MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins could possibly be going to a six-man rotation for the rest of the regular season. At the very least they are adding a starter into the mix for the next turn of the rotation.Manager Ron Gardenhire said after Saturday's 4-2 victory over the A's that Scott Baker will likely start Tuesday's game against the Indians. That would have been the day that Carl Pavano would start, but the Twins are planning to push back Pavano a couple days and give the rest of their starters at least an extra day between outings. "We're going to give everybody a chance to stretch out and bounce back with our rotation," Gardenhire said. "It's time that we make sure these guys get that extra day. Every one of them has thrown better when they've had the extra day, and we're going to try to do that." Baker, who has been out since Sept. 2 due to a recurrence of tendinitis in his right elbow, threw a bullpen session on Saturday and everything went well, according to Gardenhire. That leaves him on schedule to be able to start Tuesday. Pavano has thrown 210 innings so far this season and he has been battling a stiff neck recently. Gardenhire said that Pavano didn't really want to have his start pushed back, but the club felt it was the best thing for him and for the rest of the starters -- even if it might prevent Pavano, who currently has 17 wins, from getting a chance to possibly go for 20, if he could make three more starts this season. "Obviously everyone would like that," Gardenhire said. "But we also know that he's logged a lot of innings and we have to make sure that we protect him a little bit here. He wants to pitch. We've told him this is the way it's going to be. ... We're going to protect ourselves and make sure our pitchers get a little bit of a break." As for whether the six-man rotation could be used for the remainder of the season, Gardenhire said it's a possibility. "We've only got one day off left and we want to make sure we do everything right here with our starters and give them the break that they need," Gardenhire said.
Shoulder tightness keeps Span out
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins center fielder Denard Span was out of the lineup for a second straight day on Saturday due to a sore right shoulder, and it's unclear whether he'll be ready to start during this series with the A's.Span said that his shoulder was feeling better on Saturday morning, two days after he injured it while diving for a ball hit by Juan Pierre in Thursday night's game at Chicago. Although he felt something in the shoulder on the play, Span said it wasn't until the plane ride home it began to stiffen up on him, and he woke up on Friday with difficulty getting the shoulder loose. The diagnosis on his shoulder was a bruised rotator cuff, Span said, and he's been taking some medication to help deal with the soreness. "We might be taking some tests soon to make sure nothing more than that," Span said. "But I don't think it's anything that should have me out for more than a couple days." With Span out, Ben Revere was given his second Major League start in center field Saturday. Revere went 0-for-3 with a walk while leading off in his first start on Friday night. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire commended the rookie for drawing a walk in the contest and battling in his at-bats against one of the tougher left-handers in the game, A's starter Brett Anderson. While Span was not ready to start on Saturday, he did say that he's willing to come off the bench to pinch-run or play defense if the team needs him. The shoulder only bothers him during the second half of his swing, so he'll likely to have to wait until the soreness is out before he starts trying to swing again. "I'm just listening what they are saying, and I told them it's feeling a lot better," Span said. "Hopefully if he needs me off the bench to pinch-run or play some defense, I should be able to do that. I'll take a break from swinging today and see how I feel tomorrow."
Mauer slots in at DH; Thome gets day off
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jim Thome did not start for the first time in a week, as Joe Mauer was slotted in the designated hitter spot on Saturday afternoon.Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he spoke with Mauer on Saturday morning to see how the catcher was feeling. Mauer did not start on Friday, but had entered the game to pinch-hit in the seventh and caught the final two innings. "I talked to Mauer and he said that he thought a DH day would probably be a very good thing today," Gardenhire said. "It's probably a good thing for Thome, too, since he has been swinging a lot lately, too." Drew Butera was behind the plate for a second consecutive day with Mauer hitting in the DH spot. For Thome, it ended a streak of six straight starts as Minnesota's DH. The Twins have been careful not to overdo Thome's workload and considering that it was a day game after a night game, Gardenhire said this was also a good time to give the veteran slugger a rest.
Jason Kubel was feeling better on Saturday after experiencing a sore left wrist, but he was still was not ready to play. It's a possibility that he could return to the lineup for Sunday's series finale with Oakland. ... The Twins entered Saturday with a 23-11 record against American League West opponents this year. Last year, the Twins had a 19-21 record against the division, and they haven't had a winning record since 2007, when they went 21-13.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.