Posted on: August 27, 2010 9:11 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 11:29 pm

Twins bolster bullpen with Fuentes

Brian Fuentes While Manny-mania engulfs most of the trade talk leading up to Aug. 31, the Twins may have improved their roster the most, acquiring left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes from the Angels for a player to be named on Friday.

Fuentes was the Angels' closer, but will be used as a set-up man for Matt Capps in Minnesota. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the team could use Fuentes as an "occasional closer" if needed.

Fuentes will join the team in time for Saturday's game in Seattle.

The Twins already claimed left-hander Randy Flores off waivers this week to go along with Glenn Perkins as a lefty out of the bullpen. The team lost Ron Mahay and Jose Mijares earlier this month to injury.

Fuentes has a vesting option for 2011 (worth $9 million) with 55 games finished, a number he's unlikely to reach this season. He has finished 33 games and in his new role, it's unlikely he'll get to 55. He finished 57 last season when he had 48 saves.

UPDATE: Fernando Rodney is the beneficiary of the move, moving into the closer's role for the Angels.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 25, 2010 4:00 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2010 4:53 pm

Twins claim Flores on waivers

The Twins have claimed lefty reliever Randy Flores off waivers from the Rockies, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Flores, 35, made 47 appearances for the Rockies this season, putting up a 2.96 ERA with 5.9 strikeouts and 4.3 walks per nine innings. Flores, who is making $650,000 this season and will become a free agent after the year, was designated for assignment August 20 as the Rockies made room for Jonathan Herrera.

Flores will join the Twins in Texas. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Twins transferred Ron Mahay from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. They'll have to make another move to get him on the 25-man roster.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 20, 2010 5:41 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2010 10:52 pm

Bay not expected back this year

Jason Bay
Mets manager Jerry Manuel told reporters this afternoon that he does not expect outfielder Jason Bay, out since July 23 with a concussion, to return this season.

Bay, who sustained the injury when he hit the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium, began running on Sunday but has not resumed baseball activities.

Teams are extremely cautious when it comes to concussions, which have no predictable timetable for recovery. The Cardinals on Thursday announced that catcher Jason LaRue, who sustained a concussion in a fight last week, would not return this season. Twins star first baseman Justin Morneau has been out since July 7 with a concussion, and while he started taking batting practice this week, there's no word on when or if he will return this season.

UPDATE: Apparently Manuel changed his mind during Friday's game, because afterward he told reporters Bay is showing progress and he wouldn't rule out a return this season. To sum up the day: Jerry Manuel is not a doctor.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 19, 2010 10:26 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 10:26 pm

Punto re-injures hamstring

Nick Punto
Appearing in his first game since July 28, Twins shortstop Nick Punto aggravated his left hamstring injury Thursday night sliding headfirst into second base against the White Sox.

Punto came off the disabled list Monday after being out with a hamstring strain. Thursday, he had two hits early in the game then hurt himself sliding into second base. He was replaced by Alexi Casilla.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 18, 2010 10:16 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 12:00 am

Mauer hits first Target Field homer

Joe Mauer Who had Aug. 18 in the "Joe Mauer's first home run at Target Field" pool?

You'd need at least 63 entries for anyone to get it, because it wasn't until tonight -- the team's 63rd game at the new stadium -- that Mauer hit his first homer at his new home after 180 at-bats.

Mauer hit a solo homer off of Gavin Floyd in the fifht inning to pull the Twins to within a run of the White Sox, 5-4.

He did have a homer in an exhibition game at the stadium in April, but that doesn't count. Wednesday's homer was his eighth of the season. Mauer's hitting ??? this season. His OBP entering Wednesday's game was nearly identical at home and on the rod, but he was slugging .541 no the road, compared to .410 at home.

Mauer's not the only one -- the Twins have 77 homers on the road and 34 at home, although the slugging for the team isn't nearly as dramatic as Mauer's split. The Twins are slugging .444 on the road and .431 at home.

Mauer's on a tear, though. In the last 18 games entering Wednesday, he's hitting .493/.565/.710. Those numbers will be even better after the 19th game -- the homer was his third hit in as many at-bats in the game and he's a triple shy of the cycle.

It's doubtful Target Field sees another 62 games without a Mauer homer.

UPDATE: Mauer finished the game 4 for 5. He's now hitting .335/.407/.496 on the season. Not too shabby.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Tags: Joe Mauer, Twins
Posted on: August 18, 2010 5:13 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2010 5:26 pm

Jim Thome is aging nicely

Jim Thome
Jim Thome's walk-off homer against his old team Tuesday night was the 12th game-ending blast of his career, tying a major-league record. And he's in some pretty nice company, Hall of Fame members all: Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson and Babe Ruth.

But the Twins slugger isn't just collecting records by virtue of longevity. Less than two weeks shy of his 40th birthday, Thome is having a serious season. How serious? Check out the best OPS (on-base plus slugging) seasons ever for a player 39 or older:

1. Barry Bonds 1.422
2. Ted Williams 1.096
3. Bonds 1.045
4. Hank Aaron 1.045
5. Williams 1.042
6. Bonds .999
7. Thome .985
8. Babe Ruth .985
9. Stan Musial .924
10. Moises Alou .923

If you throw out the three seasons by Bonds, assuming that he had some artificial help in his later years, that leaves your top three as Ted, Hank and Thome. That's how good Thome has been this year. A heck of a signing by the Twins for $1.5 million.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Tags: Jim Thome, Twins
Posted on: August 17, 2010 2:04 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 2:18 pm

White Sox coach wants to see a fight

Juan Nieves So, feeling nostalgic for the good ol' days of the Reds-Cardinals series? Get ready for the three-game series between the White Sox and Twins starting tonight at Target Field.

