Tagged: Joe Crede

Going for a sweep…Sunday Lineups: Twins at Rangers

The Twins are closing out their series against the Rangers in Texas tonight and will be going for the series sweep. The last time that Minnesota swept a three-game series in Texas was Sept. 7-9, 1976.

Third baseman Joe Crede (mild strain of the AC joint in his right shoulder) is not in the lineup for the finale with Texas and is still listed as day-to-day. Manager Ron Gardenhire said that Crede believes that the medication given to him by the doctors will help clear up the problem. But it’s still not known just when Crede might be back.

Kevin Slowey is still on schedule to throw a bullpen session tomorrow in Oakland. It’s the first of two bullpens he’ll likely throw before heading out on a Minor League rehab stint.

Jason Kubel’s brother-in-law, right-handed pitcher Michael Tonkin, was named the Twins Minor League Player of the Week ending on July 18. Tonkin, who is currently pitching for the Twins Gulf Coast League squad, made one start during the week and pitched seven scoreless innings. He recorded 15 strikeouts in the start and scattered just two hits with no walks. He is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in four apperances (three starts) this season

As for the golf fans out there, I talked with some of the guys in the clubhouse today about Tom Watson’s heart-breaking finish at the British Open. I was one of those people openly rooting for the 59-year-old to defeat the odds and win yet another Major title. It seems I wasn’t the only one who was sad at the finish — despite the fact that Stewart Cink is also a tremendous player and one who deserves a Major on his resume.

Gardenhire said he watched the finish of the tournament in his hotel room and that Watson’s 18th hole in regulation, when he missed a par putt that would have given him the championship, felt just like the ninth inning of a ballgame.

“I was so nervous and then he missed the putt and I was like…(starts to pace around the room to mimic his reaction),” Gardenhire said. “That’s what it was like for me. I was so into it and wanted him to make that putt. Just to say why not. Why can’t it happen?…To watch him play, that was unbelievable. I like Stewart Cink and I felt bad for him. He’s going to win a Major Championship, but you’ve got Tom Watson there and that’s incredible. It was really emotional.”

Twins (47-44)
2nd place in AL Central, 1.5 games back

Denard Span, LF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Brendan Harris, 3B
Delmon Young, DH
Carlos Gomez, CF
Nick Punto, SS
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano (4-9, 5.47)

Rangers (48-41)
2nd place in AL West, 3.5 games back

Ian Kinsler, 2B
Michael Young, 3B
Josh Hamilton, DH
Andruw Jones, LF RF
Hank Blalock, 1B
Marlon Byrd, CF
Nelson Cruz, RF David Murphy, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Elvis Andrus, SS
Pitching: LHP Derek Holland (3-5, 5.97)

Tuesday Lineups: Twins at Royals

The sun is shining, the temperature is in the low 80s and so the weather could not be more beautiful for a ballgame tonight at Kauffman Stadium. It’s nights like these where you can’t help but get excited about the move to Target Field next season, knowing that there are chances to see baseball in these kind of conditions.

As for news, Joe Crede’s back is better and he’s in the lineup agianst the Royals tonight. Crede said that there will be a few times during the season when his back flares up but he’s thankful for how the Twins have handled it so far. He knows it’s better not to try and push it on days like Monday when he just couldn’t get it loose because that’s when a more serious injury can happen.

In Minor League news, Triple-A Rochester coach Riccardo Ingram has taken a personal medical leave and will be away from the team indefinitely. To replace Ingram, Rich Miller will be moved up to Rochester from Class A
Beloit. The Twins have hired former player Chris
Heintz to take Miller’s place at Beloit. This will be Heintz’s first coaching job.

Here are your lineups:

Denard Span, LF
Brendan Harris, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Joe Crede, 3B
Carlos Gomez, CF
Nick Punto, 2B
Pitching: Scott Baker, RHP

David DeJesus, LF
Willie Bloomquist, RF
Billy Butler, 1B
Mike Jacobs, DH
Mark Teahen, 3B
Alberto Callaspo, 2B
Miguel Olivo, C
Mitch Maier, CF
Tony Pena Jr., SS
Pitching: Brian Bannister, RHP

Crede scratched

Twins third baseman Joe Crede was a late scratch from Monday’s lineup due to tightness in his back.

