06/29/08 5:53 PM ET
Cuddyer placed on 15-day disabled list
Right fielder sidelined with strained tendon in left hand
By Leslie Parker / Special to MLB.com
The move was announced in the bottom of the fifth inning during Sunday's game against the Brewers. Span exited Triple-A Rochester's game on Sunday afternoon and will be in uniform for Monday night's game against Detroit.
When manager Ron Gardenhire spoke to the media prior to Sunday's game, Cuddyer had not yet seen team doctors, but Gardenhire seemed convinced he would be sending one of his team's vocal and statistical leaders to the DL.
"He's a leader out there, but as with everybody else, we'll just have to play," Gardenhire said. "It opens the opportunity for a couple guys to get some more at bats -- [Craig] Monroe will get some more at-bats, [Mike] Lamb will get some extra at-bats. So people will have to take advantage of what they can. Somebody has to step up, that's just the way it is."
Cuddyer's hand, which was black and blue prior to Saturday's game, started bothering him several weeks ago, but became a major problem in his last at-bat against Milwaukee on Friday night. The consensus on Saturday was that if Cuddyer's hand was not feeling better on Sunday, he would be sent to the DL.
"It's extremely disappointing, because you don't feel like you can contribute -- especially in this time where we're about to play the Tigers and the Indians, those division guys, it's frustrating," Cuddyer said. "These guys have been playing well, we've been playing well as a unit and playing well as a team. Hopefully we'll continue to be able to do that."
Jason Kubel, who is swinging a hot bat lately, got the start in right field and went 1-for-3 with an RBI in the Twins' 5-0 victory over the Brewers on Sunday. Span and Kubel will likely both see action in right.
"He's going to play," Gardenhire said of Span. "We're going to mix them all up, and use them all. Everybody needs to be a part of this thing, that's how we got on the streak. He'll get playing time."
Span had hoped to join the team out of Spring Training, but he was one of the final players cut. He made his Major League debut earlier this season, when he got the call to join the Twins when Cuddyer was on the DL with a strained tendon in his right hand.
Span batted .258 over 11 games and racked up three stolen bases in his stint with the Twins. In 39 games with the Red Wings this season, Span batted .342 with 11 doubles and 14 RBIs.
Leslie Parker is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.