Kubel expected to be activated (Game 98 vs. Tigers)
MINNEAPOLIS — Jason Kubel, who was out with a sprained left foot suffered May 30, is expected to be activated from the disabled list after tonight’s game against the Tigers, and could be back in the lineup tomorrow.
Kubel played nine innings in right field with Triple-A Rochester this morning and flew back to the Twin Cities after the game. He’s expected to be reevaluated upon his return, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he expects Kubel to play tomorrow.
“I called Kubel last night and he’s seeing the ball great and feeling good,” Gardenhire said. “He hit an opposite-field homer and three hits yesterday and another hit today. He says he feels great and has no problem with his foot.”
Kubel, who made two rehab stints with the Red Wings because of a setback suffered on June 30, finished with a .333 average and a .984 OPS in five games.
He also was the Twins’ most consistent hitter before his injury, as he was batting .310/.355/.465 with five homers and 30 RBIs in 52 games with the Twins.
Gardenhire now is faced with the task of working Kubel into a crowded lineup, as if Kubel starts in right field, it pushes Michael Cuddyer to another position such as first base, and if he serves as designated hitter, it means Jim Thome is on the bench. But Gardenhire views it as a good problem to have.
“I’ll take my chances,” Gardenhire said. “I’ll find a way. Believe me. We’ve been really right-handed, and I’d like some more pop left-handed.”
Gardenhire added there’s a “really good chance” that a pitcher will be sent to Triple-A upon Kubel’s return with left-handers Scott Diamond and Chuck James the most likely candidates.
Lineups for the 7:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field:
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Brennan Boesch, LF
3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
7. Carlos Guillen, 2B
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Wilson Betemit, 3B
RHP Justin Verlander (12-5, 2.29 ERA, 2.70 FIP, 4.64 K/BB)
1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS
9. Drew Butera, C
RHP Carl Pavano (6-6, 4.08 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 2.24 K/BB)