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Updated: April 15th, 2010 10:27am
Pregame notes: Pat Neshek has sore finger; Delmon Young has day off

Pregame notes: Pat Neshek has sore finger; Delmon Young has day off

by Tom Pelissero
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins reliever Pat Neshek is receiving treatment for a tender flexor in the middle finger on his throwing hand, but manager Ron Gardenhire said Neshek "should be fine."

Neshek threw two innings in Wednesday's loss to Boston and wouldn't have been available for today's series finale anyway.

Update 11:25 a.m.: Neshek confirmed that he has mild tendinitis in the finger, and he's been dealing with the pain since last week in Anaheim. "It's hard to bend it," Neshek said. "I was thinking it might just go away, but it kept getting worse."

"If he comes up and I can't use him (Friday against Kansas City), then there's concern," Gardenhire said. "Today, no concern because I can't reuse him anyway."

Veteran left-hander Ron Mahay, called up from Class-A Fort Myers, will be available today.

Gardenhire said he's gotten no updates on C Jose Morales (right wrist surgery) other than "he's not doing much right now."

Asked if he's set on Drew Butera as Joe Mauer's backup, Gardenhire said, "Drew's fine. It is what it is -- he's a backup catcher, and Morales is going to have to go down and play and see if he can play and then see how he does catching and throwing.

"Morales knows, if he can't throw, he's not going to be able to be our backup catcher. You've got to be able come up and throw somebody out. That's the bottom line. He had a bad wrist, and then his arm was hurting in spring training. You know what? We can't go through that day where Joe doesn't play -- they can't run all over us. We won't have that. We look at catch-and-throw guys for our backup catcher.

"He can hit -- we know that. He's still got to be able to do some the other thing, catch and throw. He calls a good game, but he's got to be able to throw somebody out."

* Jason Kubel will start in left field today, with Jim Thome as the designated hitter and Delmon Young getting a day off. Gardenhire said it had nothing to do with Young's defense -- he's misplayed a ball in each of the first two games at Target Field -- but rather Thome's history against Boston pitcher Tim Wakefield. "Delmon's swinging really good. ... I just think it's a fun day when Thome's facing a knuckleballer like that."

* The infield was covered all morning as rain fell in the Twin Cities area. Workers rolled up the tarp a little before 10:30 a.m., and it's supposed to be sunny and approaching the 70s by first pitch at 12:10 p.m.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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