04/30/12 11:52 PM ET
Gardenhire to skip Seattle series for graduation
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Bench coach Scott Ullger will serve as manager in his absence, as Gardenhire will return in time for Minnesota's game against the Angels on May 7 at Target Field.
Ullger has served as manager in Gardenhire's absence in three different stints with a career 7-4 record as Twins manager. Ullger also had a career 567-433 record (.567) as a Minor League manager.
Morneau to have wrist checked in Minnesota
ANAHEIM -- Twins designated hitter Justin Morneau left Monday's game against the Angels in the seventh inning with a sore left wrist and is scheduled to fly back to Minnesota to see hand specialist Dr. Thomas Varecka on Tuesday.
Morneau had surgery on that wrist last September to stabilize a tendon and was in a cast for six weeks during the offseason.
He said it started bothering him again during the club's three-game series in Tampa from April 20-22 and that he began to feel more discomfort as the week went on. He said it was particularly painful in his second at-bat against Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson in the fourth inning of Monday's 4-3 loss, when he struck out swinging.
"It was one of those things I was able to deal with but then it kind of got worse over the weekend," Morneau said. "I don't know. There's not much I can do. Hopefully it's just scar tissue breaking up."
Morneau said he's not sure if he'll have an MRI exam taken on his left wrist during his meeting with Varecka. He added the ligament doesn't feel loose, but that his wrist feels more sore than anything.
"I'm not going to play worst-case scenario yet," Morneau said. "I'm going to try to stay positive and hopefully it's just a normal part of the process and will just be a couple days and maybe needs a cortisone shot or maybe some rest. Hopefully it's just scar tissue breaking up. So I'll stay optimistic now until I hear different."
Morneau grounded out to first base and struck out in his two at-bats against Wilson. Sean Burroughs went 0-for-2 as his replacement, as he grounded out to lead off the seventh and grounded out again with two runners on and one out in the eighth against reliever LaTroy Hawkins.
Morneau, 30, played in just 69 games last season after battling concussion symptoms and undergoing surgeries on his neck, left wrist, left knee and right foot.
He's batting .230 with a .313 on-base percentage and .459 slugging percentage in 20 games this season. He also has four homers, five doubles and nine RBIs while seeing action in 16 games as designated hitter and four games at first base.
Mauer takes first break to rest sore knee
ANAHEIM -- After playing in every inning of the Twins' first 21 games, catcher Joe Mauer was held out of the lineup against the Angels on Monday after taking a foul ball off his left knee Sunday.
Mauer was hit right above his knee by a foul tip from Royals catcher Brayan Pena in the ninth inning of the Twins' 7-4 win over Kansas City. Mauer stayed in the game but said that Monday was a good day to get his first day off this season.
"I'm pretty sore from yesterday," Mauer said. "I'm going to get in there and get some treatment like I've been doing. Hopefully, I'll be back in there [Tuesday]."
Manager Ron Gardenhire said Mauer was held out mostly for precautionary reasons and that he expects Mauer to be back in the lineup Tuesday.
"We'll just back him off a bit," Gardenhire said. "He's available for the ballgame but he has a little soreness in his knee, so there's no sense in messing around with it."
Adding to the reasons to sit Mauer was the fact that he's just a career .091 hitter (2-for-22) against Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson.
"He doesn't have great numbers against him, but he's 1-for-3 this year," Gardenhire said with a smile. "But yeah, it's ugly."
Gardenhire said he still hadn't decided whether Mauer will make his next start at catcher, first base or designated hitter. But Mauer said he'd like to get back behind the plate, especially with left-hander Francisco Liriano set to start Tuesday after missing his last start to clear his head after a rocky start to the year.
"I want to be back there every day if I could, but it's not going to happen, I guess," said Mauer, who is hitting .325 this season. So I'd definitely like be back in there [Tuesday]."
Carew, Oliva, Quilici to host Killebrew Classic
ANAHEIM -- The Twins announced plans for the ninth annual Harmon Killebrew Classic, which will be held on June 27-28 in Minnesota.
The theme of this year's fundraiser is "Three for 3," as a trio of Killebrew's closest friends and contemporaries --- Rod Carew, Tony Oliva and Frank Quilici --- will host the event to ensure the Hall of Famer's legacy and commitment to the community continues even after he passed away last May.
The two-day event will benefit the Twins Community Fund and the Miracle League of Minnesota. A dinner and auction will be hosted in the Carew Atrium at Target Field on Wednesday night before a celebrity golf tournament will tee off at Legends Golf Club in Prior Lake, Minn., on Thursday morning.
The dinner is open to the public with tickets available for $150 per person. Foursomes for the golf tournament and sponsorship opportunities are also available.
For more information, visit www.harmonkillebrewfoundation.org.