Results tagged ‘ Jim Thome ’

Thome on Cuddyer

Former Twins designated hitter Jim Thome is headed to the Phillies on a one-year deal worth $1.25 million, and now there are reports out of Philadelphia that the club is also interested in Michael Cuddyer.

Thome, at his introductory press conference on Saturday, was asked about his relationship with Cuddyer and if Cuddyer has any interest in playing in Philadelphia.

Here’s what he had to say:

(Have you talked to Cuddyer?)
We’ve texted a little bit. We’ve talked. All I can say about Michael is he’s a great player. He’s a winner. He’s a stand-up guy. I know he’s done a lot of great things on and off the field in Minnesota. Anybody that plays in that organization for a long time, their credibility is instantly high. Any team that gets him is going to gain. He’s a great teammate. I would put Michael as one of my top-five, all-time favorite teammates. No question. He’s up there. He’s a winner.

(Does he have any interest in Philly?)
I can’t answer that. Look, every player that sees the way the Phillies have done things over the last seven or eight years, they’ve set the bar very, very high. Guys around baseball would love to come here. When you win, you create a lot of good things.

(He didn’t say he’d like to join you?)
He did not.

(Did you encourage him to do that?)
I could, yes. Absolutely. I’m sure we will talk going forward.

Indians claim Thome, White Sox claim Kubel

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins designated hitter Jim Thome was claimed on waivers by the Indians, while the White Sox were awarded the waiver claim on Twins outfielder Jason Kubel, according to a report.

Minnesota has until noon CT tomorrow to work out deals with the claiming teams, but can also pull the claimed players back off waivers.

The Twins, however, did not offer a comment, as waiver moves are supposed to be confidential, per Major League rules.

Thome, who has a no-trade clause and has never won a World Series, declined to state whether he’d accept a trade to a contender when asked earlier this week.

The Indians enter today six games back of the first-place Tigers in the American League Central, and it’s unclear whether he would OK a trade to Cleveland.

Thome did play there for the first 12 seasons of his career from 1991-2002, and could be a fit considering Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner is on the disabled list with a right foot strain.

Kubel, meanwhile, also makes sense for the White Sox, who are 6 1/2 games out, because outfielder Carlos Quentin has been bothered by a shoulder injury.

But he currently projects as a Type B free agent, and could even achieve Type A status, so the Twins would want a good return to make up for losing a compensation pick, or possibly two, in next year’s First-Year Player Draft.

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:

Tigers (51-46)

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)

Twins (46-51)

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)

Mauer back at catcher (Game 87 vs. White Sox)

CHICAGO — Joe Mauer is back at catcher tonight after playing first base yesterday.

And Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wanted to clarify comments made by Joe Mauer after last night’s game, when he reiterated he’s still a catcher despite impressing in his first career start at first base.

Gardenhire simply wanted to make it clear that Mauer will remain the club’s catcher moving forward, but that the four-time All-Star has no problems with playing first base to get his bat in the lineup with Justin Morneau out until mid-August.

“He’s a catcher and he’ll do whatever we ask,” Gardenhire said. “But he wants it known he’s a catcher and he feels really good behind the plate and loves running the game. But we can use him at first base and we’ll be able to do that in the second half to keep his bat in the lineup and also give him those days from getting beat up from behind the plate.”

Gardenhire then dropped a hint that Mauer could even play the outfield, but later said it was just a statement to show that Mauer is willing to do whatever is asked of him.

“If [Jim] Thome can play, you can put Mauer at first, and it’s not even an issue, which is really cool,” Gardenhire said. “And if Morny comes back, like he’s going to do in August, we might have him play in the outfield somewhere too. Oh, write that one. Look at the Tweets right now. Look at the bloggers firing it through now. Who knows? He’ll do whatever we want him to do just to keep his bat in the lineup.”

Gardenhire then was asked if his comments were tongue in cheek, and confirmed it was more of a hypothetical situation than anything else.

“I love it. I absolutely love it. I’m trying to explain to you that he’ll play wherever and if I ask Joe to play right field or left field, he’ll say, “OK, if that’s what you need.’” Gardenhire said. “That’s the point I’m trying to get across. If I ask him to do that, he’ll give it a go.”

Twins (39-47)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Danny Valencia, DH
6. Rene Tosoni, LF
7. Luke Hughes, 1B
8. Tsuysho Nishioka, SS
9. Matt Tolbert, 3B

RHP Nick Blackburn (6-6, 4.02 ERA, 4.56 FIP, 1.86 K/BB)

White Sox (43-46)

1. Juan Pierre, LF
2. Alexei Ramirez, SS
3. Paul Konerko, 1B
4. Adam Dunn, DH
5. Carlos Quentin, RF
6. Alex Rios, CF
7. A.J. Pierzynski, C
8. Gordon Beckham, 2B
9. Brent Morel, 3B

RHP Gavin Floyd (6-8, 4.17 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 2.75 K/BB)

Mauer at DH, Thome sits (Game 78 vs Dodgers)

MINNEAPOLIS — With Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly on the mound tonight, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire opted to sit designated hitter Jim Thome to allow Joe Mauer a chance to get some rest by serving as DH.

