Results tagged ‘ Gardenhire ’

Rauch will be Twins closer

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Friday that Jon Rauch will be the club’s closer.

Gardenhire said that he and pitching coach Rick Anderson spoke with all of the pitchers and informed them that Rauch will close. Earlier this week, Gardenhire said that the team would go with a closer-by-committee. But in the end, he didn’t want to move too many pitchers out of their roles.

“We’re going with Rauch as our closer,” Gardenhire said. “This way we kind of let everybody else know where they are at. We’ve always had a good setup where everybody knows their roles…If guys know their roles out there, the system works.

“Rauch has got saves. He’s been a closer. He has the most experience at it. So we’ll let him go do it. The rest of them will set him up.”

Rauch, 31, has 26 career saves, including 17 with Washington in 2008.

Rauch said he was told by Gardenhire on Thursday that he would be the closer. Thinking it might be an April Fools’ joke, Rauch said he didn’t really believe the news until today, but he said he’s happy to take on the role.

Matt Guerrier, Jose Mijares and Jesse Crain will now serve as the main set
up men for the Twins. Pat Neshek, Clay Condrey and Brian Duensing are also options to use in bullpen.

Thursday’s tidbits

Here are a few things from manager Ron Gardenhire after Thursday’s 5-4 victory over the Pirates:

– Gardenhire said the team still isn’t sure when
Joe Nathan is going to play catch this weekend, although it likely won’t be in front of any media. In an attempt to give Nathan as much privacy as possible,
Gardenhire said the team is planning to stay mum about the time and location of Nathan’s game of catch. It’s all so that there isn’t a horde of television cameras and
national media there to watch the session.

“We’re going to put up screens and blocks and everything so
(the media) cannot be there,” Gardenhire said. “We just don’t want it
to be a big crazy thing here. Let the guy live in peace and see if he
can throw the ball. If he can’t, and he grimaces in pain and goes to
the ground, I don’t want you to see that. … And if he goes and hugs
and kisses (pitching coach Rick Anderson) because he feels great, we
don’t want you to see that, either.”
 
– Shortstop J.J. Hardy has not played since Saturday due to an irritated left quadriceps muscle. Manager Ron Gardenhire said that Hardy was feeling better on Thursday and will likely return to game action on Saturday in a Minor League contest. Hardy has been able to do all of his infield drills, and on Thursday he ran the bases on one of the back fields without any problem.

– Nick Punto and Delmon Young got some at-bats in a Minor League contest across the complex this afternoon. It’s something that Gardenhire said will likely happen more frequently in the coming days now that Minor League games have officially begun. Gardenhire watched the two players hit in the contest and said Young got a couple of hits but was most excited about a walk he drew after falling behind in the count 0-2.

– Due to watching Punto and Young, Gardenhire said he missed the first couple innings of the contest against the Pirates. But he said he was able to know something good happened when the horns went off at Hammond Stadium — it was Jim Thome’s first homer as a Twin.

“I still haven’t seen Thome hit a homer,” Gardenhire said. “I’ve seen him hit them against us but never for the Twins.”

<!–
/* Font Definitions */
@font-face
{font-family:"Cambria Math";
panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;
mso-font-charset:1;
mso-generic-font-family:roman;
mso-font-format:other;
mso-font-pitch:variable;
mso-font-signature:0 0 0 0 0 0;}
@font-face
{font-family:Calibri;
panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4;
mso-font-charset:0;
mso-generic-font-family:swiss;
mso-font-pitch:variable;
mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;}
/* Style Definitions */
p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal
{mso-style-unhide:no;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
margin-top:0in;
margin-right:0in;
margin-bottom:10.0pt;
margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}
.MsoChpDefault
{mso-style-type:export-only;
mso-default-props:yes;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}
.MsoPapDefault
{mso-style-type:export-only;
margin-bottom:10.0pt;
line-height:115%;}
@page Section1
{size:8.5in 11.0in;
margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in;
mso-header-margin:.5in;
mso-footer-margin:.5in;
mso-paper-source:0;}
div.Section1
{page:Section1;}
— “Slama Jama” : Gardy is known for his unique nicknames for players but a new favorite might be his moniker for pitcher Anthony Slama, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Thursday. When talking about how Slama has pitched this spring, the manager referred to him as “Slama Jama.” Classic.

