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Updated: July 20th, 2010 5:48pm
Notebook: Jon Rauch temporarily unavailable after line drive to ankle

Notebook: Jon Rauch temporarily unavailable after line drive to ankle

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins closer Jon Rauch had a rough night on Monday, allowing two earned runs on four hits in a non-save situation. He was also smoked in the ankle with a line drive.

Rauch was checked out by trainers after the game, and Gardenhire said Rauch told him he is available to pitch on Tuesday night, but the manager seems hesitant to use the right-hander, saying, "We'll see where we're at (Wednesday)."

If a save situation arises Tuesday night, Gardenhire said he will lean toward a different reliever, but wouldn't specify who.

"We'll see where we get to in the game," Gardenhire said. "First we get to the ninth inning with a lead, then we'll see where we're at and who's available."

Rauch has allowed at least one run in four of his last nine appearances, raising his ERA from 2.42 to 3.31.

NOTES

* Justin Morneau was scheduled to see a concussion specialist on Tuesday, but so far the team has no information about how that visit went.

"I haven't heard a word," Gardenhire said. "Not one word yet. We're still waiting for the trainers to find out, then we go from there."

* For the upcoming four-game series in Baltimore this weekend, the Twins' probable starters are "TBA" for Friday and Sunday. Those are the slots formerly occupied by Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey.

Brian Duensing threw 50 pitches in last Sunday's game against Chicago, so he would likely be stretched out and ready to start on Friday night if the Twins decided to remove Blackburn from the rotation.

Jeff Manship is another temporary rotation option.

Gardenhire downplayed the rotation uncertainty.

"Those were put out a few days ago, the TBA," Gardenhire said. "We haven't announced it yet, because we were checking with Baker and all that stuff. We put TBA just to make sure we get through everything."

* When asked if Slowey (8-5, 4.95) is pitching for his job on Tuesday night, Gardenhire said, "I'm not going to say that."

When asked if Slowey's struggles were location or mental, Gardenhire replied, "Yes. You touched on about everything.

"We're hoping Kevin Slowey goes out and gives us a great performance (Tuesday)."

* Right-hander Anthony Slama, who was summoned Class-AAA Rochester on Monday, was believed to be held up at the airport on Tuesday afternoon, but upon his arrival he will be available to pitch immediately, Gardenhire said.

"When he comes up, he's ready to pitch. He's been pitching, he can go multiple days. He's down that down there (at Rochester)... When a situation comes up, we'll stick him out there and let him throw."

* Alexi Casilla is scheduled to play third base Tuesday night for Class-AA New Britain. Gardenhire said the utility infielder is likely to rejoin the Twins on Thursday in Baltimore.

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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