Sunday, April 20, 2008

Injury Notes

Yesterday's game was a good one, with the Twins picking up a 3-0 victory over the Indians. Justin Morneau hit his fifth home run in the first inning and Carlos Gomez added an RBI single in the second, which was all the Twins would need. Joe Nathan continued his flawless start to the year in order to notch his sixth save.

A few injury updates, though, that need attention:

It appears that Kevin Slowey will be ready to come off the disabled list soon, which begs the question of who should be taken out of the rotation. Clearly, Francisco Liriano has been the worst pitcher, but do the Twins want him to continue making Major League starts in order to aid his comeback from Tommy John surgery? Nick Blackburn may be the choice, but he is certainly making it hard with the way he is pitching. After yesterday's 7.2 shutout innings, he lowered his ERA to 2.49. He also got his first Major League win; he did all this despite striking out only one Indian. It will be interesting to see what the Twins do.

Michael Cuddyer could be ready to rejoin the Twins on Friday. When Cuddyer comes back, I think the obvious choice is to send Denard Span right back where he came from. I don't have any problem with him, and I've been rooting for him to do well, but he hasn't performed. Therefore, when there's rumors that Gomez might be sent down instead, it's a little puzzling. If Gomez really begins to struggle, I would much rather see Jason Pridie than Denard Span getting regular starts in center.

And Adam Everett was put on the DL with a shoulder injury, opening a spot on the roster. The Twins used it to call up Brian Buscher, who will start today at third base and will be hitting sixth. Everett's injury gives Gardenhire the perfect opportunity to start getting Nick Punto in the lineup all the time, as he is today, unless Matt Tolbert continues playing lights-out baseball.

Speaking of the lineup today, it looks very different. Joe Mauer is getting a day off, as Mike Redmond takes over catching duties for the day. Morneau is resting from the field, starting at DH, with Mike Lamb moving over to play first. Add in Buscher, who's playing his first game of the year, and Punto, who hasn't played much this year, and the lineup looks drastically different.

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