The team said that the move was for precautionary reasons.Brian Buscher was inserted into lineup at third base and took over Crede’s seventh spot in the batting order as well.

Prior to the news on Crede, the Twins had been thought to have 25 healthy players on the roster for the first time in quite awhile. Instead, they’ll likely be without Crede for the contest as manager Ron Gardenhire said that he’s hesitant to use Crede in late-game situations if his back is tight.

UPDATE: Crede said after the game that he couldn’t find a way to get his back loose prior to game time so rather than risk anything, the decision was made to have him taken out of the lineup.

The good thing is, just like last time, there’s no
sharp pain,” Crede said. “I did what I could, but you get to a point
where your back is not going to loosen up. Next thing you know, you’re
pulling something. So better to just take a day.”

Crede hopes to be back in the lineup for Tuesday’s contest in Kansas City. He’ll test the back to see if he’s ready to return.

Here comes the Lefty Parade

There is something about the A’s and their ability to find left-handed pitchers, particularly starters.The Twins are currently in a stretch of facing five straight southpaws. They sawJarrod Washburn and Erik Bedard over the final two games in Seattle and now comes another trio of young Oakland lefties. Last year during the Twins long stretch of facing left-handed starters, the club saw a slew of lefties in Oakland. But now this is an entirely different group of lefties that the A’s have in their rotation, so the Twins will test their luck against some new arms they haven’t seen before.

Joe Crede is out of the lineup today with a sore left calf after he fouled a ball off it during Sunday’s contest in Seattle. Matt Tolbert gets the start at third base in his place.

With lefties batting .128 and righties batting .237 against A’s starter Josh Outman (could there be a better last name for a pitcher?), manager Ron Gardenhire said he opted against starting Jason Kubel. Instead, Delmon Young will be the designated hitter and the club will see what he can do in the series opener.

Also, the A’s had a roster move before the game. Outfielder Ryan Sweeney was placed on the disabled list with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Infielder Daric Barton was called up from Triple-A Sacramento.

Today’s Lineups:

Denard Span, LF
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Brendan Harris, SS
Delmon Young, DH
Carlos Gomez, CF
Matt Tolbert, 3B
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Pitching: Anthony Swarzak, RHP

Orlando Cabrera, SS
Adam Kennedy, 2B
Jack Cust, DH
Matt Holliday, LF
Jason Giambi, 1B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Aaron Cunningham, RF
Jack Hannahan, 3B
Rajai Davis, CF
Pitching: Josh Outman, LHP

Another edition of the Banged up and Bruised

After getting two straight days off thanks to Monday’s off day, Joe Mauer is back in the lineup for the Twins in the series opener against the Indians tonight. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Mauer is still a little sore after taking his share of hits behind the plate in Saturday’s game at Tampa Bay, but he feels good enough to play so he’s in there.

Joe Crede and Michael Cuddyer are both still out of the lineup. Crede’s left knee is still slightly swollen and he showed off some nasty-looking bruises to a group of us reporters today. He’s got one right above the knee and one below it that extends down the leg. But Crede took batting practice with the team and fielded at third, so Gardenhire thinks Crede might be back in the lineup for Wednesday’s contest.

Cuddyer got good news when the MRI on his finger came back negative, meaning there is no structural damage. The doctors have told him they just have to wait for the swelling to get out of the knuckle, and the hope is that it will only be a couple days. Gardenhire sounded a little more concerned due to the fact that he doesn’t want to be short a player for very long, since  he only has a four-man bench right now. Cuddyer wasn’t doing anything on the field on Tuesday.

