09/18/10 6:09 PM ET
Baker a possibility to start Tuesday for Twins
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
Shoulder tightness keeps Span out
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins center fielder Denard Span was out of the lineup for a second straight day on Saturday due to a sore right shoulder, and it's unclear whether he'll be ready to start during this series with the A's.Span said that his shoulder was feeling better on Saturday morning, two days after he injured it while diving for a ball hit by Juan Pierre in Thursday night's game at Chicago. Although he felt something in the shoulder on the play, Span said it wasn't until the plane ride home it began to stiffen up on him, and he woke up on Friday with difficulty getting the shoulder loose. The diagnosis on his shoulder was a bruised rotator cuff, Span said, and he's been taking some medication to help deal with the soreness. "We might be taking some tests soon to make sure nothing more than that," Span said. "But I don't think it's anything that should have me out for more than a couple days." With Span out, Ben Revere was given his second Major League start in center field Saturday. Revere went 0-for-3 with a walk while leading off in his first start on Friday night. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire commended the rookie for drawing a walk in the contest and battling in his at-bats against one of the tougher left-handers in the game, A's starter Brett Anderson. While Span was not ready to start on Saturday, he did say that he's willing to come off the bench to pinch-run or play defense if the team needs him. The shoulder only bothers him during the second half of his swing, so he'll likely to have to wait until the soreness is out before he starts trying to swing again. "I'm just listening what they are saying, and I told them it's feeling a lot better," Span said. "Hopefully if he needs me off the bench to pinch-run or play some defense, I should be able to do that. I'll take a break from swinging today and see how I feel tomorrow."
Mauer slots in at DH; Thome gets day off
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jim Thome did not start for the first time in a week, as Joe Mauer was slotted in the designated hitter spot on Saturday afternoon.Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he spoke with Mauer on Saturday morning to see how the catcher was feeling. Mauer did not start on Friday, but had entered the game to pinch-hit in the seventh and caught the final two innings. "I talked to Mauer and he said that he thought a DH day would probably be a very good thing today," Gardenhire said. "It's probably a good thing for Thome, too, since he has been swinging a lot lately, too." Drew Butera was behind the plate for a second consecutive day with Mauer hitting in the DH spot. For Thome, it ended a streak of six straight starts as Minnesota's DH. The Twins have been careful not to overdo Thome's workload and considering that it was a day game after a night game, Gardenhire said this was also a good time to give the veteran slugger a rest.
Jason Kubel was feeling better on Saturday after experiencing a sore left wrist, but he was still was not ready to play. It's a possibility that he could return to the lineup for Sunday's series finale with Oakland. ... The Twins entered Saturday with a 23-11 record against American League West opponents this year. Last year, the Twins had a 19-21 record against the division, and they haven't had a winning record since 2007, when they went 21-13.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.