07/10/11 7:15 PM ET
Young, Plouffe set to return after break
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
To make room for Young and Plouffe on the roster, catcher Rene Rivera and outfielder Rene Tosoni, who had two hits and an RBI in Sunday's 6-3 victory, were optioned to Rochester.
Young, on the disabled list since June 26 with a sprained right ankle, played in a doubleheader on Saturday, going a combined 2-for-6 with a walk while playing seven innings in left field. He went 1-for-2 with a two-run homer on Sunday, and finished his nine-game rehab stint with a .290 batting average, two homers and three doubles.
"Tosoni needs to go play," Gardenhire said. "He's a nice-looking young player, but Delmon's going to play every day. [Ben] Revere's going to play in center and [Michael] Cuddyer and whoever else will be playing right a lot, so he needs to go down there and get some more swings, and we'll see where we're at here in a couple weeks."
Plouffe, meanwhile, has been impressive at the plate with Rochester. He had a .313 batting average and 1.019 OPS in 51 games with 15 homers and 11 doubles after going 1-for-4 on Sunday. He's also played all over the diamond recently, as the shortstop has seen time at first base, second base, third base, left field and right field.
Plouffe, who struggled defensively during his 18-game stint with the Twins earlier this year with three errors, has been playing first base with Rochester since Tuesday.
"He's doing fine with no problems," Gardenhire said. "He's played well everywhere he's been down there. He's confident, which is a big thing for me, because he fought it so much when he was up here."
Rivera, meanwhile, hit .181 with a home run and four RBIs in 27 games with the Twins, but became expendable with the return of Joe Mauer and emergence of Drew Butera, who is hitting .311 over his last 20 games.
Tosoni had a .205 batting average and two homers in 26 games with Minnesota, but fared much better recently, hitting .304 over his last six starts in the left field.
"He said he enjoyed me being here," Tosoni said of his talk with Gardenhire. "It's just we've got so many outfielders we had to make a move. It was fortunate for me to be here just because of injuries. But I've had a good time being up here and I'm glad about the opportunity."
Sprained toe forces Thome out of lineup
CHICAGO -- Jim Thome, who has been bothered by a sprained left big toe, was held out of the lineup against the White Sox on Sunday for precautionary reasons, giving Joe Mauer a chance to serve as the designated hitter.
Thome, who remains just five homers away from 600 in his career, isn't expected to land on the disabled list, but will use the All-Star break as a time to rest his injured toe.
He was bothered by it on Saturday, as he couldn't push off his left foot while swinging, and ended up going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.
"Thome definitely has a little bit of that toe thing, which is causing some issues," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He has a sore back and everything else. So we just decided to just use him in a pinch-hit thing today, if we need him off the bench. You saw his swings yesterday, and he was fighting it pretty good."
Span heads home to rest before exam
CHICAGO -- Center fielder Denard Span, out with a concussion sustained June 3 in a collision with Royals catcher Brayan Pena, flew home to Tampa, Fla. before Sunday's game against the White Sox, and is expected to rest before being evaluated by doctors on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Span, who needs to be cleared by Major League Baseball before starting a rehab assignment, has been feeling much better recently. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he expects him to be cleared during the All-Star break and could begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester shortly thereafter.
"He'll see the doctor and the doctor will say, 'Yes, I'll do the final test' and tell Major League Baseball, 'He's ready to go.'" Gardenhire said. "And you're looking at 7-10 days down there. I'm guessing maybe 50 at-bats. He needs to hit. Same with [Jason] Kubel."
Kubel, on the disabled list retroactive to May 31 with a sprained left foot, suffered a setback last week while playing right field with Class A Fort Myers. But his foot is feeling better, and he also could start a rehab stint with Rochester after the break.Right-hander Kevin Slowey, meanwhile, on the disabled list since May 21 with an abdomen strain, tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings in a rehab start with Rochester on Sunday. He threw 71 pitches, allowing four hits and walking one, while striking out three.