Results tagged ‘ Michael Cuddyer ’

Twins make formal offer to Cuddyer

DALLAS — Twins general manager Terry Ryan confirmed he met with free-agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer’s agent, Casey Close, today, and that an offer is on the table.

Ryan wouldn’t talk specifics about the offer, but according to multiple reports, it’s expected to be in the three-year, $24 million range.

He said there’s still no timetable for when Cuddyer will make a decision, but that he hopes that he comes to a decision sooner rather than later.

“There will be finality eventually,” Ryan said. “I’m not sure how close we are to that point.”

Ryan added that the Twins have the advantage of being the only team Cuddyer has ever known, as he was drafted by the club in 1997 and made his debut in Minnesota in ’01.

“The situation with Michael is that there’s a relationship,” Ryan said. “We know him, and he knows us. We know his agent, he knows us. There’s not a whole lot of educational process in this. He’s known us for years. He’s played for the manager and knows the community. There isn’t any mystery here, and that’s a good thing. But I guess the bad thing is that we’re coming off a tough year.”

As Ryan noted, the Twins are coming off a 99-loss season that saw them finish with the worst record in the American League. Cuddyer, who is a career .338 hitter in 22 postseason games, would like to play for a winning team, and known suitors include perennial contenders such as the Phillies and Red Sox.

So Ryan said there’s still no guarantee that Cuddyer will be back in a Twins uniform next year despite the formal offer.

“We’re chasing Michael Cuddyer,” Ryan said. “If we don’t get Michael, we have to make alternative plans. I didn’t think there’s any hidden agenda here. We’d like to have Michael but if we don’t get him and he goes elsewhere, we’ll move on and do something else.”

Other options for the Twins if Cuddyer signs with another club include fellow free-agent outfielders Jason Kubel and Josh Willingham. The Twins already met with Kubel’s agent in Dallas, and are tentatively planned to meet with Willingham’s agent later this week.

Cuddyer also had a busy day today, as his wife, Claudia, gave birth to twin daughters, Chloe and Madeline. Ryan indicated it could be a reason why Cuddyer hasn’t made a decision yet on his future.

“Everybody has responsibility in that area,” Ryan said. “For those of us married, when your wife is pregnant and is about to have twins, your mind is on something other than baseball.”

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.

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)

WAR leaders at halfway point (Game 82 vs Brewers)

MINNEAPOLIS — After last night’s heartbreaking loss to the Brewers in which the Twins blew a seven-run lead — tied for the fourth-worst blown lead in franchise history — the Twins are at the halfway point of the season.

It’s safe to say it’s been a disappointing year for the Twins, who are just 35-46 and enter today trailing the Indians by nine games in the American League Central.

But today was also a positive day for Michael Cuddyer, who was named to the All-Star Game for the first time in his 11-year career.

Cuddyer was certainly a deserving All-Star for his impressive play in the first-half of the season, and his versatility only helped his case. But with that in mind, here’s a look at the leaders for the Twins in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) through 81 games courtesy of FanGraphs.com:

Position players:

1. Denard Span, 2.6
2. Michael Cuddyer, 1.6
3. Jason Kubel, 1.0
4. Alexi Casilla, 0.7
5. Ben Revere, 0.6
6. Jim Thome, 0.5
7. Delmon Young, 0.3
8. Danny Valencia, 0.3
9. Luke Hughes, 0.2

Pitchers:

1. Scott Baker, 2.0
2. Carl Pavano, 1.5
3. Brian Duensing, 1.4
4. Glen Perkins, 0.9
5. Francisco Liriano, 0.8
6. Nick Blackburn, 0.6
7. Alex Burnett, 0.2
8. Anthony Swarzak, 0.1
9. Chuck James, 0.1

Notes: I only included players with positive WARs, so the list didn’t include players such as Joe Mauer (-0.2), Justin Morneau (-0.3), Joe Nathan (-0.3) or Tsuyoshi Nishioka (-0.6). So it really is pretty amazing that Mauer, Morneau and Nathan — with 12 All-Star appearances among them — combined to produce a -0.8 WAR so far this year.

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

Brewers (45-39)

1. Rickie Weeks, DH
2. Nyjer Morgan, CF
3. Corey Hart, RF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Mat Gamel, 3B
6. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
7. Mark Kotsay, LF
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C
9. Craig Counsell, 2B

RHP Zack Greinke (7-3, 5.68 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 6.67 K/BB)

Twins (35-46)

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

RHP Nick Blackburn (6-6, 3.64 ERA, 4.50 FIP, 1.86 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)

Home Opener at Target Field

It’s almost impossible to put a damper on the home opener at Target Field.

The ballpark is amazingly beautiful, it’s packed full of fans and the weather couldn’t be any better today.

But at the same time, the effects of Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s injury could certainly be felt on his teammates and manager Ron Gardenhire.

