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Tag:Jason Kubel
Posted on: June 29, 2011 4:27 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 4:41 pm
 

Twins win another 1-0 game

Ben Revere

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Twins just won another 1-0 game, their seventh overall 1-0 game and fifth victory in a 1-0 contest. Five of the seven games came at Target Field and the only two losses were on unearned runs.

Here's all of their 1-0 games this season:

June 29: Twins 1, Dodgers 0: Scott Baker went 7 1/3, allowing six hits and a walk, striking out 9. Rubby De La Rosa allowed just one run on six hits in seven innings for the Dodgers to get the hard-luck loss. The only run came in the first after Ben Revere led off the game for the Twins with a triple and Tsuyoshi Nishioka knocked in the game's only run with a dribbler down the first-base line.

June 18: Twins 1, Padres 0: Another great start by Baker, who allowed just four hits and a walk in eight innings, striking out 10. Padres starter Tim Stauffer went seven innings allowing six hits, one of them a Danny Valencia homer in the seventh inning.

June 16: Twins 1, White Sox 0: Right fielder Michael Cuddyer homered off of Mark Buehrle in the second for the only run of the game and one of three hits Buehrle surrendered in seven innings. Nick Blackburn gave up seven hits (all singles) in eight innings, walking one.

June 7: Indians 1, Twins 0: In Cleveland, Indians starter Carlos Carrasco held the Twins to just three hits in 8 1/3 innings, while Chris Perez came in for the final two outs. Minnesota starter Francisco Liriano went 5 innings, giving up three hits and an unearned run. Cleveland scored in the fourth when left fielder Delmon Young's throw allowed Carlos Santana to advance to third on his leadoff double, followed by an RBI groundout by Shelley Duncan.

May 28: Twins 1, Angels 0: Anthony Swarzak took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and Valencia's RBI single in the 10th gave Minnesota the victory. The Angels' Jered Weaver allowed just two hits in 9 innings, but Hisanori Takahashi gave up a single in the 10th inning and Jason Repko came in, Takahashi allowing three straight singles to decide the game.

May 3: Twins 1, White Sox 0: Liriano no-hit the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field and Jason Kubel homered in the seventh for the lone run. Edwin Jackson gave up six hits in eight innings for the White Sox.

April 9: A's 1, Twins 0: With two outs in the sixth, Blackburn gave up a single to Kurt Suzuki who moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by shortstop Alexi Casilla for the game's only run. Minnesota used five relievers, while Gio Gonzalez allowed four hits in six innings for Oakland.

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 5:50 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 7:45 pm
 

Morneau to have surgery, miss 6 weeks

Justin Morneau

By C. Trent Rosecrans and Evan Brunell

Already on the disabled list with a strained left wrist, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau will undergo surgery next week to alleviate pain from a  pinched nerve in his neck, the team announced.

"He should be back playing full in six weeks," trainer Rick McWane told the Associated Press. "Even though the risk is small, there still is a risk that if he continued to play through this and not get it fixed that his full strength would not come back, so we made the decision."

The pain, it should be noted, is not related to the concussion that kept him out of the second half of the 2010 season. The surgery is non-evasive, but will still sideline Morneau for an extended period. McWane also noted the time off should help Morneau's wrist injury, so there's that.

"I was honestly kind of looking forward to him getting out of this cast [from the wrist] and seeing where he was at, kind of hoping we'd have him back here in four or five days or whatever," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I know Morny didn't want any part of this, really, he's been fighting this stuff with the surgery and trying to stay away from anything like that so he can finish out the season. ... I know it's frustrating for him, so I feel bad for him more than anything else."

This is just another in the long list of Twins injuries. So far, Joe Mauer (legs), Tsuyoshi Nishioka (broken leg), Joe Nathan (elbow), Denard Span (concussion) and Jason Kubel (foot) have all missed significant time due to injuries this season.

Also, designated hitter Jim Thome was expected to come off the disabled list today, but could return early next week when the team returns home and to the American League rules.

Morneau is hitting just .225/.281/.338 with four home runs and 21 RBI in 55 games this season. 

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Posted on: June 17, 2011 6:58 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 7:39 pm
 

Mauer returns, but Twins injuries linger

By Matt Snyder

Joe Mauer is back Friday night, but that doesn't mean the Twins are fully healed. Not even close.

