MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire's postseason roster is not yet finalized, but he said Sunday that catcher Jose Morales will likely not be on the roster for the American League Division Series.Morales has been used as the team's third catcher, and filled in twice at first base to give Michael Cuddyer a day off. But with catcher Joe Mauer expected to start every game despite a sore knee, the Twins will use Drew Butera as the backup, leaving Morales as the odd man out. "With this lineup, you're not going to pinch-hit for anybody. They're all going to play," Gardenhire said. "You need more speed, you need more pinch-runners and defensive replacements than anything else."
Minnesota's postseason bullpen also remains a question mark, although Gardenhire has said the team will carry 11 pitchers. Right-hander Jon Rauch, who had fluid drained from his left knee and had a cortisone shot, will throw a bullpen session on Monday. Gardenhire said the team will make a roster decision after that."He'll tell me how he feels," Gardenhire said of Rauch. "For sure, that's when we'll know whether he's going to make (the roster) or not make it." The other bullpen spot in question is the role of long reliever, which will come down to either Kevin Slowey or Scott Baker -- both of whom started during the regular season. Slowey pitched a scoreless inning of relief Saturday, while Baker last pitched Sept. 29 against Kansas City, allowing a pair of runs in five innings. "Slowey did fine yesterday, other than the fact that he wore himself out warming up," Gardenhire said. "I will talk to Baker [on Sunday]. He has questions in his own mind whether he can get up and get his elbow loose, and whether he'll be able to do that. ... I told him, 'You have to be honest with me.'" Left-hander Brian Duensing experienced tightness in his shoulder prior to Saturday's start against Toronto but was feeling fine on Sunday.
He's scheduled to start Game 3 of the ALDS."Duensing, they told me, felt good today," Gardenhire said. "[He] should be fine."
Twins happy for stress-free Game 162
MINNEAPOLIS -- For the past two seasons, the final regular-season game had plenty of weight for the Twins' playoff chances. In both 2008 and 2009, the American League Central needed an extra game to decide a winner.Having already clinched the division early, the Twins could enjoy a much-more relaxed Game 162 on Sunday. "It's nice to have [Monday and Tuesday] off," Michael Cuddyer said. "We know we're going to be here, and we know the situation. Obviously we don't know who we're going to play yet, but we still know we're going to play here." Prior to Sunday's game against Toronto, the Twins were waiting to see what happened in the AL East, with several scenarios still in play involving the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees to determine Minnesota's first-round opponent.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire admitted he's been keeping tabs on both squads."Watching everybody else sweat out the outcomes, that's pretty nice," he said. "I actually watched, for the first time, a little bit of Yankee baseball -- and that's not normal, because I'm normally watching college football or golf -- and [Saturday] night, I actually watched the Yankees play a little bit to see what they have going on." While things remained unclear in the AL East, the possible playoff scenarios in the National League were even more unsettled. On the final day, the San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves were all battling for the final two playoff spots. In one scenario, a Game 164 is possible, something Gardenhire said he wouldn't wish upon any team. "Good luck," Gardenhire said. "They might set new records." "Two of those games that are cutthroat like that? No chance," Cuddyer said. "It's like playing two Game 7's."
Young likely to hit fourth behind Mauer
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins' starting lineup Sunday against Toronto is the one manager Ron Gardenhire said will be the same lineup he uses in the postseason."That would be the lineup, the one I wrote out today, I would imagine," Gardenhire said. Sunday's lineup had left fielder Delmon Young in the cleanup spot behind catcher Joe Mauer, while rookie third baseman Danny Valencia was slotted in the eighth spot, ahead of shortstop J.J. Hardy. "[I'm] just trying to figure out a good, balanced lineup all the way up and down," Gardenhire said. "This is pretty balanced, I think. Valencia ends up hitting eighth, and he's done pretty good. ... Hardy's been swinging a lot better Young has bounced around in the lineup throughout the season, but Gardenhire said he likes having Young hitting fourth to protect Mauer. "Any time big situations come up, Mauer's going to be pitched around a lot, so Delmon's been swinging as good as anybody and driving in runs, so just stick with him there," Gardenhire said. "If we're facing a right-hander, [Jason] Kubel could bat behind Mauer to protect him a little bit, too. We'll just have to see."
Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who has been out since July 7 with a concussion, told general manager Bill Smith that if everything goes well, he may head to Florida to play in the instructional League to get some at-bats against live pitching. Morneau has been ruled out for the ALDS, but it remains a possibility he could return if the Twins advance to the American League Championship Series. ... Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston was honored prior to Sunday's game. Gaston is retiring after the season, having managed 1,731 games for the Blue Jays. ... The Twins have a scheduled day off Monday, but pitchers Carl Pavano and Jon Rauch will both throw bullpen sessions that day. ... A statue of former Twins owner Carl Pohlad and his wife, Eloise, was unveiled at Target Field prior to Sunday's game.
Tyler Mason is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.