Results tagged ‘ Denard Span ’

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.

Twins sign Denard Span to five-year, $16.5 million contract w/club option

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins have locked up their leadoff hitter, agreeing to terms with center fielder Denard Span on a five-year, $16.5 million contract extension.

The deal, which was announced Saturday, also includes a $9 million club option for the 2015 season with a $500,000 buyout.

Span is set to make $750,000 this season. He’ll make $1 million in 2011, $3 million in ’12, $4.75 million in ’13, and $6.5 million in ’14.

Last season, Span emerged as one of the top leadoff hitters in the league, batting .311 with a .392 on-base percentage and 68 RBIs in 145 games for the Twins. While he roamed all three outfield spots in 2009 for Minnesota, he will be the club’s permanent center fielder this season after Carlos Gomez was traded to Milwaukee in exchange for shortstop J.J. Hardy.

Span was Minnesota’s first-round draft pick in 2002.

Twins 2009 Diamond Award Winners

The Twins announced the recipients of the 2009 Diamond Awards, which are voted upon by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Here are the winners:

  • Calvin R. Griffith Most Valuable Twin — Joe Mauer
  • Joseph W. Haynes Pitcher of the Year — Joe Nathan
  • Charles O. Johnson Most Improved Twin — Michael Cuddyer
  • Bill Boni Outstanding Rookie of the Year — Jose Mijares
  • Dick Siebert Upper Midwest Player of the Year — Mauer
  • Mike Augustin Media Good Guy Award — Denard Span
  • Bob Allison Leadership Award — Cuddyer

The Twins also select a few winners of their own, here they are:

  • Carl R. Pohlad Award for Community Service — Justin Morneau
  • Kirby Puckett Award for Alumni Community Service — Rod Carew
  • Sherry Robertson Award for Minor League Player of the Year — Ben Revere
  • Jim Rantz Award for Minor League Pitcher of the Year — David Bromberg

The awards will be given out at the Fifth Annual Diamond Awards Dinner, which will take place on Jan. 28, 2010, at the Hilton Minneapolis. The event will benefit brain, nerve and muscle disorders research at the University of Minnesota

Welcome Back, Denard Span

Denard Span arrived at Kauffman Stadium on Friday afternoon to take part in early batting practice and see if he was indeed ready to return to the lineup four days after getting hit in the back of the helmet with a pitch.

Span didn’t do any hitting in early BP, but he ran around on the field and stood in for some bullpen sessions. Everything went well enough that he’s back manning center field and hitting leadoff for the first time since Monday in Chicago.

“I don’t feel dizzy or anything like that,” Span said.”I feel good and ready to go.”

Span stood in on two bullpen sessions — one by Francisco Liriano and another by Nick Blackburn — so he got to see both left-handed and right-handed pitching. The real test, he said, was seeing Liriano throw since it was left-hander Randy Williams who hit him with the 91 mph fastball.

“It was good just to see the ball coming out of his hand and at game speed,” Span said. “So tonight if a lefty does come in later in the game, I’ll be ready hopefully.”

After getting hit by the pitch, Span missed the final two contests in Chicago and then got another day of rest during the Twins’ off day on Thursday. Span said he never would have wanted to get that much time off if he hadn’t gotten hit by the pitch, but the three-day break has provided some benefits.

“I definitely feel a bit more fresh,” Span said. “Even in the cage, my hands felt a little quicker than they usually do at this time of the year.”

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has said that the biggest challenge for a hitter is getting back in the batter’s box for the first time after he’s been hit in the head. Since this was the first time it’s ever happened to Span, he doesn’t know exactly how he’ll react.

His hope is just that he can focus like it’s any normal at-bat.

“I’ve been praying that everything goes fine and any fears I have, once I get back in the box, won’t be going through my head,” Span said.

Here comes the next test: Twins at Royals 9/25

Following a day off on Thursday, the Twins now find themselves sitting three games back of the Tigers in the AL Central race.

The good news for the Twins is that their leadoff hitter, Denard Span, is back in the lineup for the first time since Monday when he was hit in the back of the helmet by a pitch. Span arrived for early batting practice and stood in on the bullpen sessions of Francisco Liriano and Nick Blackburn, giving him a chance to see both left-handed and right-handed pitching. Span said he feels ready to go and after a few days off, his body feels especially rested at this late point in the season.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Francisco Liriano is officially the starter for Sunday’s series finale in Kansas City. He’ll be matched up against Royals ace and Cy Young candidate Zack Greinke.

