Tag:Michael Cuddyer
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: March 3, 2011 2:17 pm
 

Cuddyer's wart is gone

Posted by C. Trent Rosecrans

So, for any of us (myself included) that just shook our head at Michael Cuddyer's wart, which was going to keep him out a week or two, well… you were wrong. I was wrong. 

Cuddyer attempted all the regular over-the-counter, do-it-yourself remedies this offseason and finally had to return to Minnesota to have it removed by a doctor.

Well, Cuddyer went to Twitter to show just why he was hampered, and as they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words -- even when it's just a couple of words repeated over and over.

Here's his Tweet:

Michael Cuddyer

And here's the photo:

Michael Cuddyer

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 1, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Cuddyer has wart removed, out one to two weeks

Posted by Matt Snyder

After two unsuccessful freezing attempts, Michael Cuddyer was forced to fly back to Minnesota and have a plantar wart surgically removed from his left foot. He had been trying to play through the pain after it wouldn't freeze, but was favoring his left side. The Twins thought it best to get the growth removed now rather than have Cuddyer hampered by the time the regular season rolled around.

He'll miss the next one to two weeks, according to the Star Tribune .

Contained in the same report was a mention that Justin Morneau is currently in Pittsburgh, meeting with a specialist as expected. To read our previous coverage of that situation, click here .

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 8:40 pm
 

Wart slowing Twins' Cuddyer

Michael CuddyerWorst injury of the spring?

That may belong to Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who is dealing with a wart on his left foot.

From MLB.com:

Cuddyer tried to treat the wart himself with medication this winter, Gardenhire said, but it ended up getting infected.

"We kept him off the field and we are going to see how he does [Saturday]," Gardenhire said. "That growth that he had taken off his foot has really affected him and got really sore, so we backed off today and we are going to know more tomorrow. If it continues to stay sore, we are going to have the whole thing taken out."

Gardenhire also said that Cuddyer told him he should be OK by Saturday.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 30, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Cuddyer wants extension, plus more notes

CuddyerSome news and notes on this Sunday as baseball readies for spring training in two weeks...

 

  • The Twins' Michael Cuddyer (pictured) would love to stay a Twin for the rest of his career, as MLB.com reports. He is entering the last season of his deal and is excited about the season now that surgery to clean out his knee has been a resounding success. No extension talks have taken place and once the season starts, Cuddyer won't speak about an extension.
  • The Rangers signed Dave Bush to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training, per Anthony Andro of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. Bush has an opt-out clause in his deal, but this is exactly the kind of depth Texas should be building in a rotation that looks a bit suspect. If Brandon Webb suffers a setback in his return to playing time, Bush would serve as the No. 5 starter.
  • The Orioles are in the lead for Justin Duchscherer's services along with the Nationals, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reveals. The deal from Baltimore is of the major league variety, so it would be tough for the Duke not to make the squad. However, he tells Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com that he has yet to decide and is close to deals with several teams. Crasnick has four teams in the hunt for the righty.
  • Rafael Betancourt has locked into a one-year extension to stay with the Rockies, as ESPN Deportes says per a MLB Trade Rumors translation. He'll make $3.77 million in 2011, per an already agreed upon deal, and $4 million in '12. The Rockies hold a club option for $4.25 million. The 36-year-old has been excellent in Colorado since coming over midway through 2009. He posted a 3.61 ERA in 62 1/2 innings for the Rox last season, whiffing 89 and walking just eight. An excellent season no matter how you slice it.
  • The Reds and Edinson Volquez agreed on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration even as the two discuss a multi-year extension as MLB.com reports. "We tried to do a multiyear deal," GM Walt Jocketty says. "They just wanted to concentrate on the one year now. [Volquez's agent] had a few cases and wanted to get the arbitration thing out of the way."
  • Buster Olney of ESPN reveals that the Diamondbacks have opted not to pursue a humidor at Chase Field, at least for this season. The hitter's haven could benefit from a humidor, but given that the stadium isn't outrageously tilted toward hitters like Coors Field is in Colorado, there isn't a major push for it. The humidor could solve dry desert conditions that affect the baseball.
  • Amid reports the Orioles might sign Vladimir Guerrero, Luke Scott couldn't care less if he DHs or plays left, according to the Baltimore Sun. Just keep him with the Orioles, as he wants to sign a contract extension. The Orioles rebuffed overtures for an extension, although that doesn't mean it couldn't happen later.
  • In Nick Cafardo's excellent Sunday Notes column for the Boston Globe, he reveals that the Diamondbacks are considering Scott Schoeneweis. The lefty had a brief stint with the Red Sox in 2010 before being released. Schoeneweis pitched for Arizona in 2009 but was shocked by the drug overdose of his wife in May, struggling with depression after. How he has battled since in raising his kids and attempting to continue his career is nothing short of remarkable.
  • Cafardo also reports that the Rays are likely in on the services for Manny Delcarmen, along with three other teams. Delcarmen pitched for years with the Red Sox before falling apart in 2010 and ending the year with Colorado.

