Rauch's left ankle feeling better on Tuesday
Gardenhire expects to give closer the night off to rest
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins closer Jon Rauch was walking around the clubhouse without any problems on Tuesday afternoon, one day after he took a line drive from Indians' left fielder Trevor Crowe off his left ankle.X-rays on Rauch's ankle on Monday night were negative and the swelling had appeared to be reduced drastically by Tuesday. But it will likely be someone other than Rauch who will close Tuesday's game for the Twins if there is a save situation. "He says he's available but we probably won't use him tonight," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We'll see where we're at [Wednesday]. But he said he can pitch." Gardenhire didn't give any hints as to who he might turn to in a closing situation should it arise. "We'll see where we get to in the game," Gardenhire said. "First we get to the ninth inning with a lead, then we'll see where we're at and who's available."
GM: Morneau sees doc, making progress
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau saw Dr. Steven Morgan of the Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology on Tuesday, and in an e-mail to reporters, general manager Bill Smith said that Morneau continues to make progress from the concussion he suffered on July 7 at Toronto.But while Morneau is making progress, he is still not ready to resume baseball activities. Smith said that Morneau will not travel with the team on their next road trip to Baltimore this week and that the club will continue to monitor his progress. Morneau is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Friday, but there is no clear timetable as to when he might be able to return to the team.
Slama arrives on time despite flight delay
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Anthony Slama's flight to Minnesota was delayed on Tuesday afternoon, but the reliever still arrived at Target Field in time for the game against the Indians.Slama has been putting up solid numbers at Triple-A Rochester, posting a 1.71 ERA with 17 saves while holding opponents to a .164 batting average. And the Twins' hope is that Slama, with what manager Ron Gardenhire called his "little funky angle," will be able to give a boost to the relief staff. "We liked that he could throw the ball down in the zone for the most part," Gardenhire said of seeing Slama in Spring Training. "That's something he's going to have to do here. He can't start elevating the baseball. He does have a little funk to him, and that's a good thing out of the bullpen. We'll see how he does." Slama didn't see any time on the mound in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Indians after throwing 1 1/3 innings on Monday night for Rochester.
Casilla to rejoin Twins on Thursday vs. O's
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins are expected to go with a 13-man pitching staff for the remainder of their series against the Indians.Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that infielder Alexi Casilla is likely going to rejoin the club on Thursday in Baltimore for the series opener against the Orioles. Casilla is currently rehabbing with Double-A New Britain and he's scheduled to play third base on Tuesday night.
Gardenhire said that as long as everything goes well in the next two days, Casilla will likely travel Wednesday night to join the team. New Britain is playing at Harrisburg, Penn. which is not very far from Baltimore. The expectation is that Casilla will take the place of a pitcher on the Twins roster, reducing the staff back to 12 pitchers.
Condrey elects not to undergo surgery
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Clay Condrey has decided that he will receive PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections rather than undergo surgery to fix the strain in his right flexor muscle, which is located just below the elbow.PRP injections are a minimally invasive way to fix muscle tissues and they have become an emerging treatment option for athletes with similar injuries. If the PRP injection does not produce the desired results for Condrey, he said that he will have to undergo surgery. Condrey was placed on the 60-day disabled list on Monday night in order to open up a spot on the 40-man roster for right-hander Anthony Slama, who was called up from Triple-A Rochester.
The Twins have not announced any changes to their rotation, but the probable starters for the upcoming four-game series in Baltimore includes two "TBA" spots for Friday and Sunday. Those would be the starts that Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey are in line to pitch. ... Jim Thome's solo home run on Monday night gave him 1,595 career RBIs -- putting him in a tie for 33rd place on the all-time list with Mike Schmidt.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.