Here's the latest rundown, courtesy of Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune.

-- Joe Nathan is going to begin a rehab stint Saturday for Triple-A Rochester. The plan is for him to throw two to three games, including working back-to-back nights, and he could return next Friday. The former Twins closer is still having issues with his surgically repaired right elbow.

-- Jim Thome is working back into form from his injured quad and back in Fort Myers. He's reportedly close to game-ready and could join the Twins before their NL road trip -- of course, he'd have to play a position instead of DH, so maybe they'll just hold off on that, giving him some extra time.

- Jason Kubel (foot) and Denard Span (lingering concussion symptoms) have been ruled out for the Twins' trip to San Francisco for the first part of next week. The earliest either will return is next Friday at Milwaukee.

And remember, Justin Morneau is still on the DL as well.

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Posted on: May 8, 2011 12:31 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Young, Zobrist sizzle

Young

By Evan Brunell

Michael Young, Rangers -- Funny how things work out. Although Young was already slated to receive the bulk of starts at DH, injuries have really opened the door for Young and he's played in every single game so far. The 34-year-old is hitting .348 after a 4-for-4 night with a homer led Texas over New York, 7-5. It's safe to say that he has no complaints about his playing time, even as he toggles between first and second base along with DH.

Daniel Hudson, Diamondbacks -- A fine effort for Hudson, who allowed just five hits in seven innings, punching out six Padres in seven innings. Hudson hasn't quite lived up to the expectations he set last season after coming over in the Edwin Jackson trade... but really, who could? Hudson's ERA got pushed down to 4.47 and he's gotten into a nice groove over his last three starts with 20 strikeouts and just one walk in 20 innings.

Ben Zobrist, Rays -- The Zorilla extended his hitting streak to 13 with his fine 4-for-5 effort and continues to show that his down 2010 season was the aberration, not new norm. His three runs scored helped push the Rays to a 8-3 victory over the Orioles. Zobrist is now up to .283/.350/.577, making him one of the AL's best hitters to date.

Honorable mention -- Some dude named Justin Verlander no-hit the Blue Jays in an outing that defeats Francisco Liriano for best no-hitter of the season while Yovanni Gallardo took a no-hitter into the eighth and settled for one-hitting the Cardinals through eight.


Francisco Cordero, Reds -- Cordero couldn't hold off a scorching hot Carlos Pena, who homered in the ninth inning before Kosuke Fukudome walked off with a single. It was Cordero's first blown save of the season and he simply didn't have it today. He registered two outs, whiffing one but coughed up four hits and two earned runs to push his ERA to a still-low 2.45. There's no closer controversy yet in Cincinnati, although Aroldis Chapman lurks.

Jason Kubel, Twins -- Jason Kubel whiffed all four trips to the plate, just like Juan Uribe did for the Dodgers, except Uribe had one more at-bat where he at least put the ball in play before registering an out. Kubel gets the honors here because he batted cleanup and stood idly by while Minnesota registered only three hits in a meek showing against Boston.

Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles -- Guthrie's been a nice surprise so far this season and seems to have taken a leap forward toward being a solid No. 2 for many teams. Except he took a step back Saturday by coughing up seven earned runs in five innings along with 10 hits allowed. He did allow just one walk and whiffed four, so it wasn't all bad. The Rays were simply on fire, led by Zobrist and B.J. Upton. Guthrie's ERA now stands at 4.09 and will draw the Rays on Friday.

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Posted on: May 3, 2011 9:54 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2011 11:06 pm
 

Francisco Liriano no-hits White Sox

By C. Trent Rosecrans 

Francisco LirianoEntering Tuesday's game, Francisco Liriano was 1-4 with a 9.13 ERA, allowing 10.3 hits per nine innings. Tuesday, he didn't allow a single hit.

That's the beauty of baseball -- while your numbers may give you an idea of what's expected, they have no bearing on what's going to happen on any given day.

Liriano walked five batters -- including Juan Pierre three times -- but it didn't hurt him, as the Twins won 1-0.

Liriano has looked unhittable at times in his career, but Tuesday wasn't one of them. He struck out just two batters, and just 66 of his 123 pitches were for strikes. But he still became the fifth Minnesota Twin to throw a no-hitter.

The 27-year-old had never thrown a complete game until Tuesday, his 95th career start.