Mauer, though, will return to catching duty tomorrow afternoon, and Thome will back at DH, as rookie right-hander Rubby De La Rosa will be on the mound for the Dodgers.

“He’ll catch tomorrow,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Just do it tonight so that Thome could get an opportunity to DH tomorrow also. Thome wasn’t going to play today, so Mauer can play tonight and Thome can DH tomorrow while Mauer catches. So this gives us a break one way or another.”

Lineups for tonight’s 7:10 CT start at Target Field:

Dodgers (36-44)

1. Tony Gwynn, Jr., LF
2. Casey Blake, 1B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Matt Kemp, CF
5. Juan Uribe, 3B
6. Marcus Thames, DH
7. Aaron Miles, 2B
8. A.J. Ellis, C
9. Jamey Carroll, SS

LHP Ted Lilly (5-7, 4.63 ERA, 4.35 FIP, 3.78 K/BB)

Twins (32-45)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Jason Repko, LF
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

LHP Brian Duensing (4-7, 4.54 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 2.15 K/BB)

Roster moves coming (Game 73 vs. Giants)

SAN FRANCISCO — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed right-hander Joe Nathan and designated hitter Jim Thome will be activated in time for Friday’s game in Milwaukee, and the club will make two moves to make for them on the 25-man roster after today’s game against the Giants.

Gardenhire said the club will option both a reliever and a catcher to make room for Nathan and Thome on the roster, as the club is currently carrying two backup catchers — Rene Rivera and Drew Butera — behind Joe Mauer. He said the decision between Rivera and Butera was a tough one, but offered no hints on which catcher will be headed to Triple-A Rochester other than the fact that Rivera was in the starting lineup on Thursday.

My best guess is that the club decides to keep Rivera on the roster, while optioning right-hander Jim Hoey to Rochester. But we’ll see.

Here are the lineups for today’s 2:45 p.m. CT start at AT&T Park:

Twins (32-40)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
4. Delmon Young, LF
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Rene Rivera, C
8. Matt Tolbert, SS
9. Brian Duensing, LHP (4-6, 4.82 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 2.12 K/BB)

Giants (40-34)

1. Aaron Rowand, CF
2. Bill Hall, 2B
3. Aubrey Huff, 1B
4. Cody Ross, RF
5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
6. Pat Burrell, LF
7. Miguel Tejada, SS
8. Chris Stewart, C
9. Tim Lincecum, RHP (5-6, 3.39 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 2.81 K/BB)

Thome, Nathan to return Friday (Game 72 vs. Giants)

SAN FRANCISCO — Twins trainer Rick McWane said today that both designated hitter Jim Thome and closer Joe Nathan will rejoin the club on Friday in Milwaukee.

Thome had five at-bats in a simulated game and won’t need to play in a Minor League before returning to action. He’ll serve as a pinch-hitter against the Brewers before returning to his regular role as DH when the Twins return to Target Field on Monday to host the Dodgers.

Nathan, meanwhile, tossed a scoreless inning with Triple-A Rochester last night, and is scheduled to throw another inning in relief tonight before being activated from the disabled list on Friday.

I’ll have more info on the return of both players in today’s Twins Notebook.

But here are the lineups for both clubs for tonight’s 9:15 p.m. CT start at AT&T Park:

Twins (32-39)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Luke Hughes, 1B
8. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS
9. Nick Blackburn, RHP (6-4, 3.16 ERA, 4.50 FIP, 1.96 K/BB)

Giants (39-34)

1. Aaron Rowand, CF
2. Emmanuel Burriss, 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
4. Aubrey Huff, 1B
5. Cody Ross, LF
6. Nate Schierholtz, RF
7. Brandon Crawford, SS
8. Eli Whiteside, C
9. Ryan Vogelsong, RHP (4-1, 1.92 ERA, 2.93 FIP, 3.00 K/BB)

Memorial Day: Twins vs. Tigers (Game 52)

Designated hitter Jim Thome, who had a cortisone shot in his left shoulder after Saturday’s game, returns to the lineup today against the Tigers and is batting sixth after sitting out on Sunday.

With Thome back in there, Michael Cuddyer moves to second base and Alexi Casilla goes back to shortstop with Trevor Plouffe on the bench after airmailing two throws in Sunday’s 6-5 loss to the Angels. The Twins are hoping Casilla continues to swing a hot bat — he’s hitting .529 (9-for-17) with three doubles and a triple over his last five games — and that it carries over on the road, as he’s hitting just .160/.232/.240 away from Target Field this year.

