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Updated: September 7th, 2010 6:41pm
Notebook: Gardenhire says Fuentes 'definitely not ready' to return yet

Notebook: Gardenhire says Fuentes 'definitely not ready' to return yet

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins received some bullpen reinforcements with the arrival of Pat Neshek and Glen Perkins on Tuesday, but they are still without newly-acquired left-hander Brian Fuentes, who has been sidelined since August 28 with a sore back.

According to manager Ron Gardenhire, Fuentes threw a bullpen session on Tuesday, but the left-hander felt, "just OK."

"He's going to have to do it again (Wednesday), maybe," Gardenhire said. "He still felt a little bit stiff. OK, but not perfect. (Pitching coach Rick Anderson) said we'll probably take him out there and throw again in the bullpen (Wednesday), because he's definitely not ready.

"It didn't feel great. Not 100 percent."

Fuentes has appeared in only one game since the Twins acquired him on August 27, striking out left-hander Russell Branyan in Seattle on four pitches to secure a 1-0 victory two Saturdays ago. His back tightened up one day later, and he hasn't pitched since.

Valencia to return Friday?

Third baseman Danny Valencia said his hamstring feels "great," but the Twins continue to be cautious. Matt Tolbert started in his place for the third straight game on Tuesday night.

"He says he can hit," Gardenhire said of Valencia. "We know that. But after you hit, you've got to do something too. You've got to run, and we're not quite there yet. He wants to play. He's dying.

"I don't want this to turn into something where he really pops it and then we're done for the year, because he could be, and I don't want to get into that. So we're just going to give him the days we need here... My best guess would be Friday."

NOTES

* The Twins are hoping left-hander Jose Mijares (knee) can throw a simulated game later this week in Cleveland. There's a chance he could return by Sunday if all goes well.

* Outfielder Ben Revere has yet to see any action since being called up on Sunday. Gardenhire said he isn't actively looking to insert the 22-year-old into the starting lineup anytime soon, but will likely insert him in as a pinch runner or defensive replacement sometime soon.

Much like left-hander Denard Span, Revere -- a left-handed hitter as well -- has a track record of hitting left-handed pitching better than right-handed pitching.

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