Not only was a no-hitter on the line in the ninth, so was the game, with Minnesota clinging to a 1-0 lead. Shortstop Matt Tolbert had to rush on Brent Morel's grounder leading off the ninth, but Justin Morneau was able to come up with the one-hop throw and get Morel at first for the out. Liriano then walked Pierre before Alexi Ramirez popped out to Tolbert and then after going 3-0 to Adam Dunn, Dunn hit a liner to Tolbert on a full count to start the celebration.

There were other close calls --Liriano got help to end the seventh, when third baseman Danny Valencia made a nice play to get Carlos Quentin. Quentin hit a chopper down the third-base line that Valencia fielded in foul territory. He then set his feet and made a strong throw to get Quentin.

The Twins also dodged a bullet in the eight, when a bad call at first ended the inning. Justin Morneau missed a tag on Gordon Beckham at first at the tail end of a double play, but he was called out. 

Liriano had pitched so poorly this season, the team was stretching out Kevin Slowey in the minor leagues in case they needed to replace Liriano in the rotation.

White Sox starter Edwin Jackson, who threw a no-hitter last season for the Diamondbacks, pitched well, too. He gave up one run on six hits, while walking just one and striking out two. Minnesota's lone run came on a Jason Kubel home run in the fourth.

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Posted on: April 19, 2011 5:35 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 5:36 pm
 

Twins flu spreading; Young joins Mauer, Morneau

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Delmon YoungIf you've got to be around a Minnesota Twins player, may I suggest a surgical mask?

First Joe Mauer was hospitalized with flu-like symptoms and put on the 15-day disabled list, then Justin Morneau missed the team's last two games with a flu and is out tonight. Now, Delmon Young is out of the lineup and unavailable with the flu, according to the St. Paul Pioneer-Press' Kelsie Smith (via Twitter). Smith notes Young is also dealing with soreness in his ribs.

Jim Thome is the team's designated hitter, while Dusty Hughes is playing first base and Jason Kubel replaces Young in left field, with Michael Cuddyer in right. 

The Twins are in Baltimore and it's been raining much of the day, but the team still expects to get the game in.

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Posted on: April 18, 2011 4:46 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 4:57 pm
 

Hobbled Twins lack depth due to 'Twins way'

By Evan Brunell

TolbertThe last-place Minnesota Twins, sporting a 5-10 record that is tied with several other teams for least amount of victories thus far, are scrambling to find answers.

Of course, a major answer is currently on the disabled list, as star Joe Mauer has been felled by a debilitating viral infection. The Twins have also had to deal with a closer crisis, as Joe Nathan has already been demoted from the job after struggling in his return from Tommy John surgery. The team also has to withstand the loss of starting second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka is out over a month after breaking his leg. And then of course, Justin Morneau is still working his way back from a concussion that knocked out the last several months of 2010. Morneau is receiving his second straight day off Monday after playing in a doubleheader Saturday, so it's clear he isn't quite right yet.

That's a whole lot of bad luck for the Twinkies.

"We understand the importance of every game," GM Bill Smith said to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. "You can lose a division in April just as easily as you can lose it in September. You can win it in April just as easily as you can win it in September. We've got to right the ship, and we're going to get our guys back on track."

The problem with this is that the Twins have a thoroughly unexciting squad, even when Mauer and Nishioka return. The cost of trying to acquire "Twins" players is that the club is often left with punchless players who get by on grittiness and defense. (Or in case of the outfield, no defense and a solid offensive game but with glaring deficiencies.) Nick Punto personified this aspect for years as he hit .248/.323/.324 in 2,707 plate appearances over seven years. That works out to 387 PA a year, which is a ton of at-bats to get, and he had two years with more than 500.

Punto's moved on to St. Louis, but his legacy lives on as the lineup Sunday indicates. Matt Tolbert led off the game, with Alexi Casilla following. Skip the power spots and you have Danny Valencia as the starting third baseman, and although he was out of the lineup, Denard Span is the team's starting center fielder.

And the career batting lines of those named?