Here are the lineups for the 12:10 p.m. CT start against the Tigers at Comerica Park:

Twins (17-34)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Jason Kubel, RF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, 2B
6. Jim Thome, DH
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Danny Valencia, 3B
9. Rene Rivera, C

RHP Nick Blackburn (4-4, 3.20 ERA, 1.75 K/BB, 4.41 FIP)

Tigers (26-26)

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Andy Dirks, LF
3. Brennan Boesch, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Jhonny Perlata, SS
7. Alex Avila, C
8. Ryan Raburn, 2B
9. Brandon Inge, 3B

RHP Brad Penny (4-4, 4.45 ERA, 1.23 K/BB, 4.49 FIP)

Game 22 vs. Rays

It’s going to be quite cold tonight here at Target Field.

The Twins even received a shipment of specially designed hats from New Era that include built-in ear flaps to stay warm.

But it’s yet to be seen if any of the players will actually wear them during the game, as a few said they’ll wear them only during batting practice.

Either way, staying warm will be key for both teams, as the players are all expected to layer up to help fight the cold with temperatures expected to dip into the mid-30s.

Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano will also hope to heat up (no pun intended), as he’s off to a slow start this season with a 7.40 ERA over his first four outings of the season.

His ERA is certainly bloated compared to last season, but even worse, it’s his peripheral stats that are lacking this year. It’s obviously a small sample size, but he’s struck out as many as he’s walked with 14 strikeouts and 14 walks over 20 2/3 innings. He’s also served up four home runs after giving up just nine all of last season.

Liriano has always had trouble with walks, but last year he helped make up for it by striking out 201 batters over 191 2/3 innings, while walking 58.

His strikeout rate is down this season, and a big culprit could be that he’s suffering from a dip in fastball velocity, as it averaged 93.7 mph last year and is at 92.1 mph this year, according to FanGraphs.

It’s still early, so he could regain velocity as the season goes along, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can bounce back and repeat his numbers from his impressive 2010 campaign.

UPDATE: Delmon Young was a late scratch from the lineup, as he said he couldn’t get loose during batting practice. Matt Tolbert is now in the lineup, playing second base and batting ninth. Michael Cuddyer shifts from first base to right field, Jason Kubel from right field to left field and Luke Hughes from second base to first base. Additionally, Jim Thome (oblique) and Jason Repko (quad) are also unavailable tonight, leaving backup catcher Steve Holm as the lone option off the bench.

Twins lineup vs. Rays (7:10 p.m. start at Target Field)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Jason Kubel, LF
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Drew Butera, C
8. Luke Hughes, 1B
9. Matt Tolbert, 2B

LHP Francisco Liriano (1-3, 7.40 ERA, 20 2/3 IP, 14 K, 14 BB, 6.38 FIP)

Rays lineup

1. Sam Fuld, LF
2. Johnny Damon, DH
3. Justin Upton, CF
4. Ben Zobrist, RF
5. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
6. Felipe Lopez, 3B
7. Kelly Shoppach, C
8. Dan Johnson, 1B
9. Reid Brignac, SS

RHP Wade Davis (2-2, 2.73 ERA, 26 1/3 IP, 10 K, 8 BB, 3.80 FIP)

Game 9 vs. A’s: Cuddyer to second base

It’s obvious the Twins are doing just about anything they can to generate offense in the early going this season.

It’s certainly the case with today’s lineup with Michael Cuddyer getting his first start at second base since 2005, which gets his bat in there along with left-handed hitters Jason Kubel and Jim Thome against A’s right-hander Brandon McCarthy.

It’ll be interesting to see how Cuddyer does defensively at second, but Ron Gardenhire seemed comfortable with him as an option there, even if he’s not going to display too much range out there.

The Twins’ lineup does look more potent with the move, however, and so we’ll see if it can jump-start this sluggish offense. Gardenhire sure seemed to think so in his media session before Sunday’s game.

“You take a lineup like today, we’re pretty thick all the way up and down it,” Gardenhire said. “So, we’ve got some good hitters. It’s just a matter of time we start whacking the ball.”

Gardenhire also said no one is too worried about the slow start offensively, as the offense was the last thing the club was concerned about coming out of Spring Training.

“Is it frustrating for everybody? Yes, because we have very good hitters,” Gardenhire said. “But I’m not one of these, ‘Oh my goodness, what are we going to do?’ kind of things. I like our guys when they walk to the plate, I like the chance that we have every time we walk to the plate.”

Lineups for the 1:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field

Twins (3-5)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Justin Morneau, 1B
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Jason Kubel, RF
7. Michael Cuddyer, 2B
8. Danny Valencia, 3B
9. Alexi Casilla, SS

RHP Scott Baker (0-1, 6.00 ERA, 6 IP, 1.00 K/BB, 8.54 FIP)

A’s (3-5)

1. David DeJesus, CF
2. Daric Barton, 1B
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Hideki Matsui, DH
5. Ryan Sweeney, RF
6. Mark Ellis, 2B
7. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
8. Landon Powell, C
9. Cliff Pennington, SS

RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 8 IP, 2.00 K/BB, 2.91 FIP)