But first up for the Twins is a big test tonight against right-hander Robinson Tejada. In four starts since being moved to the rotation from the bullpen earlier this month, Tejada is 3-0 with a 0.81 ERA. That includes two wins over the Tigers.

Also an interesting note from the Elias Sports Bureau: Dating back to Aug. 31, right-handed hitters are a combined 0-for-39 against Tejada. It’s the longest consecutive hitless at-bats by right-handed batters against any pitcher this season.

Twins (79-73)
2nd place in AL Central, 3 games back

Denard Span, CF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon Young, LF
Jose Morales, DH
Matt Tolbert, 3B
Nick Punto, 2B
Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano (12-11, 4.82)

Royals (63-90)
4th place in AL Central, 19.5 games back
Willie Bloomquist, RF
Mitch Maier, LF
Billy Butler, 1B
Mike Jacobs, DH
Alberto Callaspo, 2B
John Buck, C
Alex Gordon, 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
Josh Anderson, CF
Pitching: RHP Robinson Tejada (4-1, 2.94)

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

Twins go for sweep

Tonight the Twins are trying for their first three-game sweep over the White Sox in Chicago since July 24-26, 2006

They’ll be trying for the feat without Denard Span for a second consecutive day. The club’s leadoff hitter said he was feeling better on Wednesday, two days after getting hit in the head by a pitch, but he was not in the lineup. Span planned on taking batting practice with the club and preparing himself as if he was playing. He expects to be back on the field for Friday’s series opener in Kansas City.

Sounds like Francisco Liriano will be the starter on Sunday in Kansas City. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was pleased enough with what he saw from Liriano in his 2 1/3 inning relief outing last night that the left-hander will get the nod in the series finale with the Royals.

Just a note that the Twins are expected to face Zack Greinke in both of their remaning series with the Royals. Greinke will pitch Sunday in KC and he’s also in line to start on Oct. 3 vs. Minnesota.

Twins (78-73)
2nd place in AL Central, 2 1/2 games back

Carlos Gomez, CF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon Young, LF
Brendan Harris, DH
Matt Tolbert, 3B
Nick Punto, 2B
Pitching: LHP Brian Duensing (4-1, 3.22)

White Sox (73-79)
3rd place in AL Central, 8 games back
Jayson Nix, 2B
Gordon Beckham, 3B
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Paul Konerko, 1B
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Jermaine Dye, RF
Carlos Quentin, LF
Alex Rios, CF
Tyler Flowers, DH
Pitching: LHP Mark Buehrle (12-9, 3.84)

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

Span out of lineup, Gomez leading off

Denard Span is not in the lineup after getting hit in the head by a pitch in the sixth inning of last night’s contest. Carlos Gomez gets the start in center field and will lead off. I’ll have more on Span once we go into the clubhouse.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is going for career win No. 700 tonight against the White Sox.

There is certainly going to be plenty of scoreboard watching going on tonight. The Tigers open up a three-game series in Cleveland and with the Twins only 2 1/2 games back, they will be interested to see how those contests go.

Here are today’s lineups:

Twins (77-73)
2nd place in AL Central, 2 1/2 games back

Carlos Gomez, CF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon Young, LF
Brendan Harris, DH
Matt Tolbert, 3B
Nick Punto, 2B
Pitching: RHP Jeff Manship (0-1, 5.31)

White Sox (73-78)
3rd place in AL Central, 7 games back
Scott Podsednik, CF
Gordon Beckham, 3B
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Paul Konerko, 1B
Mark Kotsay, DH
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Carlos Quentin, LF
Chris Getz, 2B
Alex Rios, RF
Pitching: LHP John Danks (12-9, 3.59)

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

Welcome Back, Denard Span

One of the first people I saw walking around on the field when I arrived at Miller Park this afternoon was Denard Span. The outfielder made it through his two rehab games at Triple-A Rochester alive — although not without a new bruise, this one on the palm of his left hand.

Span was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning of Rochester’s game on Tuesday night. His left thumb and the palm area around it are swollen and a bit sore today, but Span is planning to take batting practice with the team to see if he’ll be activated for Thursday’s series finale with the Brewers. Manager Ron Gardenhire said that he expects Span will be fine.

Jason Kubel is back in the lineup as he’s feeling a little better after battling through some cold and flu-like like symptoms. He’ll be in left field tonight and I’m sure that the heat won’t be a huge help to him. But he seemed confident that he’d be able to weather through it just fine.

