4/11/2014 7:25 P.M. ET
Twins set to place Willingham on disabled list
By Kerry Walls / Special to MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced they will place left fielder Josh Willingham on the 15-day disabled list prior to Saturday's game. A round of batting practice on Friday yielded familiar soreness in the left wrist that was hit by a pitch last Sunday.
"I talked to him the last couple days," assistant general manager Rob Antony said, "and he's just not feeling any better."
The club will call up right-hander Michael Tonkin from Triple-A Rochester. He's expected to arrive in time for Saturday afternoon's middle game against the Royals.
Willingham's DL move is retroactive to April 7, and the expectation is that he'll only need the minimum amount of time on the DL. But just to be safe, Antony said the team will have the outfielder undergo an MRI on the wrist.
"We were initially encouraged because there wasn't a lot of swelling," Antony said. "But you've got to be comfortable when dealing with your hands. We don't want this to be something to linger all season.
"We've played short as long as we can. They can look into a little further to make sure they're not missing something like a small fracture."
Tonkin made one appearance for Minnesota earlier in the season, tossing a scoreless inning against the White Sox on April 2. He hasn't allowed a run in 4 2/3 innings for the Red Wings this season while striking out five.
"Our starters haven't been getting deep into games," Antony said, "so we can probably use an extra pitcher in the bullpen more than another position player right now."
Gardenhire out to attend funeral for Hirschbeck's son
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire will not be in the dugout for the next two games as he attends the funeral of Michael Hirschbeck, the 27-year-old son of Major League umpire John Hirschbeck.
Michael Hirschbeck, who passed away this past week, suffered from a rare brain disease known as adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). It's the same disease that took the life of Hirschbeck's 8-year-old son John Drew in 1993.
Bench coach Terry Steinbach will serve as the skipper for the first two games of the Royals-Twins series.
Michael developed a relationship with Twins general manager Terry Ryan while receiving treatment when he was 13 at the University of Minnesota. He's served as a batboy during spring and regular-season games over the years.
"There's a place in Gardy's heart for [Michael]," Steinbach said. "We knew he would try to do everything he could to get there. He told us yesterday this was the way he was going to work out."
For Steinbach, it will be his first time managing at any level, other than taking over for Gardenhire because of ejections.
"First time at the helm," Steinbach said. "So, I'm kind of excited about it. But this isn't my gig. I just wear the hat. I'm going to be tapping into these [coaches]."
Kerry Walls is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.