Gardy: Nathan to test elbow Saturday, Sunday or Monday

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that closer Joe Nathan will test his right elbow soon, but it’s not necessarily going to happen on Saturday as the closer had thought.

Nathan had said Monday that he thought he’d give his elbow a vigorous test on Saturday. But Gardenhire said that’s not a guarantee, as it could happen on that day or on Sunday or Monday. He said they’ll let the doctors and training staff figure out what day it will be.

“He was going two weeks from when he hurt his arm. We’re looking from when the doctors saw him and said give him two weeks,” Gardenhire said. “We’re kind of in between there. We’ll find out sometime over the weekend, maybe Sunday or maybe Monday.

“Somewhere in the near future he’ll throw but it’s not a guaranteed schedule that he’ll throw on Saturday.”

Monday’s tidbits: More chicken and batting order changes?

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire walked into the visiting clubhouse at Ed Smith Stadium after Monday’s 5-0 victory and had one complaint.

“These long-term contracts are killing us,” Gardenhire said. “Most teams get three pieces of chicken, we get two. We better hurry up [and eat] before Mauer signs or we’ll get one piece.”

Gardenhire’s joke was in regards to the team’s postgame meal for the bus ride home which was a box of chicken for each player. It garnered a good laugh out of the clubhouse where Nick Blackburn sat, having just signed a four-year, $14 million contract on Sunday.

The skipper was serious in his chicken complaint but he couldn’t help but laugh as well. He said that he even told one of the clubhouse guys to order twice as much since there was one less piece of chicken in each box.

– Before the game, Gardenhire talked about the possibility of moving Michael Cuddyer into the fifth spot in the lineup at times this season to break up the three lefties — Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel or Mauer, Morneau and Jim Thome.

Cuddyer hit 32 home runs last year and played a big role in the offense over the final three weeks of the season when Morneau was out due to his back injury. And Gardenhire wouldn’t mind the possibility of using him in that fifth spot to force other teams to think about leaving a left-hander in the game.

“I don’t mind putting a righty in [the fifth spot] and then having Kubel in there afterwards,” Gardenhire said. “Really that’s the best scenario because if they throw a lefty in there, they either have to leave him in to face Cuddyer to try to get to Kubel or take your chances or whatever. But I don’t worry about lefties vs. those guys either.”

– Also a quick note that I’ll be off tomorrow. Jonathan Mayo, one of our talented writers, will be filling in for me so be sure to check the site for updates on Nathan and the rest of the club.

As promised to Mr. Mayo, I’m going to let my blog readers know about a great book if they are interested in finding out more information on Twins prospects. Blogger Seth Stohs of www.sethspeaks.net has written his second annual Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. There is a link on his website if you are interested in ordering. It’s got over 150 profiles on
prospects in the system, so it’s a great guide for sorting out all the
young players here in Ft.
Myers. Oh and the foreword is written by yours truly.
But please don’t let that discourage you from getting the book.

<!–
/* Font Definitions */
@font-face
{font-family:"Cambria Math";
panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;
mso-font-charset:1;
mso-generic-font-family:roman;
mso-font-format:other;
mso-font-pitch:variable;
mso-font-signature:0 0 0 0 0 0;}
@font-face
{font-family:Calibri;
panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4;
mso-font-charset:0;
mso-generic-font-family:swiss;
mso-font-pitch:variable;
mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;}
/* Style Definitions */
p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal
{mso-style-unhide:no;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
margin-top:0in;
margin-right:0in;
margin-bottom:10.0pt;
margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}
.MsoChpDefault
{mso-style-type:export-only;
mso-default-props:yes;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}
.MsoPapDefault
{mso-style-type:export-only;
margin-bottom:10.0pt;
line-height:115%;}
@page Section1
{size:8.5in 11.0in;
margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in;
mso-header-margin:.5in;
mso-footer-margin:.5in;
mso-paper-source:0;}
div.Section1
{page:Section1;}

Day 3: A quiet camp day and a prank

The third day of pitchers and catchers workouts is in the books and the good news for the Twins is that so far there have been no injuries to report. Despite an overcast, foggy day early in the morning, he Twins were able to get in their workout before a heavy rain shower hit the complex this afternoon.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said that things should get a little more interesting on Thursday in camp as pitchers will finally start throwing to bases during their PFP [pitcher’s fielding practice] rather than fake throwing. (Yep, you can tell that we’re still very early in camp when that’s the excitement of the day.)

