away. Brian Fuentes’ back is feeling better but he’s still likely a couple days away.

Jim Thome could possibly be back as the DH on Friday. He took swings out on the field during BP and said his back was feeling better as well.

Tigers (65-68)

Austin Jackson, CF
Will Rhymes, 2B
Johnny Damon, DH
Miguel
Cabrera, 1B
Brennan Boesch, RF
Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Don Kelly, LF
Alex Avila, C
Ramon Santiago,
SS

Pitching: RHP Justin Verlander (14-8, 3.58 ERA)

Twins

(77-56)

Denard Span, CF

Alexi Casilla, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon
Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Jose Morales, DH
Jason Repko, RF
J.J.
Hardy,
SS

Pitching: RHP Scott Baker

(12-9, 4.55 ERA)

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Liriano tries to shut down Detroit: Twins vs. Tigers 9/1

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s September and scoreboard watching now will become a daily occurrence. But tonight, the Twins already know what they need to do.

The White Sox closed out their series with the Indians this afternoon with a 6-4 win thanks to Paul Konerko’s three-run homer in the eighth inning. That means that the Twins’ lead in the AL Central currently stands at 3 1/2 games and they need a win tonight over the Tigers to bring that back to four games.

Pre-game for the Twins today was injury central and perhaps the key phrase of manager Ron Gardenhire’s session was “day-to-day”. Jim Thome was originally in the lineup as the Twins DH but he was scratched and replaced by Jose Morales. Thome’s back was feeling OK when he took some early swings, but it tightened up on him when he tried to run on the field. So he’s still considered day-to-day.

Orlando Hudson had an MRI on his right ankle. It showed some inflammation and a little swelling in the ankle, but “nothing big” according to Gardenhire. Hudson is taking some medication to help with the inflammation and he’s also considered day-to-day.

Jason Kubel was icing his left wrist in the clubhouse. He said that the swelling has gone down and his wrist is feeling better after getting by a pitch. But he won’t take any swings today and it will be a couple days before he’s ready to return.

Brian Fuentes said that his back was feeling better but he’s still waiting for the medicine to really kick in. So he likely will be a couple days as well. And I bet you can guess that he’s also “day-to-day”

Also, I blogged it earlier but the Twins finalized their trade for Fuentes by sending right-hander Loek Van Mil to the Angels. Van Mil, 25, had been designated for assignment on Saturday to make room for Fuentes on the 40-man roster.

Tigers (65-67)

Austin Jackson, CF
Will Rhymes, 2B
Casper Wells, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Jhonny Peralta, DH
Brandon Inge, 3B
Ramon Santiago, SS
Brennan Boesch, RF
Gerald Laird, C

Pitching: RHP Max Scherzer (10-9, 3.60 ERA)

Twins

(76-56)

Denard Span, CF

Alexi Casilla, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon
Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Jose Morales, DH
Jason Repko, RF
J.J. Hardy,
SS

Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano

(12-7, 3.41 ERA)

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Van Mil to Angels to finalize Fuentes trade

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS –The Twins sent right-hander Loek Van Mil to the Angels on Wednesday, finalizing their trade for left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes.

The Twins had until Oct. 15 to send the Angels a player to be named or cash. Typically in that type of trade, a club gives up a mid-level prospect and Van Mil falls into that category.

Van Mil, 25, had been designated for assignment on Saturday to make room for Fuentes on the 40-man roster.

The 7-foot-1 pitcher was 1-2 with a 6.37 ERA in 23 games for Double-A New Britain this season after beginning the year with Class A Fort Myers, where he went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three outings. Van Mil also was invited to the Twins Major League Spring Training prior to this year, but soreness in his shoulder prevented him from being able to take part in most of the drills. And while Van Mil was considered to have a strong arm, injuries have hampered his development since the Twins signed him as a non-drafted free agent in 2005.