05/01/12 9:29 PM ET
Morneau set to rejoin Twins after positive MRI
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Morneau, who had a tendon stabilized in the wrist last September, left Monday's game against the Angels with soreness and flew to Minnesota to meet with hand specialist Thomas Varecka. He received welcome news after undergoing the MRI exam and is scheduled to fly back here on Wednesday, according to assistant general manager Rob Antony.
"Everything looked good with the tendon," Antony said. "And everything that had been surgically repaired -- there was a little fluid and inflammation, which was causing some of the pain -- but the doctors do not believe he's a DL candidate, so we're going to try to get him back here [Wednesday] to rejoin the team."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing the news, but says he's still not sure whether Morneau will be ready to return to action in time for Friday's game in Seattle against the Mariners after Thursday's off-day.
"I was very excited," Gardenhire said. "I was very happy. I was concerned with him last night after talking to him about his swing. Justin swings really, really hard. So coming off wrist surgery, he's going to take those swings, and there's always concern. But he's been getting through it. Ever since Spring Training, everything has been great but he had a little setback. But that's normal with anybody who had surgery. So there's some soreness. We'll give him a couple days here, which I planned on doing anyways."
The Twins, though, remain optimistic that Morneau get past this setback with treatment and that it won't be a lingering concern this season.
"Hopefully, with some of the medication, that can decrease the fluid and the inflammation and hopefully, it's not an issue that he has to deal with or manage all year," Antony said. "If it is, that's something he's been through before. But I think mainly, he got some peace of mind knowing that he hasn't re-injured the tendon or that there was not anything structural with the wrist, so this is something he can deal with."
Butera recalled for catching flexibility
ANAHEIM -- The Twins recalled catcher Drew Butera from Triple-A Rochester, and designated infielder Sean Burroughs for assignment to make room for Butera on the roster on Tuesday.
In 15 games with Rochester, Butera hit .279 with three doubles, one homer and five RBIs. The move gives the Twins three catchers, as Butera joins Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit on the roster.
It also gives the Twins more flexibility behind the plate because Mauer is dealing with soreness in his left knee after he was hit by a foul tip on Sunday. Mauer served as designated hitter on Tuesday against the Angels with Doumit getting the start at catcher.
"Right now I need protection with my catching situation," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's why we had to make a roster move. I wasn't ready to send down a pitcher yet. We ended up bringing a catcher up here because it protects me a little bit. Sean, if we get through all this, will go down there and get some swings, which is not a bad thing. He agreed with that, too. He can go get swings and see what happens."
Butera saw action in 93 games with the Twins last year, but hit just .167 with 12 extra-base hits and 11 walks. He fared better in Spring Training, batting .273 with two doubles, before hitting .278 at Triple-A Rochester.
"You always want to get better, but I'm happy with my progress," said Butera, who got the call at 1:30 a.m. ET and boarded a 6 a.m. flight from Rochester, N.Y., on Tuesday morning. "I'm happy with the direction it's going and I'm looking forward to keeping it going up here."
Burroughs, meanwhile, batted .178 with a double, a walk and an RBI in 10 games. The Twins have 10 days to trade Burroughs, release him or pass him through waivers. If he goes through waivers unclaimed, he could be optioned to Triple-A Rochester.
"He's done everything we've asked," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "It's just been a matter of what works best for the manager, and what we need to do, how he can use the bench players. And right now with Joe with a little bit of a sore knee, to have that other catcher I think gives Gardy a lot more flexibility."
Casilla moves up in order, Carroll slides down
ANAHEIM -- The Twins shuffled their lineup against the Angels on Tuesday, as second baseman Alexi Casilla batted second and shortstop Jamey Carroll batted ninth for the first time this season.
Casilla has been hitting well recently, as he entered Tuesday's game hitting .300 with a .323 on-base percentage in 19 games. He also has a team-high five stolen bases.
"Casilla is swinging very hot," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's running the bases aggressively. So I just flip-flopped them. I had Casilla there for a long time. So I thought I'd try it out and put Carroll down there."
Carroll has struggled with a .214 average, but has still has posted a .320 on-base percentage on the strength of 12 walks.
"I think Jamey has been doing a great job," Gardenhire said. "His batting average is not great right now, but his on-base percentage is still .320 or something. So that's pretty good for a second hitter and I have no doubt he can handle that. But Alexi is swinging it pretty good. And I want to get some people on in front of those guys out there."