09/04/10 1:49 AM EST
Twins call up three pitchers for depth
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
X-rays on Kubel's wrist come back clean
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jason Kubel had an X-ray and an MRI on his left wrist on Friday morning and neither test showed any structural damage.It was good news for the Twins, who have been plagued by their fair share of injuries recently. "Our worst fears were that something was broken in there and you miss him, too," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "So it's good to hear that he's doing fine." Kubel had the wrist wrapped on Friday afternoon, and he had already taken some swings in the cage, his first since he was hit in the wrist by a pitch from Tigers left-hander Phil Coke on Tuesday night. He planned to take a few more in the cages during Friday's game and then take batting practice with the team before Saturday's contest. If everything goes well, Kubel said he hopes to be back in the lineup for Sunday's series finale with the Rangers. The Twins also got good news on two of their other injured players -- Jim Thome (back) and Orlando Hudson (right ankle) -- as they both were back in the lineup for Friday's contest.
Baker gets cortisone shot in right elbow
MINNEAPOLIS -- Scott Baker said Friday that his right elbow feels much better after receiving another cortisone shot, but he will likely miss at least two starts.Baker had the shot after lasting just two innings in his start on Thursday against the Tigers. The starter was taken out of the game due to the tendinitis he had battled back in July flaring up again. This is the second cortisone shot that Baker has received -- the first came right before the All-Star break. "I think you'd like to say that the last cortisone shot was the cure all, end all, but that's just not the case," Baker said. "It definitely feels better this time than the last time," he added about the second shot. "I don't know if that's due to it being in a better spot as far as the medicine. We'll have to see, but so far, so good." Baker said that since the first cortisone shot, he hadn't had any problems with his elbow until Thursday night. He started to feel his elbow in the first inning, but it wasn't the discomfort that forced him out of the start early. "It started to affect my pitches," Baker said. "I wasn't able to finish my pitches or get the ball down. So once that was the case, I wasn't doing the team any good or I wasn't doing myself any good. I felt that I had to say something." Baker said the plan is not to have him throw at all for three days, and manager Ron Gardenhire said the team will likely keep Baker out for at least two starts. With the expanded roster in September, the team can afford to be careful with the pitcher. "We just backed him up a few days the last time and everything went good, so we'll see," Gardenhire said. "We're definitely going to back it up a little bit more now because we can."
Fox makes emergency start for Twins
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins purchased the contract of right-hander Matt Fox to have the pitcher make an emergency spot start for the club on Friday night, but it's expected to be his only start as Kevin Slowey will be ready to rejoin the rotation on Monday.Twins manager Ron Gardenhire unveiled his pitching rotation for the next five days on Friday afternoon. Carl Pavano will stay in line to start Saturday against the Rangers and Nick Blackburn will start on Sunday. Slowey (strained triceps muscle) will be activated from the disabled list on Monday, the day he's eligible to return, to start the series opener against the Royals. Francisco Liriano will start Tuesday vs. Kansas City and Brian Duensing will close out that series on Wednesday.
Twins transfer Morneau to 60-day DL
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau was at Target Field on Friday afternoon, but manager Ron Gardenhire didn't have any further update on his progress."I asked him how he's doing, and he said 'OK,'" Gardenhire said. The Twins transferred Morneau to the 60-day disabled list on Friday in order to open up space on the 40-man roster for starter Matt Fox. But the move doesn't signal anything about whether or not Morneau, who has been recovering from a concussion he suffered on July 7, will be able to return to the team this season. Morneau has already been on the disabled list for 55 days, dating back to July 8, and it's very unlikely that he would be ready to return to the team in the next five days. So the move made sense for the Twins. "That was the easy move to clear roster space," Gardenhire said.
The Twins kicked off their 50th season celebration weekend on Friday night with an hour-long pregame ceremony to honor the "50 Greatest Twins." The list was voted on by an expert panel of print, radio and television journalists throughout Twins Territory and senior members of the Minnesota Twins staff. A total of 34 of the 50 players were on hand for the event, including Hall of Famers Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew and Paul Molitor. ... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Brian Duensing become the first Major Leaguer in more than 10 years to throw at least two innings in relief just one or two days after a start of more than six innings. Duensing threw two innings of relief on Thursday after making a 6 2/3-inning start against the Tigers on Tuesday. The last pitcher to accomplish the feat had been Steve Woodard of the Brewers in May 2000. ... The rookie Elizabethton Twins have made it to the Appalachian League Championship. The best-of-three series kicked off Friday night at 6 p.m. CT in Elizabethton. It is the sixth consecutive year the Twins have been in the Appalachian League Championship, and they have won it five times under current manager Ray Smith.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.