When I got to the ballpark this afternoon, the Twins were taking early batting practice but it wasn’t just the hitters this time. The pitchers were down there doing some bunting drills. Their upcoming 10-game roadtrip ends in Chicago with three contests agianst the Cubs so it’s time to get those pitchers’ bats warmed up for Interleague Play. I’ll admit, it’s always enjoyable to get a glimpse at some of the swings at this time of the year.

Here are today’s lineups:

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Ben Francisco, LF
Victor Martinez, 1B
Shin-Soo Choo, DH
Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Mark DeRosa, RF
Luis Valbuena, 2B
Trevor Crowe, CF
Kelly Shoppach, C
Pitching: David Huff, LHP  (making just his 4th career start)

Denard Span, RF
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Brendan Harris, SS
Delmon Young, LF
Brian Buscher, 3B
Carlos Gomez, CF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Pitching: Kevin Slowey, RHP

May day, trying for that elusive road win

The Twins are a little banged up and bruised as they head into Sunday’s series finale against the Rays.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Joe Mauer looked like “he’s been blocking balls in the dirt with no gear on.” So Mauer will get a day off, although he is available to pinch-hit later in the game.

Joe Crede’s left knee and leg is still swollen so he was out of the lineup. He’s not expected to be available for the contest.

With Mauer out of starting lineup, Alexi Casilla is in the No. 2 hole for Sunday’s contest.

So the Twins will go with a slightly different looking lineup as they try to avoid the sweep and capture just their sixth road win of the season as they finish out the month of May. Currently the club’s 5-16 road record is the worst in the Majors.

Here are today’s lineups:

Denard Span, LF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Brendan Harris, SS
Brian Buscher, 3B
Mike Redmond, C
Carlos Gomez, CF
Pitching: Nick Blackburn, RHP

Ben Zobrist, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
Evan Longoria, DH
Carlos Pena, 1B
Willy Aybar, 3B
Matt Joyce, CF
Gabe Gross, RF
Dioner Navarro, C
Reid Brignac, SS
Pitching: Matt Garza, RHP

Banged up and Bruised…Memorial Day Lineups: Twins vs. Red Sox

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire knew that it likely would be difficult to put together a lineup on Monday morning, considering that he had his share of players with injury questions.

And he was right.

For the series opener against the Red Sox, the Twins will be without catcher Joe Mauer, third baseman Joe Crede and outfielder Denard Span.

Crede’s right hand is still swollen after being struck by a pitch in the sixth inning of last night’s game against the Brewers. He was diagnosed with just a deep bruise after the ball busted a blood vessel, but Gardenhire didn’t want to take any chances since Crede was having trouble gripping the ball after being hit.

Span reported feeling better on Monday morning, but he’s still a little light-headed and dizzy. Gardenhire said he wouldn’t take any risks in sending Span to the plate when he’s feeling like that.

As for Mauer, his right hand seemed to be doing better after he was struck by a pitch in the seventh inning. But Gardenhire said that Mauer is feeling sore overall after playing in 13 straight games during the club’s stretch of 20 straight, and this seemed like the time to give him that break.

Jason Kubel is back in the lineup as the DH, after being sidelined for the past three days due to a swollen left knee. Gardenhire warned, though, that the club doesn’t know how quick Kubel might be on the basepaths due to the knee.

But in the funny moment of the day — and perhaps of the season so far — Carlos Gomez added his own injury to the pile. Gomez needed two stitches for a cut on his head that he suffered while getting caught in a revolving door on his way into the Metrodome on Monday morning. It wasn’t enough to keep Gomez out of the lineup, but it did give many of his coaches and teammates a laugh.

So with all the changes and injuries, brace yourself for a lineup that isn’t exactly the “A” version for the Twins.

Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Jason Bay, LF
Mike Lowell, DH
Rocco Baldelli, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Jeff Bailey, 1B
Julio Lugo, SS
Pitching: Brad Penny, RHP

Carlos Gomez, CF
Matt Tolbert, 2B
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Brian Buscher, 3B
Mike Redmond, C
Delmon Young, LF
Nick Punto, SS
Pitching: Francisco Liriano, LHP

Joe Crede leaves game with tight lower back

NEW YORK — Joe Crede’s back had not been an issue for the first 35 games of the 2009 season, but on Friday night the third baseman had to leave the Twins’ game against the Yankees in the fifth inning with a tight lower back.