Without much going on in camp, the players and coaching staff have to turn to other forms of amusement. That’s exactly what Gardenhire did on Wednesday morning.

The manager was all too excited to share a video with the reporters as we gathered in his office after the workout. On his laptop was proof of a prank that he and some of the other coaches pulled on first base coach Jerry White (or JW as he’s known to most of the players).

It’s well known thoughout the clubhouse that White is a relatively easy man to scare. The team has pulled pranks on him before, which included having something written on the mirror of his hotel room in some of the hotels they’ve stayed at which are supposedly haunted.

This time, Gardenhire had White meet him at the ballpark early because he said they were going to put on a clinic. With one of the coaches up on the stairs of the stadium filming with a video camera, Gardenhire had visiting clubhouse manager Troy Matchan hiding while dressed up in a gorilla suit. So as Gardenhire and White walked by, Matchan burst out in front of White, causing the coach to nearly jump out of his own skin. Everyone watching nearly doubled over in laughter, especially when they saw that White even dropped the glove he was carrying.

Needless to say this is a prank that will be re-lived many times over again. (Gardenhire even shouted to White as he walked by the manager’s office during the media session to “watch out for gorillas”)

As for real camp news, the unofficial count of players in camp appears to be 52 with only four having yet to be seen yet — Justin Morneau, Alexi Casilla, Estarlin De Los Santos and Juan Portes. Gardy said that Morneau is in Florida, but we just haven’t seen him there for a workout yet. Perhaps he’s hoping that Canada can beat Russia in Olympic hockey tonight and he might not have to take as much ribbing about the Canucks loss to the U.S. on Sunday night. (I don’t think he’s going to be able to avoid that one.)

One other tidbit, Gardy said that Jim Thome won’t be working out at first base during spring. While Thome could possibly be a late-inning option at the position if needed this season, Gardy said it would only be as an emergency. Thome will get most of his work this spring as a DH and focus on just his swinging early in camp. The goal is to make sure Thome gets to the season healthy, Gardy said.

 The Twins annual charity fundraiser golf outing is scheduled to take place on Thursday so that always means a quick workout. The club gets a tremendous turnout of players for the event and the guys enjoy having an excuse to hit the links.

Another OF on the way?

September is the time when managers have extra bodies at their disposal, thanks to the expansion of active rosters.

But on Tuesday night, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was short on one thing that he could have used — another outfielder.

In the scenario that Gardenhire faced on Tuesday night in a tie game against the White Sox –one out in the ninth and the go-ahead run at third base — the skipper would have considered using a pinch-hitter to replace Carlos Gomez. That is, if he had a sixth outfielder

Having already inserted Gomez as a defensive replacement for Delmon Young and replacing Jason Kubel (who led off the ninth with a single) with pinch-runner Nick Punto, Gardenhire didn’t have another outfielder on his bench to use if the game went to extras.

“We were kind of stuck there,” Gardenhire said.

So the skipper had Gomez take the at-bat and instead turned to Jose Morales to pinch-hit for Alexi Casilla with two outs in the inning. Morales came up with the big hit in that spot, but Gardenhire was asked after the game if he might want an additional outfielder knowing how things played out on Tuesday

“Funny you said that,” Gardenhire said. “Yeah, we’ve been talking…I don’t know how many outfielders you can have but it’s a possibility when [Triple-A Rochester’s] season ends.”

The Twins only made one immediate call-up on Tuesday, the day rosters officially expanded, bringing up infielder Brian Buscher from Triple-A Rochester. Infielder Matt Tolbert is also expected to join the club once his knee starts feeling better, but so far there had not been any plans so far to bring up another outfielder. But after Tuesday’s 4-3 walkoff win over Chicago, Gardenhire hinted that the club might add one when Rochester closes out its season on Sept. 7.

“Tonight was one of those circumstances, you are going to run out of players if you keep making moves and the game gets tight,” Gardenhire said. “But if you have an opportunity and you’ve got another player you can use like that, it would be wonderful.We’ll just see where we’re at here in a few days.”

Saturday Lineups: Twins at Tigers

There was quite a bit of entertainment following the Twins’ 10-8 loss to the Tigers on Friday night thanks to the verbal war of words between Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.

Gardenhire read all of Wendelstedt’s comments in the paper and he had a humorous response on Saturday to the invitation the skipper was given to attend umpiring school.