 

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: November 26, 2010 5:51 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2010 10:50 am
 

Hot Stove League profile: Jim Thome

For the past three week, CBS Sports' MLB Facts and Rumors has been profiling both free agents and trade candidates who will help stoke the fires of the Hot Stove League. Today, we wrap up with ageless DH Jim Thome.

Hot Stove League When Jim Thome signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with Minnesota last winter, it was greeted with a collective shrug. Thome had batted .249 in 2009, was traded by the White Sox late in the season for a minor leaguer in a clear salary dump, and was approaching his 40th birthday. A wire story on the signing noted that "he'll be more of a bench player than the middle-of-the-lineup-force he's been for 19 seasons."

Well, Thome exceeded everyone's expectations in 2010, likely including those of the Twins. He had a .283/.412/.627 line at the plate, with his OPS of 1.039 the highest since 2002 and his OPS+ of 178 the second-best of his career. He had 59 RBI and hit 25 homers, bringing his total to 589, eighth all-time. He was productive, healthy, and actually got better as the season wore on.

Thome's not going to sneak up on anybody next year, and he's not going to be available for $1.5 million, either. He's going to be back to make a run at 600 homers, but where?

STATS

2010: .283/.412/.627, 59 RBI, 25 HR in 340 PA.

Career: .278/.404/.559, 1,624 RBI, 589 HR (eighth all-time).

Jim Thome WHAT IT WILL TAKE

Thome should command something in the neighborhood of $5 million for one year, probably with an incentive tied to plate appearances. Since he's made almost $140 million in his career and could be playing his final season, you would think he'd be looking beyond money. He'll want to be somewhere he can play, and he'll want a chance at the World Series ring that has eluded him for two decades.

WHERE HE COULD GO

Thome spoke glowingly of his experience in Minnesota, where the former Twin killer enjoyed huge popularity, and Twins GM Bill Smith is on record as wanting Thome to return. One potential sticking point could be playing time.

The reason Thome played so much in 2010 is because Jason Kubel, who was supposed to be the regular DH, was called upon to play in right field after right fielder Michael Cuddyer had to take over at first due to Justin Morneau's season-ending concussion. The Twins have picked up Kubel's option for 2011, and Thome's return would give them two left-handed designated hitters. Thome, who kills right-handed pitching, could end up in a platoon situation, but not with another left-handed hitter.

So who else could use him? The Red Sox picked up the option on David Ortiz, so there went one good option. The Tigers seemed like a decent fit, but now say newly signed Victor Martinez will DH most of the time. The White Sox have been trying to upgrade at DH, and the Angels and Rays also could use a better option there. There are some losing teams in the market for a DH (Mariners, Orioles), but it seems likely Thome will prefer a contender.

PREDICTION

The Twins are able to promise Thome enough playing time to entice him back for one more run at a title.

OTHER PROFILES
J. Bartlett | H. Bell | A. Beltre | C. Crawford | A. Dunn | P. Fielder | P. Konerko | C. Lee | V. Martinez (SIGNED) | D. Uggla (TRADED) | R. Soriano | J. Upton | J. Werth

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 19, 2010 5:52 pm
 

Blackburn, Baker having arthroscopic surgery

Nick Blackburn Arthroscopic surgery seems to be popular in Minnesota these days.

Right fielder-turned-first baseman Michael Cuddyer underwent arthroscopic knee surgery once the season concluded, while starting pitcher Nick Blackburn had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow last Wednesday.

Now, Scott Baker is joining in on the fun with his own right-elbow arthroscopic surgery scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday as the Star Tribune reports.

"I've been dealing with it over the last couple years," Blackburn (pictured) said of his elbow injury that saw him finish with a 5.42 ERA in 161 innings, garnering a demotion to the minors at one point. "I think most pitchers in baseball have some stuff they're dealing with. We just decided to get it taken care of now."

Blackburn had a bone spur and other loose particles removed by team doctors, with no damage to ligaments.

"They just poked a couple holes in there and cleaned that stuff out," Blackburn said. "I've already got the same range of motion that I had before the surgery."

Meanwhile, Baker, who finished with a 4.49 ERA in 29 starts, will undergo surgery at the hands of Dr. David Altchek, the Mets physician who also operated on closer Joe Nathan's season-ending elbow surgery in spring training.

Blackburn, Baker and Nathan are all expected to be ready for spring training.

-- Evan Brunell

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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