Notebook: Baker could make spot start; Revere starts in place of Span
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MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Twins right-hander Scott Baker has been sidelined since September 2 with elbow tendonitis, but he is likely to return in some capacity in the very near future.
Baker threw a bullpen session earlier this week, and he is expected to throw another one Saturday. If all goes well, Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson will look for a chance to insert Baker back into the starting rotation.
Albeit, not necessarily permanently.
"We're kicking a lot of different things around for the rotation, so (we're) trying to make sure we get guys extra days if we can.
"Baker would be an option, if we wanted to give people extra days, to put him back in the rotation if he feels great, and give an extra day to other guys, which is really important this time of year with all of the innings adding up."
So, in essence, Baker - due to a combination of injuries and a lack of consistency - has been pushed from the team's number one starter (possibly by default) back in April to a potential spot-starter in September.
Yet, the Twins are still running away with the American League Central.
Morneau 'feeling really good,' but no further update
There are no major Justin Morneau concussion updates to report, other than Gardenhire saying, "Morneau's here (at Target Field)... He feels good, actually. He says he's feeling really good."
Beyond that, regarding the first baseman's current status, Gardenhire said, "I have no idea. I honestly have no idea where we're at.
"I don't even want to begin to go there. Just let it happen as it happens. If it happens, we'll figure out something, see what we can do. And if it works out, great. If it doesn't..."
Gardenhire conceded that if Morneau were to decide he's ready to play, it could be a process to shake off the rust of a two-month layoff.
"There's a lot of work to be done here, body-wise, groundballs-wise, everything. He's been out over two months."
Revere starts for injured Span
Denard Span was scratched from Friday night's lineup against the Oakland Athletics with a sore shoulder, which allowed Ben Revere to be penciled in for his first career major league start.
Span hurt his right shoulder diving for a ball in Thursday night's game against the Chicago White Sox.
"He can't play, Kubel can't play, so Paul Revere is in," the manager joked.
Gardenhire said he hopes Span's injury is "a day" thing.
As for Jason Kubel, who missed Thursday night's game with a sore wrist, Gardenhire said he is likely out until at least Sunday.
Revere was called up from Class-AA New Britain on September 4, and he has just one plate appearance so far -- a strikeout on September 7 against Kansas City.
"He was pretty fired up when I told him," Gardenhire said.