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Updated: July 4th, 2011 12:07pm
Notebook: Kubel's rehab put on hold; Gardenhire OK with Capps' anger

Notebook: Kubel's rehab put on hold; Gardenhire OK with Capps' anger

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- After re-aggravating his sprained left foot in a rehab game Thursday, Minnesota Twins outfielder Jason Kubel is still experiencing discomfort.

The team has elected to fly him back to Minneapolis from Fort Myers to evaluate him further.

"He doesn't think he's back to square one," head athletic trainer Rick McWane said. "He still has some discomfort when he's running. It's not as bad as it was initially, but we didn't feel that he was ready to play in any games the next three, four days. So instead of having him sit down there, we brought him back to Minnesota to get a look at him first hand."

Kubel initially injured his foot in Detroit on May 30 while trying to make a leaping catch in the outfield. He began a rehab assignment last week with Single-A Fort Myers and was originally scheduled to join Double-A New Britain over the weekend, but that plan was put on hold when Kubel was forced to leave Thursday night's game in the third inning after tweaking his foot.

"We'll get him up here, evaluate him, and hopefully he'll be back to doing some things in a few days and we can send him back out," McWane said.

Prior to being sidelined, Kubel was hitting .310/.355/.465 with five home runs and 14 doubles in 217 plate appearances.

Pulling Capps was 'one of the hardest walks'

Closer Matt Capps wasn't pleased about being pulled from the ninth inning with a two-run lead on Sunday afternoon, but Gardenhire reiterated after the game that the right-hander's job was still safe.

After blowing a 7-4 lead on Saturday night, Capps was looking forward to redeeming himself, and he expressed frustration that he wasn't allowed to pitch to Prince Fielder -- who he has retired in all seven meetings between the two -- with the game on the line.

"That was one of the hardest walks I've had to do to the mound, to walk and take him out there," Gardenhire said. "I just felt that Perkins was hot. Perkins has been on a roll against lefties ... I know (Fielder's) numbers against right-handed pitchers. I know against Capps (the numbers) aren't as well, but I know the numbers. This guy kills right-handed pitching."

Capps, who is generally one of the most mellow players in the Twins clubhouse, was calm, but visibly upset in the clubhouse after the game -- both at himself and the situation.

"I expect it," Gardenhire said. "I don't expect him to be happy ... He's a closer. No closer wants to come out of the game."

Even though Gardenhire made it clear Capps is still his closer, does Sunday's scenario require a sit-down chat between the two?

"I just leave him alone," Gardenhire said. "You don't want to talk to somebody who's really pissed off. I don't want to hear what he has to say to me. When guys are mad you just leave them alone. There'll be a calmer time when eventually I can have a chat with him.

"If he tells me that was horse-(expletive), I'll agree. That was horse-(expletive), but we won the game."

Quick hits

• OF Delmon Young is scheduled to DH for Triple-A Rochester on Sunday night as he begins a rehab assignment.

• RHP Kevin Slowey (abdominal strain) is scheduled to start and throw about 60 pitches for Rochester in the same game.

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.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd