08/24/10 8:59 PM ET
Minors work pays off majorly for Blackburn
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
Butera in; Mauer, not Thome, starts at DH
ARLINGTON -- Jim Thome has performed well in a small career sample size against Rangers starter Colby Lewis, but Thome was not in the starting lineup to face Lewis in Minnesota's contest at Texas on Tuesday.With Drew Butera serving as the personal catcher for Twins starter Carl Pavano, manager Ron Gardenhire said he had to slot Joe Mauer in the designated hitter spot on Tuesday night and leave Thome on the bench. Thome is 4-for-6 against Lewis with a home run and five RBIs. But while Thome has strong numbers against Lewis, Gardenhire said that starting Mauer behind the plate in order to get Thome in the lineup was not really an option. "Pavano's catcher is Butera," Gardenhire said. "There is no messing with that. They've asked for that, and it's what it is. So it's just one of those days that falls on a bad day for Thome because he has numbers. Mauer is not going to sit out. He needs to be in the lineup, too. We like to have him in there as much as we can. Sometimes it just works out this way." Butera has caught each of Pavano's last nine starts, dating back to July 11, and entering Tuesday, Pavano held a 6-2 record in those starts. So Gardenhire was asked what might happen if the Twins make the playoffs and Pavano pitches. Would Butera still catch in that situation or would Mauer? "That's putting the cart before the horse," Gardenhire said.
Mahay to get second opinion on shoulder
ARLINGTON -- Twins left-hander Ron Mahay is expected to get a second opinion on the torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder before a decision will be made on whether he will have surgery.Since the injury is to Mahay's non-pitching shoulder, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that there has been no determination yet if Mahay's season is over or if he might have a chance to return. "We'll let him get checked out by another doctor and let all of that take its place," Gardenhire said.
Gardenhire backs ex-teammate Washington
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington has already been mentioned as a potential American League Manager of the Year candidate for the job he's done this season, as his club entered Tuesday with an 8 1/2-game lead in the AL West.One person that seems to be quite happy for Washington is Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. The two were teammates during Spring Training in 1987, when both were competing for the final spot on the Twins' 25-man roster, although it ended up going to Al Newman. Prior to that, Washington had spent parts of six seasons with the Twins from 1981-86. "Wash was in our organization and he knows what we liked over here, and I think he enjoys that part, playing the game hard," Gardenhire said of Washington's managing philosophy. "He was with Oakland a number of years, and they always played the game hard, and I think when he came over here, that was one of the things he was going to bring here. "He's a very motivational person. He does well motivating people. He loves the game of baseball. He has a very deep passion for it, and it shows in his team because they are playing with a lot of passion."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.