“If he’ll agree to take the classes again, I’ll go with him,” Gardenhire said.

Gardenhire said he hasn’t heard from the Commissoner’s office about any possible repercussions of his comments — a fine or perhaps suspension. At least not yet, anyway.

  • Carlos Gomez is out of the lineup with a bruised calf, after fouling a ball off it in Friday night’s contest.

  • Gardenhire started Nick Punto at third base to get some additional speed in the lineup and also to have his defense there with a groundball pitcher on the mound (Pavano).

  • The rotation is still unsettled for this next week. Gardenhire said that Nick Blackburn will pitch Tuesday and Carl Pavano on Friday. But the club is still undecided on the starters for Wednesday and Thursday. Anthony Swarzak joined Glen Perkins and Francisco Liriano as a possibility to be removed from the rotation following his one inning outing on Friday. So there are two spots for the three pitchers.

Here are the lineups.

Twins (53-56)
3rd place in AL Central, 5.5 games back


Denard Span, CF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Delmon Young, LF
Nick Punto, 3B
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano (9-8, 5.37)

Tigers (58-50)
1st place in AL Central

Curtis Granderson, CF
Placido Polanco, 2B
Clete Thomas, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Carlos Guillen, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Brandon Inge, 3B
Gerald Laird, C
Adam Everett, SS
Pitching: RHP Justin Verlander (12-5, 3.29)

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

One-liners with Gardy

Roadtrips are often very beneficial for a beat writer because it often gives you a little more time to talk to the players and coaches then you do when they’re at home.

And that usually leads to some humorous moments as well.

On the road, manager Ron Gardenhire’s pregame media sessions will often run much longer and feature a wide variety of topics. Like it did today when Gardenhire brought up former Twins pitcher, Rick Reed.

While talking about Scott Baker’s better pace on the mound of late, a reporter asked Gardenhire who was the slowest working pitcher that he’d had since taking over as manager. And Gardenhire didn’t hesitate with his answer of Reed.

“He was Father Time,” Gardenhire said. “He had birthdays during his starts. Not one birthday. Birthdays.”

This trip has already been memorable thanks to some of Gardenhire’s hilarious quotes, including one about Carlos Gomez’s bat flip following his home run on Tuesday night. While the manager didn’t see the flip, he said that it could have been worse.

“At least he didn’t have a cell phone at home plate and dig it up and call his mom or something like that,” Gardenhire joked.

As for Twins news, Michael Cuddyer is back in the lineup as the designated hitter. Gardenhire said that he’ll try to ease Cuddyer back into playing and there is a chance Cuddyer could return to right field in Thursday’s day game finale in Cleveland. But that will all depend on how his back responds tonight.

Joe Mauer is catching tonight. So there is a possibility he could be the DH on Thursday. Gardenhire said he’ll see how Mauer feels, adding that he’d like to have him as the DH in the contest.

Twins (53-53)
3rd place in AL Central, 2.5 games back


Denard Span, RF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, LF
Michael Cuddyer, DH
Joe Crede, 3B
Carlos Gomez, CF
Nick Punto, 2B
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano (4-10, 5.56)

Indians (44-62)
4th place in AL Central, 11.5 games back

Grady Sizemore, CF

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS

Shin Soo Choo, RF

Jhonny Peralta, 3B

Chris Gimenez, 1B
Jamey Carroll, 2B

Kelly Shoppach, C

Andy Marte, DH
Trevor Crowe, LF

Pitching: LHP Aaron Laffey (4-3, 4.08)

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

Make it 14 straight…

Different lineups that is. The Twins will finish off their stretch of 14 consecutive games to start the ’09 season on Sunday. And so far, not a single lineup this season has been the same.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire used Sunday to give days off to Michael Cuddyer and Joe Crede. This is the first rest of the year for Cuddyer. Brendan Harris is slotted at third in place of Crede.

The club has a chance at its first series sweep of the year today. They’ve already secured the first series win by winning the first two games.

Today’s Lineups:

Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Robb Quinlan, RF
Bobby Abreu, DH
Torii Hunter, CF
Kendry Morales, 1B
Juan Rivera, LF
Jeff Mathis, C
Erick Aybar, SS
Pitching: Shane Loux, RHP

Twins
Denard Span, RF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Brendan Harris, 3B
Jose Morales, C
Nick Punto, SS
Carlos Gomez, CF
Pitching: Glen Perkins, LHP

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.