06/11/10 1:36 AM ET
Twins sign two Draft picks
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
The club signed its ninth-round pick, catcher Kyle Knudson from the University of Minnesota. Knudson, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, will report to the club's rookie team in Elizabethton. Also signed was the Twins' 44th-round pick, left-handed pitcher David Deminsky from St. Cloud State University. Deminsky, 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, will report to the Gulf Coast League Twins rookie team.
Wrist soreness lands Hardy on 15-day DL
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins shortstop J.J. Hardy hoped that a cortisone shot would alleviate some of the soreness in his left wrist, allowing him to get back on the field again.
Instead, Hardy is headed to the 15-day disabled list for the second time with a bone bruise, and the Twins have recalled shortstop Trevor Plouffe from Triple-A Rochester to take Hardy's place on the roster.
"He still feels it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We've been fighting this long enough, so we'll put him on the DL and rehab. He's got a little bit of time here, so let's just try to get him healthy."
Hardy injured his wrist on a feet-first slide into third base during a game against the Tigers on May 4. After his first stint on the DL, Hardy said his wrist was feeling better. But when he took lots of swings, his wrist started to bother him again. He was told by doctors that the bruised bone rubs on another bone during swings, and that's what causes the irritation.
While the cortisone shot took care of some of the additional soreness, the bone bruise still has not healed. So when Hardy tried swinging on Thursday afternoon, the pain in his wrist was still there.
Hardy was examined by the Twins' doctors prior to Thursday's game, and the decision was made to put him on the DL. The move is retroactive to June 7, so Hardy will eligible to come off the DL on June 22.
"I think it's the smart thing to do, let it go away," Hardy said. "The last thing that we want is to be having this conversation again a couple weeks from now. It's pretty frustrating, though."
Exactly how long it will take for the bone bruise to heal is a question mark. Hardy said the doctors told him that some bruises take a couple weeks to heal while others may take a month. Hardy will wear a brace on his wrist for the next week or so in an effort to help it heal.
"The tough part is all I can do is rest," Hardy said. "That's the only way it's going to get better. I'm not going to fully immobilize it where I don't take [the brace] off because you lose a lot of strength in forearms. I'll keep something on when I sleep and not move it around. I'll do all exercises and put it back on. We're just trying something else."
Valencia shows improvement with glove
MINNEAPOLIS -- After Wednesday night's 6-2 win over the Royals, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire praised a few of the club's strong defensive plays of the night, including one made by rookie third baseman Danny Valencia.
Valencia fielded a slow roller hit by Royals first baseman Billy Butler in the second inning and made a strong throw to first base to get the first out of the inning.
One thing that the Twins wanted Valencia to work on when he was sent down during Spring Training was to be more consistent with his defense. And, so far, Gardenhire said he's been pleased with what he's seen from the club's top third base prospect.
"He's caught the ball, made all the plays, kept his head in the game," Gardenhire said. "He pays attention, looking in to the dugout on which guys may bunt and moving in and back. He's positioning himself and really working at it. It's very fun to watch."
As for Valencia's offense, he entered Thursday having gone 7-for-22 (.318) in six games since being called up. Many of those early hits were infield hits, but Valencia spent some time in early batting practice on Wednesday hitting off a tee at home plate, along with Justin Morneau, to work on driving the ball. Gardenhire said he's been pleased with Valencia's work ethic and desire to improve.
But as for any expectations about Valencia, who will likely fill in at third until either Orlando Hudson or J.J. Hardy is healthy, Gardenhire said the goal is just for him to continue to play hard.
"I don't want him to go out and put any pressure on himself," Gardenhire said. "I just want him to go out and have fun."
Condrey ready to move to next phase of rehab
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins right-hander Clay Condrey threw a bullpen session on Thursday afternoon with hitters standing in, and it appears that the pitcher is ready to head out for the next step of his rehab.
Condrey, who has been sidelined since the end of Spring Training with a strained elbow, is expected to head down to Fort Myers, Fla., in a couple days, manager Ron Gardenhire said. He'll begin facing hitters during extended spring training games.
Second baseman Orlando Hudson (sprained left wrist) could begin taking swings this weekend to see if he'll be ready to come off the disabled list for Tuesday's series opener against the Rockies. Tuesday is the first day that Hudson would be eligible to come off the DL. ... Twins pitchers were out on the field Thursday afternoon taking batting practice for the first time this season in preparation for their Interleague road trip to Philadelphia, Milwaukee and New York which will begin in a week. ... The Twins entered Thursday with a 20-9 record at home, giving them a .690 winning percentage at Target Field. The Yankees are the only American League team with a better winning percentage at home this season (.731).
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.