Crede was replaced at third base in the bottom of the fifth by Brendan Harris. The Twins said that the move to take Crede out of the game was precautionary and he is listed as day-to-day.

The third baseman has a history of back problems. Crede underwent his second back surgery this past October and it was those back problems which  limited him to just 144 games for the White Sox in the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

Third base debut and a lineup full of stars

After a one-day break for the first off day of the spring, the Twins are back at Hammond Stadium this morning and ready to face Puerto Rico in a World Baseball Classic exhibition contest.

The game will mark Joe Crede’s debut at third base for the Twins. Crede has played in two contests already for Minnesota, although both times he was the DH.

There are plenty of notable names on the Puerto Rico roster (and in their lineup for Tuesday’s contest). One face for Twins fans to watch in today’s game on the other side is right-handed pitcher Carlos Gutierrez. A first round pick (No. 27 overall) of the Twins in last year’s draft, Gutierrez could pitch out of Puerto Rico’s bullpen in the contest. Gutierrez was a closer for the University of Miami before being drafted but the Twins are making him into a starter. It’s still likely that the pitcher will wind up back in the bullpen by the time he’s Major League ready, but for now the job of a starter will give Gutierrez more chances to work on his pitches — which includes a very strong sinker.

Here are the lineups:

Denard Span, CF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Joe Crede, 3B
Brian Buscher, 1B
Delmon Young, LF
Mike Redmond, C
Matt Tolbert, SS
Pitching: Scott Baker

Puerto Rico:
Bernie Williams, DH
Ivan Rodriguez, C
Carlos Beltran, CF
Carlos Delgado, 1B
Alex Rios, RF
Hiram Bocachica, LF
Felipe Lopez, 2B
Mike Aviles, SS
Ramon Vazquez, 3B
Pitching: Ian Snell

A debut and another small step

Friday’s game against the Yankees marked Joe Crede’s debut in a Twins uniform. But while many fans were focused on Crede’s big step, there was another player making strides in his attempt to return to the field — catcher Joe Mauer.

Mauer’s latest acheivement came on Friday when he caught one of Glen Perkins’ bullpen sessions. The catcher then took swings off a tee inside the batting cage. Around 40 people watched Mauer’s session in which he also took soft flips from bullpen catcher Nate Dammann.

There still is no expected timeline for when Mauer will rejoin his teammates on the field, but he’s making progress and that’s definitely positive news for the Twins.

Here are some other news and notes from Friday:

  • Scott Baker’s outing wasn’t pretty in the box score (3 earned runs on six hits over two innings, including a solo home run), but at this point in the spring it wasn’t anything that worried the coaching staff. Pitching coach Rick Anderson said Thursday that he’s asking his pitchers to work on one or two pitches in their early outings. Baker said he threw mostly fastballs, but that his troubles were a result of being a little amped up for his first start. Although he said he still doesn’t like “to get hit around,” Baker said he’s trying to focus on his pitches so that he’ll be ready for his Opening Day start.

  • Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hasn’t given much indication as to what his lineup will look like in 2009, but on Friday he indicated that Justin Morneau will likely be back in the cleanup spot. When asked if he might separate Mauer and Morneau in the order, Gardenhire said, “I have no problem with it but you don’t have to do it because they hit both lefties and righties.”

  • Catching prospect Wilson Ramos, who was ranked the Twins No. 3 prospect by Baseball America, impressed the fans during Friday’s contest with his arm. He threw out two would-be basestealers after taking over for Mike Redmond behind the plate. But Ramos is known more for his offense than his defense. “He’s a pretty good player,” Gardenhire said. “He’s going to be a good one, we think. He’s got things to learn defensively, believe me.”