Baker or Rauch: Twins playoff roster vacancy down to one
ST. PAUL The Twins won't have their playoff roster set until Tuesday, after Jon Rauch throws a bullpen session and declares his injured left knee fit or unfit for service. That's all that's holding up the proceedings, manager Ron Gardehire said. ...
The Twins won't have their playoff roster set until Tuesday, after Jon Rauch throws a bullpen session and declares his injured left knee fit or unfit for service. That's all that's holding up the proceedings, manager Ron Gardehire said.
Gardenhire said right-hander Kevin Slowey and left-hander Jose Mijares will be on the postseason roster; the question now is whether it's Rauch, who has 21 saves and a 3.12 earned-run average in 2010, or Scott Baker, who hasn't thrown out of the bullpen this season.
"He has questions in his own mind whether he can get up and get his elbow loose, and whether he'll be able to do that," Gardenhire said of Baker, who has had two cortisone shots in his right elbow this season.
Baker said Sunday he's feeling fine and is able to get the elbow loose. He was available in the pen during Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Blue Jays, and warmed up in the pen on Saturday.
Another possibility for that spot is left-hander Glen Perkins, who has had success as a starter and reliever and will be with the team whether he makes the roster or not.
Cleaning up: Team RBI leader Delmon Young will be the Twins' cleanup hitter when the playoffs start Wednesday against New York Yankees lefty C.C. Sabathia.
"Delmon's been swinging great, so have somebody right in behind (Joe) Mauer," Gardenhire explained. "Anytime big situations come up, Mauer's going to be pitched around a lot, so Delmon's been swinging as good as anybody and driving in runs,
so just stick him in there behind him."
Young, who bats right-handed, has driven in 112 runs this season. Right fielder Jason Kubel could be moved into the cleanup spot if the opponent throws a right-hander.
"Kubel could bat behind Mauer to protect him a little bit, too," Gardenhire said. "We'll just have to see."
Lineup set: The rest of the lineup is set; it's the same one Gardenhire wrote out for Sunday's regular-season finale against Toronto:
Denard Span in center, Orlando Hudson at second, Joe Mauer catching, Young in left, Jim Thome at DH, Michael Cuddyer playing first, Kubel in right, Danny Valenica at third and JJ. Hardy at short.
"I'm just trying to figure out a good balanced lineup, up and down, and this is pretty balanced," Gardenhire said. "Valencia ends up hitting eighth, and he's done pretty good. You have balance all the way down; Hardy's been swinging good."
Wally gets playoff gig: The vendor known as Wally the Beer Man will be selling suds during the Twins' playoff run after all, just not at Target Field.
Suspended for being one of eight vendors cited for selling alcohol to underage fans during Thursday night's Twins home game against Toronto, Wally will be selling to the bar crowd at Sneaky Pete's in downtown Minneapolis during home playoff games.
Wally, whose real name is Walter NcNeil, said it's not like being at Target Field, but it beats sitting at home and watching the game on television.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.