Denard Span is flying back to Minnesota on Wednesday to see a specialist in an attempt to figure out what has been causing his lingering dizziness.
The Twins outfielder left Tuesday night’s game in Oakland after the second inning when the dizziness became too much to try to play through. It’s the second time that Span has missed time due to the problem. He did not play in games on May 24 and 25 for the Twins due to feeling dizzy and lightheaded.
While he felt a little better after taking those two games off, Span said that the problem did not go away all together. And during his second at-bat on Tuesday night, he couldn’t see the ball and it scared him.
“I feel like I can’t focus and concentrate when I’m hitting,” Span said. ‘”I kind of get away with it when I’m playing defense because things aren’t happening as fast in the outfield. The last couple days I’ve been kind of feeling the same way, but as the game would go on, things would get a little better.”
During his first episode of dizziness, Span also felt lethargic. This time he said that his energy level has been up,.
Doctors told Span initially that the dizzy spells could have something to do with his thyroid. Span said he’s not sure if that still might be the case but he just hopes to find out what is causing the problem when he gets back to Minnesota and possibly rejoin the team in Chicago this weekend..
“I don’t know what it is,” Span said. “I’ll be honest I’ve thought about different things it could be. I don’t think it’s anxiety. I’m more comfortable this year than I was last year. So I don’t feel like it’s that. I don’t know. I”m not sure if it has to do with having Lasik eye surgery on one eye and not the other. There is a lot of things I”m thinking about now and I just don’t know.”
“Hopefully I’ll find out because I’ve never felt this way playing baseball. I know how it is to be tired and go through the grind of playing a 160-plus game season but I never felt dizzy on the field. It’s scary.”
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.
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