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Updated: August 22nd, 2011 6:41pm
Notebook: Twins were likely to non-tender Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy

Notebook: Twins were likely to non-tender Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins will get a sneak peak at one half of the Delmon Young trade this week after recalling right-hander Lester Oliveros from Triple-A Rochester.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said he received a scouting report on Oliveros from Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

"A good arm," Gardenhire said. "Electric stuff, a great kid, and still learning to pitch and mix his pitches up. At times centers the ball a little bit too much, but he's got a great arm and Leyland really liked the young man."

On Monday, Gardenhire confirmed that the Twins were highly likely to non-tender Young this offseason, rather than pay him between $5-7 million through arbitration. The Twins were also planning to non-tender shortstop J.J. Hardy last offseason until the Baltimore Orioles showed interest in trading.

Because the Twins were set to let both Young and Hardy walk without compensation, the team is just hoping to receive any sort of positive return on investment for Oliveros, as well as right-hander Jim Hoey, who was acquired for Hardy.

"If you go into the season and he's making whatever, $5-plus million, and he's going to make $7 or $8 million, that's the way it was explained to me, and you're going to non-tender him, then you have to make a deal and get somebody for him, rather than just letting him go and non-tender," Gardenhire said, talking about both Young and Hardy.

"Orlando (Hudson) was going to go look for a two-year deal, same situation. We weren't going to be able to pay that. We were trying to sign our bullpen (too). And we didn't get either. Or any."

For what it's worth, despite the miniscule sample size, in six games since being dealt, Young is hitting .308/.321/.538 with two home runs and six RBIs.

Hardy comes into a four-game series at Target Field hitting .268/.310/.505 with 23 home runs.

Still sore, Morneau discusses mental mistakes

Due to a right foot contusion, Justin Morneau was not available on Monday night.

An X-ray showed no break, and even though he's still sore, the first baseman could return to the lineup on Tuesday, according to head athletic trainer Rick McWane.

Gardenhire had a more conservative viewpoint, saying "I'm not so sure. ... He's still pretty sore." If the soreness persists, it's possible Morneau could receive an MRI.

Consider him day-to-day, but also consider him somewhat frustrated -- as was Gardenhire over the weekend -- with the team's constant mental mistakes this season.

"I think the difference is usually we have one or two guys in that role, and the mistakes don't stick out as much," Morneau said. "I made as many mistakes, I still do -- I made as many mistakes when I was younger as anybody. But you learn from them and you make adjustments, but when you have three or four guys in the lineup every day, making those mistakes, I think it stands out a lot more.

"Sometimes you can get away with giving a team one extra out or making a mistake on the bases, but when you have three or four guys making those mistakes at the same time then that's kind of when it costs you. I think we've seen a lot of that this year, just guys not being in all those situations before. Some of it's preparation and some of it's just learning as you go. You pay attention to the game and see a guy make a mistake and try not to do it yourself, or try to put yourself in that situation and think of what you would do if that happened to you."

Span heading home

Outfielder Denard Span is leaving Tuesday to go back home to Tampa for a week.

Sidelined since June 3 for all but two weeks, Span is still experiencing dizziness and fogginess following a concussion he suffered in Kansas City. Doctors have determined that Span's symptoms are no longer concussion-related, but instead are similar to what he has been experiencing off and on since 2009 when he was diagnosed with Vestibular Neuritis.

"Just going home and getting away from this for a few days and clearing your head, and then joining us when we get back home," Gardenhire said of Span heading back to Tampa. "He's going crazy in here. He doesn't know what to do, so let him have a little refresher."

A return this season has not been ruled out, but the team certainly will not rush Span back.

Quick hits

• Right-hander Nick Blackburn received an MRI on his right forearm Monday, and he's scheduled to see a specialist on Tuesday morning.

• Shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka (low back and oblique) is feeling "much better" Monday than he was heading into the weekend, per McWane, but he still wasn't penciled into the starting lineup.

• Second baseman Alexi Casilla started on-field running and agility drills Monday to test his hamstring, and he has had "no problems" so far, per McWane, but there is no timetable for his return.

Scott Baker (elbow) will start a throwing program on Tuesday. The right-hander said he felt like he "turned a corner" over the last couple days, but he will not be rushed back.

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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