Nick Punto said that his ribs are still sore and he is not in the lineup again. He left Tuesday night’s game with cramping in his ribs. Punto, who injured his ribs while diving head-first into first base on Saturday night, is listed as day-to-day.

With no batting cages or weight room currently at Miller Park due to the recent flooding, players have had to be a little more creative with their time. The Twins have a small room in the clubhouse with a batting tee that’s been constantly in use. But there have been a few more card games than usual — anything to pass the time, particularly for a team that usually spends a lot of time in the batting cage.

Here are today’s lineups:

Twins
Carlos Gomez, CF
Brendan Harris, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, LF
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Joe Crede, 3B
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Nick Blackburn, P

Brewers
Craig Counsell, 2B
Mat Gamel, 3B
Ryan Braun, LF
Prince Fielder, 1B
Corey Hart, RF
Mike Cameron, CF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Jason Kendall, C
Braden Looper, P

Wednesday Lineups: Twins vs. Pirates

A quiet day in terms of news pre-game. My associate reporter, Tyler, is doing the early slugs so you can read about how Denard Span feels about finally getting a diagnosis to his dizziness on the site in a little bit.

UPDATES: Like I said earlier, it was a quiet day in terms of news but there was an entertaining exchange on the field during batting practice.

A couple of the Vikings defensive coaches came down to watch the Twins take BP. It was their first time on the field when it was set up for baseball. They took the chance to talk with some of the Twins coaches and players, including manager Ron Gardenhire, Michael Cuddyer and hitting coach Joe Vavra.

While Gardenhire was chatting with the coaches in front of the dugout, he called Joe Mauer over to have him meet them. But he joked quickly that the catcher better head back to work, as it was Mauer’s turn to bat in the cage. Seems like Gardenhire didn’t want to risk losing his All-Star catcher if the talk turned to the possibility of Mauer returning to football. After all, even the Governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, joked that he was going to sign an executive order requiring the St. Paul native to be the Vikings QB in addition to catching for the Twins.

“They talked about if they don’t get [Brett] Favre, they’re coming [for Mauer],” Gardenhire kidded in reference to the Vikings coaches. “I love you Vikings but you are not getting my guy. He’s playing baseball.”

Pirates
Andrew McCutchen, CF
Nyjer Morgan, LF
Freddy Sanchez, 2B
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Delwyn Young, RF
Eric Hinske, DH
Andy LaRoche, 3B
Robinson Diaz, C
Jack Wilson, SS
Pitching: Ian Snell, RHP

Twins
Brendan Harris, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Joe Crede, 3B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Delmon Young, LF
Carlos Gomez, CF
Nick Punto, 2B
Pitching: Francisco Liriano, LHP

And your center fielder is….Michael Cuddyer

The Twins outfield setup from the final two innings of Wednesday’s game is back for Thursday’s series finale against the A’s.

Michael Cuddyer is getting his first start of the year in center field. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Justin Morneau felt it would be a good day to DH, as he’s been getting beat up a little. And with left-handers hitting .306 vs. A’s starter Trevor Cahill while right-handers have hit just .227, Gardenhire wanted to stack as many lefties in the lineup as possible. So Jason Kubel will be in right field and Brian Buscher will play first base.

This outfield configuration could stick through this weekend for the three-game series at Wrigley Field. Gardenhire said there was no news on what has been causing Denard Span’s dizzy spells. Span saw team physician Dr. Tom Jetzer on Wednesday and was run through a battery of tests but so far nothing has been found. The outfielder is scheduled to see more doctors today. Gardenhire said it’s difficult to imagine that Span would be ready to rejoin the team on Friday as the skipper wants to find out why Span has been dizzy before returns to the lineup.

Gardenhire also said that a roster move should be coming after today’s game to activate Nick Punto (strained right groin) from the disabled list.

Here are today’s lineups as the Twins go for only their second road series win of the season:

Twins
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Brendan Harris, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, DH
Jason Kubel, RF
Joe Crede, 3B
Michael Cuddyer, CF
Brian Buscher, 1B
Delmon Young, LF
Pitching: Nick Blackburn, RHP

A’s
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Adam Kennedy, 2B
Jack Cust, RF
Matt Holliday, LF
Jason Giambi, DH
Landon Powell, C
Daric Barton, 1B
Rajai Davis, CF
Jack Hannahan, 3B
Pitching: Trevor Cahill, RHP

Also a reminder that you can follow me on Twitter @kellythesier for more Twins updates

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