Pregame notes: Hardy activated, Plouffe optioned, Condrey still ailing
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Prior to today's game against the New York Yankees, the Twins officially activated SS J.J. Hardy (wrist) from the disabled list, while optioning SS Trevor Plouffe to Class-AAA Rochester.
Hardy will bat eighth.
"He came in yesterday, worked out, and said it feels great," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We talked about, 'do you need a rehab (assignment)?' And he says no."
Hardy launched a number of home runs deep into the left field seats during batting practice. Prior to the injury, he was hitting .250/.299/.400 with three home runs and 11 RBI. Most importantly, however, Hardy played fantastic defense.
As for Plouffe, he made a good impression with Gardenhire during his short stint in the big leagues. The 23-year-old shortstop tallied three hits in 13 at bats, and Gardenhire praised his defense, above all else.
"He played great," Gardenhire said. "He played fantastic out there. He moved around well and caught the ball, was in the right place on the cutoffs. Yeah, I didn't see him make any mistakes.
"(Throwing) is something he's worked really hard on. He's using his feet, and he did that. He did everything. He used his feet and flowed through the ball."
* INF Nick Punto received a cortisone shot over the weekend for a strain in the middle knuckle of the ring finger on his left hand. Gardenhire said the finger is "still pretty sore," and Punto's status off the bench tonight is "very iffy." He will not be available to hit.
"Unless I'm trying to scare the other team," Gardenhire joked.
"He'll be available to pinch run, and defense is questionable, because it's in his (glove) hand.
"I'm a little concerned, because I think he's been on the DL with that before. We'll have to wait and see."
Punto actually missed 10 days with the same injury in July, 2008, but narrowly avoided the disabled list.
* An MRI showed inflammation in the injured elbow of RHP Clay Condrey, who has been rehabbing off and on since spring training.
"The doctors are going to discuss," Gardenhire said. "When they get here today, they'll talk about what the next route, and talk with Condrey, see what he wants to do. Probably two options; you can try to pitch through it, or injections, somewhere in there."
* RHP Pat Neshek (hand) was sent to extended spring training in Florida, and he was scheduled to throw against live hitters today. There is no timetable for his return to the big league squad.