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Updated: September 3rd, 2010 3:28pm
Notebook: Kubel MRI shows no further damage, Baker elbow update, and more

Notebook: Kubel MRI shows no further damage, Baker elbow update, and more

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- In addition to using three starting pitchers on Thursday night, the Minnesota Twins were forced to play without several key hitters, including Orlando Hudson, Jason Kubel and Jim Thome, who did pinch hit in the late innings.

On Friday, Hudson (ankle) and Thome (back) found themselves back in the starting lineup.

And Kubel received good news when an MRI showed no further damage to his bruised left wrist.

Kubel said he took some light swings on Friday afternoon, and he is hopeful to return to the starting lineup before the end of the weekend.

Disaster averted.

Fox, Delaney and Burnett arrive

Extenuating circumstances forced the Minnesota Twins to call up right-hander Matt Fox to start Friday night's game against the Texas Rangers.

Fox, 27, appeared in 35 games (21 starts) for Class-AAA Rochester this season, posting a 3.95 ERA with 104 strikeouts, 51 walks and 17 home runs allowed.

Over his last three starts, Fox has allowed just four earned runs in 16 2/3 innings, striking out 15 and walking five.

Joining Fox are right-handed relievers Alex Burnett and Rob Delaney, who will make his major league debut at some point as well.

Burnett and Delaney said they each were aware of the 13-inning marathon in Minneapolis, and they eventually learned of their call-ups after 2:00 a.m. Friday.

Fox, who shook hands with catcher Joe Mauer before diving into a scouting report in the clubhouse before Friday's game, reportedly throws a fastball that tops out in the low 90's, with a cutter that touches the upper-80's. He also throws a decent curveball and sometimes a changeup. The cutter and the fastball are his favorite pitches.

In all likelihood, Fox -- who wasn't on the 40-man roster until the Twins transferred Justin Morneau to the 60-day DL on Friday -- had zero chance of being a September call-up, and he likely wouldn't have had much of a shot to crack the 25-man roster at any point heading into 2011.

But here he is, with a chance to help the Twins in a pennant chase.

Coincidentally, Fox's battery mate at the University of Central Florida was Drew Butera, however Mauer will handle catching duties on Friday night.

"When I caught him in school he was like a power guy -- threw 95, hard curveball, slider," Butera said. "He had shoulder surgery when he came here, and I haven't caught him since. From what I've heard and what I've seen, he's still throwing low 90's, has good movement... a lot of sink, a lot of command.

"Stories like that are pretty special, pretty awesome. Just from being a fan and an outsider, seeing what he's had to go through and the kind of setbacks he's had, it's great to see him finally get here and fulfill part of his dream."

Baker to miss at least one start, possibly two

Scott Baker left Thursday night's outing with elbow tendinitis -- the same pain and tendinitis he experienced in early July. Baker received a cortisone shot after leaving the game, just as he received a cortisone shot in July.

He will avoid throwing for three days, and manager Ron Gardenhire said the right-hander will miss at least one start, and possibly two.

"I think you'd like to say that the last cortisone shot was the cure all, end all, but that's just not the case," Baker said. "It felt good warming up, and that was the last thing on my mind coming to the field (Thursday). But once you get the adrenaline going, and that max effort-type mentality, it just got irritated again.

"Same stuff as last time."

Rotation set

The pitching rotation over the next five days looks like this:

Saturday - Carl Pavano
Sunday - Nick Blackburn
Monday - Kevin Slowey, returning from the disabled list with a triceps injury
Tuesday - Francisco Liriano
Wednesday - Brian Duensing

What does the 60-day DL mean for Morneau?


Usually at this time of the year, the 60-day DL is reserved for players who are almost certainly out for the season. But Morneau (concussion) has been on the disabled list for 55 days (since July 8), and he is highly unlikely to return within the next five days, so transferring him to the 60-day DL makes sense in order to open up a roster spot for Fox.

It doesn't mean Morneau is officially out for the season. Nor does it mean Morneau will return.
It essentially means nothing.

Twins lacking outfielders; Revere's name tossed around

Manager Ron Gardenhire told 1500 ESPN on Friday that he's thrown Ben Revere's name on the table as a possible option for outfield depth.

Revere, 22, has played in seven games since returning from a month-long hiatus after taking a pitch to the head. He is hitting .303/.370/.361 with 35 stolen bases in 402 plate appearances at Class-AA New Britain this season, and .328/.389/.412 over his four-year minor league career.

Of course, the Twins would have to clear room on the 40-man roster, and they'd also have to rush Revere from double-A to the major leagues -- something the team doesn't normally do.

With Kubel temporarily sidelined and Michael Cuddyer playing first base, the Twins are down to three healthy outfielders -- Denard Span, Delmon Young and Jason Repko.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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