The teams had a little run-in last week when Chicago's Carlos Quentin was hit twice and manager Ozzie Guillen took exception to the beanings.

It's not just Ozzie that's fired up, either. Here's what White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves had this to say Sunday on a Chicago radio show (via the Star Tribune ): "I've even thought of telling guys, 'hey [Matt] Thornton, smoke [Joe] Mauer, see if you can start a fight.' We're not afraid of anybody."

If Mauer gets hit in any of these three games, there could be some serious fireworks.

The Twins currently lead the White Sox by three games in the AL Central and Chicago is seven games back in the wild card.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 16, 2010 4:53 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 4:03 pm

This week in free stuff: Aug. 16-22

Monday, Aug. 16
Springfield Cardinals (Texas League) -- Stan Musial bobblehead. Bar none, the best giveaway this week. If you didn't read Joe Posnanski's article on Musial in Sports Illustrated a couple of weeks ago, stop what you're doing and read it now.

Tuesday, Aug. 17
Los Angeles Dodgers -- Matt Kemp bobblhead
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Eastern League) -- Kevin Youkilis bobblehead.
Reading Phillies (Eastern League) -- Mike Schmidt batting practice t-shirt

Wednesday, Aug. 18
Reading Phillies (Eastern League) -- Ryan Howard model wooden bat
Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic League) -- notebook. Did you know some kids are back in school? Crazy, doesn't it seem early for that? Maybe because I went to a college that was on quarters, so I haven't been in school in August in 17 years.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers (New York-Penn League) -- Polk High T-shirt. It's Ed O'Neill night, and for now he'll be remembered as Al Bundy, but another year of Modern Family as good as the first and people will forget that.
State College Spikes (New York-Penn League) -- soup bowl. OK.

Thursday, Aug. 19
Pittsburgh Pirates -- t-shirt thursday. It's a good simple, baseball with logo. I like it.
Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic League) -- Miles Austin bobblehead. Honoring Monmouth University's most famous football star -- it's odd for a Cowboy to be honored in Eagles country. Or maybe they'll cheer when they break the bobblehead's neck. For safety's sake, he'll be in a Monmouth uniform.

Friday, Aug. 20
Delmarva Shorebirds (South Atlantic League) -- Fernando Guerrero bobble boxing gloves. The NABO middleweight title holder not only has his own bobble (the head doesn't bobble, his gloves do), he'll also be there to sign autographs.
Sacramento River Cats (Pacific Coast League) -- California governor bobblehead. You can choose -- and make your vote known -- Meg Whitman or Jerry Brown.
San Antonio Missions (Texas League) -- koozie
St. Lucie Mets (Florida State League) -- banana phone.  A phone. Shaped like a banana. Kids, back in the old days we only had to have a cord for a phone and it was wired to our house. And if we were out of the house, nobody could answer it.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (South Atlantic League) -- Meterorologist bobblehead winner -- two WBTW Frank Johnson and WMBF's Rob Hatchell held an online vote and the winner got a bobblehead in their likeness and fans get a bobblehead of a weatherman.
Potomac Nationals (Carolina League) -- Drew Storen bobblehead.
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League) -- Tiger Stadium replica. You know, that old place. That old, awesome place.
Vancouver Canadians (Northwest League) -- trucker cap
Missoula Osprey (Frontier League) -- 1910 Firefighter bobblehead

Saturday, Aug. 21
Pittsburgh Pirates -- Crawfords cap. I love when teams honor the Negro League teams from their city.
Kansas City Royals -- jersey cooler. You know, a cooler that looks like a Royals jersey.
Minnesota Twins -- lunch box. Always a favorite.
Arizona Diamondbacks -- spring training replica stadium. The new one, not the old one.
Las Vegas 51s (Pacific Coast League) -- Frank Caliendo bobblehead. The latest in the team's series of unfunny comedians.
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Texas League) -- Snuggie-type blanket
Corpus Christi Hooks (Texas League) -- aluminum bottle
Asheville Tourists (South Atlantic League) -- Roy Williams bobblehead. Apparently there are no Duke fans in Asheville. Oddly enough, all four people I know from Asheville went to UNC. Go figure.
Hickory Crawdads (South Atlantic League) -- Crawdads jersey
Rome Braves (South Atlantic League) -- lunch box
South Bend Silver Hawks (Midwest League) -- koozie
Everett AquaSox (Northwest League) -- football. I'll forgive them going football because their new logo is so awesome -- it's an old-school M's trident design turned on its side to make an E.

Sunday, Aug. 22
New York Yankees -- Yankees banner
Oakland A's -- Alteticos T-Shirt day. A yellow baseball shirt with the team's Spanish name.
Florida Marlins -- Billy the Marlin lunch cooler
Philadelphia Phillies -- Cole Hamels lunch bag cooler. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
St. Louis Cardinals -- Chris Carpenter bobblehead. It fights like a man, no bobblelegs here.
Corpus Christi (Texas League) -- metal lunch boxes.
Wilmington Blue Rocks (South Atlantic League) -- Harry Kalas bobblehead. A couple of years ago, I was in front of Kalas at the soda dispenser at the ballpark and kind of fumbled my cup. Kalas said something to me, and I said, "well, now I can tell everyone I've had Harry Kalas do play-by-play of my error." He laughed and I got a good story out of it.
Tri-City ValleyCats (New York-Penn League) -- Bracket Busters bobblehead. I have no idea what this means, but the team's website says it has something to do with the NFL.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

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