Tolbert (pictured) is 29 years old with a career line of .246/.304/.349 in just 474 plate appearances. Casilla, 26, has a career .246/.302/.323 line in 1,108 plate appearances, while Valencia is 26 as well and has an impressive .294/.346/.426 mark in 381 plate appearances. However, Valencia had a hot 2010 in a 322-PA stint and his minor-league totals from his time in Triple-A are markedly less impressive. Out of the names mentioned thus far, Valencia has the most capability of sticking in the lineup, but the lack of power in his bat limits his value. Lastly, Span is 27 and is rather promising and a more than viable leadoff hitter as his .290/.367/.394 career line in 1,854 PA boasts.

And those players are actually valued by the team.

Granted, Tolbert probably exits the lineup once Nishioka returns and his ceiling is a bit higher, but that's still an awful lot to compromise on offense -- and the fact Tolbert led off the game tells you everything you need to know about both the team's struggles and the fact that Tolbert was their best option with Span out of the lineup.

While the club has Jim Thome as a power bat, he is merely a part-time player as the Twins try to milk all they can out of Delmon Young who has yet to justify his hype. Minnesota also has Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer for the middle of the order, but Cuddyer is slipping and Kubel is trying to shake off a poor 2010.

No one's saying these Twins can't contend. After all, they're coming off back-to-back division titles. That said, the Twins have made several curious moves the past few years, ranging from acquiring Matt Capps despite his exorbitant salary and demoting Kevin Slowey from the rotation to the bullpen to start Nick Blackburn, a worse pitcher who somehow lucked into a lucrative contract extension. Speaking of the Capps acquisition, it forced the Twins to go cheap on the rest of the relief squad given the dollars tied up in Capps and Nathan. Going cheap on middle relief is actually not a bad thing at all, but the pitchers Minnesota chose are hardly exciting, and the bullpen is now an Achilles' heel given Nathan's poor performance.

Although the Twins still have a good ballclub and will contend for the division before it's all said and done, this is a team thin on depth and power. For Minnesota to contend, the saving grace will have to come from the rotation which has an impressive blend of starters. In addition, Slowey could always return to the rotation and top prospect Kyle Gibson should make his debut by season's end.

Unfortunately, the rotation may not be enough to overcome the White Sox or Tigers in 2011.

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Posted on: January 3, 2011 8:03 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2011 8:18 pm
 

DH market still crowded

Vladimir Guerrero If there's a surplus of one position on the free agent market, it may be the designated hitter spot.

Jim Thome, one of last season's bargain pickups, is still unsigned, as are Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. And then there's the not-retired Jermaine Dye, Jason Giambi, Russell Branyan, Jose Guillen and Hank Blalock.

So far this offseason, the Red Sox exercised their option on David Ortiz, the Yankees have said they'll move Jorge Posada out from behind the plate, as will the Tigers with newly-signed Victor Martinez. Adam Dunn will be a first-time designated hitter with the White Sox.

As for teams with needs, that includes the team Thome DH'd for last season, the Twins, who would like him back. Of course, after putting up the year he did, he feels like he deserves a raise -- especially with his 600th career home run likely coming this season. The Rays, Angels and Rangers also have obvious needs, while the Orioles, Royals and Blue Jays could upgrade at the spot or stay put.

As it stands, here how the current AL DHs line up:
Orioles -- Luke Scott
Red Sox -- David Ortiz
Yankees -- Jorge Posada
Blue Jays -- Edwin Encarnacion
Rays -- Matt Joyce
White Sox -- Adam Dunn
Indians -- Travis Hafner
Tigers -- Victor Martinez
Royals -- Billy Butler
Twins -- Jason Kubel
Angels -- Mike Napoli
A's -- Hideki Matsui
Mariners -- Jack Cust
Rangers -- David Murphy

And here's who is left on the market (2010 AVG/OBP/SLG HR, RBI)
Jim Thome .283/.412/.627 25, 59
Vladimir Guerrero .300/.345/.496 29, 115
Manny Ramirez .298/.409/.510 16, 42
Johnny Damon .271/.355/.401 8, 51
Russell Branyan .237/.323/.487 25, 57
Jason Giambi .244/.378/.398 6, 35
Andruw Jones .230/.341/.486 19, 48
Hank Blalock .254/.319/.349 1, 7
Jose Guillen .258/.314/.416 16, 62
Jeremy Hermida .216/.268/351 6, 29
Troy Glaus .240/.344/.400 16, 71
Mike Sweeney .252/.321/.444 8, 26
Jorge Cantu .256/.304/.392 11, 56
Jermaine Dye (2009) .250/.340/.453 27, 81

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com