09/09/10 12:36 AM ET
Mijares tosses successful bullpen session
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
Fuentes' MRI reveals no structural damage
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins received good news on left-hander Brian Fuentes on Wednesday when an MRI revealed no structural damage in his lower back.The Twins sent Fuentes to get an MRI after he arrived at the ballpark with more stiffness in his back, one day after he threw a bullpen session at about 70 percent effort. "He's pretty stiff," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before Wednesday's game "He doesn't want to take a chance, and so [team doctors] said let's get an MRI and see where we're at and what's going on." Fuentes felt his back initially "lock up" on him while warming up in the bullpen on Sept. 1 during a game at Target Field against the Tigers. At the time, he said he'd had similar issues a few times in his career and he didn't think it would take more than a few days for him to be available out of the bullpen, although he's now missed a week of action. But with the MRI coming back clean, Gardenhire said the team will likely have Fuentes try to throw on Friday in Cleveland to see how his back feels. "Everything checked out good, so now we just have to get him out and pitching," Gardenhire said. "That's probably peace of mind for him. ... If you know there is nothing there then maybe you'll feel more comfortable going out and flipping it. We'll see." This isn't the first time this season that Fuentes has dealt with back problems. He missed 16 days back in April when he was with the Angels after going on the 15-day disabled list with a similar back issue. Fuentes has faced just one batter since the Twins acquired him on Aug. 27 in a waiver trade with the Angels in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Loek Van Mil. Fuentes recorded the last out of a game against Seattle, retiring Russell Branyan for a save on Aug. 28 -- his first day with the club.
Thome day-to-day with abdominal strain
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins designated hitter Jim Thome was scratched from Wednesday's lineup with a mild abdominal strain.The Twins said that the move was for precautionary reasons and that Thome is day-to-day. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Thome first felt something high in the muscle while he was doing cage work after batting practice. He went in the skipper's office at 6:30 p.m. and the two decided it was best not to take a chance by playing him. "We called it Greinke-itis," Gardenhire joked. With Gardenhire's joke, the feeling appeared to be that the injury wasn't anything serious. "We sure hope not," Gardenhire said. "You just never know with ab strains. Wait and see how he does when he comes in Friday. He doesn't seem to think it's much. Kind of felt more like a cramp. Have to wait and see." Jose Morales was slotted in as the Twins' DH in place of Thome, batting seventh. Left fielder Delmon Young moved up a spot in the order to bat sixth. Thome had played in three of the last four games for the Twins, reaching base in 11 of 12 plate appearances while hitting four home runs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Thome became the first player to hit a homer in three straight games at age 40 or older since Barry Bonds did it in September 2006 at age 42. The last Twins player to do so was Dave Winfield in July 1993 at age 41.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.