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Updated: October 2nd, 2010 12:31pm
Notebook: Morneau works out again; Thome and Mauer feeling good

Notebook: Morneau works out again; Thome and Mauer feeling good

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- After a workout on Thursday that included batting practice, throwing drills, groundballs and more, Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau took it easy on Friday before ramping things back up again before Saturday's matinee game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

"He feels good," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "His legs feel good, and that's the big thing.

"Got a nice workout in, got some swings, took some groundballs. Everything was good."

Morneau ruled out the possibility of returning for the American League Division Series, and Gardenhire confirmed as much on Saturday, saying, "He hasn't hit live, he hasn't dove for a ball, he hasn't done anything like that. If you want a formal, 'No he won't be on the playoff roster for the first round,' there's your formal. No, he won't."

Beyond that, Gardenhire wouldn't speculate on a timetable, although Morneau has said he's aiming for the ALCS.

The next step, should things continue to progress well, is for Morneau to face live pitching.

"We'll have to make that decision within whatever, the next few days," Gardenhire said. "He'd have to go to Florida to do that. That's down the road a few days here. He's doing good."

NOTES

* Jim Thome (back) and Joe Mauer (knee) both came out of Friday night's game feeling good.

Mauer received a rest day on Saturday, but he is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday. Thome was scheduled for two more plate appearances on Saturday.

"We've got a lot of at bats, you know what I mean?" Thome said, referring to getting his timing back after missing more than a week. "You play all year long. Unfortunately, you don't ever want to miss any time, but getting these next couple days of at bats will help for sure."

* Jon Rauch had fluid drained from his left knee earlier in the week, and he also received a cortisone shot, prompting questions about the right-hander's availability for the ALDS.

According to Gardenhire, however, the outlook was much better on Saturday.

"He said (Friday) he felt really good," Gardenhire said. "He said, 'Surprisingly, I felt really good.' I think he's believing maybe Monday for sure, be able to throw some. Tuesday, definitely a bullpen. And who knows about (Sunday). If he feels as good as he did yesterday, he might want to try to do something tomorrow -- play some catch."

* Gardenhire said Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey and Glen Perkins will all travel with the team in the ALDS no matter what, even if there may only be room for one or two of them on the postseason roster.

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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