It’s clear Nishioka was excited about playing here at Target Field for the first time, but now he’ll have to wait some time with his fractured bone in his lower left leg. He’s being evaluated by Dr. John Steubs today, and so we’ll get a better understanding of when he’ll return after today’s game.

But no matter how long Nishioka is out, the Twins have to move on and quickly, and it’s exactly what they’re doing with plenty of residual effects from Nishioka’s injury.

Second baseman Luke Hughes gets his first start of the season at second base, Joe Mauer is moving into the two-hole and Michael Cuddyer even took grounders at second in anticipation of seeing time there in Nishioka’s absence.

So it’ll be interesting to see how the Twins do moving forward now that Nishioka is likely out at least a month, or possibly even longer.

Anyways, here are the lineups for the Twins and A’s in the home opener at Target Field that’s set for a 3:10 p.m. CT start.

Twins

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

RHP Carl Pavano (0-1, 15.75 ERA, 13.45 FIP, 1.50 K/BB)

A’s

1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Daric Barton, 1B
3. David DeJesus, RF
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Hideki Matsui, DH
6. Kurt Suzuki, C
8. Mark Ellis, 2B
5. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
9. Cliff Pennington, SS

LHP Brett Anderson (0-0, 1.50 ERA, 1.97 FIP, 5.00 K/BB)

Duensing gets another shot at the Yankees

Left-hander Brian Duensing, who will make his first start of the season tonight against the Yankees, seemed excited but loose when talking to reporters Monday.

He joked about how he hasn’t pitched in a game since March 26, so in a recent bullpen session he had pitching coach Rick Anderson stand in at the plate to simulate pitching to a hitter. But one pitch, however, didn’t exactly go where he wanted it, as he nearly hit Anderson in the head with an errant fastball.

“I almost killed him,” Duening said with a laugh. “It was a fastball about head-high. I almost dropped it coming back, and instead of stopping my motion, I continued with it. He was already backing up, thank goodness. The next pitch was the hardest thing I had to do after throwing a pitch like that. I was in between laughing, crying and sweating all at the same time. It was bad.”

Duensing is hoping he’ll have better control when he faces the Yankees at new Yankee Stadium, a place he hasn’t exactly had great results at in the past. He’s only made two starts here, but they came in the postseason, and are two games he’d rather forget. Duensing allowed a combined 10 runs over eight innings in two defeats, including a Game 3 loss in last year’s ALDS that knocked the Twins out of the playoffs.

“I’d like to have a good outing so that I’ll like coming here,” Duensing said. “Right now, I don’t like it at all. But it’s a new year so we’ll see how it happens. You know my policy. Expect the worst, so that if it happens, you don’t get surprised by it.”

The Twins certainly hope Duensing isn’t at his worst, as they’re facing Yankees ace CC Sabathia, who has a career 3.05 ERA with 143 strikeouts and 62 walks over 191 2/3 innings against the Twins.

The Twins will also be without first baseman Justin Morneau, who is getting his first day off of the season with Michael Cuddyer getting the start at first. Jason Repko will also make his first start of the season in right field.

Lineups for the 6:05 p.m. CT start at Yankee Stadium:

Twins

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

LHP Brian Duensing (first start)

Yankees

1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Nick Swisher, RF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Jorge Posada, DH
7. Russell Martin, C
8. Andruw Jones, LF
9. Curtis Granderson, CF

LHP CC Sabatha (0-0, 3.00 ERA, 3.50 K/BB, 1.67 FIP)

New York, New York

It’s no secret that the Yankees haven’t been kind to the Twins in recent years.

After all, the Twins have gone just 2-11 against the Yankees the last two seasons, including a 1-6 record at Yankee Stadium. And Twins fans certainly don’t have to be reminded that the Yankees swept the Twins out of the postseason each of the last two years.

But Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who has a career regular-season record of 4-25 against the Yankees in New York, preferred not to talk about his club’s struggles against the Yankees before Monday night’s game.

“We’re working our way back to the Minnesota area,” Gardenhire joked. “It’s just another stopover.”

The Twins will see a new face on the mound, however, as rookie right-hander Ivan Nova is set to start for the Yankees after posting a 1.80 ERA over 20 innings in Spring Training.

He made a one-inning relief appearance against the Twins last year on May 16, but Denard Span and Joe Mauer are the only current Twins who faced him that day. Gardenhire, however, did say the Twins read scouting reports and watched video on Nova to get ready for the game and called him a Yankees “super-prospect.”

So it’ll be interesting to see how the Twins do against Nova with another new lineup, as Michael Cuddyer was benched in favor of Jason Kubel in right field with Jim Thome getting the start at designated hitter to give the Twins more of a left-handed look.

Lineups for the 6:05 p.m. CT start at Yankee Stadium

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

RHP Scott Baker

Yankees
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Curtis Granderson, CF
Russell Martin, C

RHP Ivan Nova RHP

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