State of the Twins, week 7: Awaiting word on Orlando Hudson
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Hudson underwent X-rays on his left wrist/hand -- the same wrist/hand he dislocated and fractured in 2008 -- but results were not immediately available after the game, and Hudson did not speak to reporters.
Update: According to general manager Bill Smith, Hudson did not make the trip to Seattle on Monday. X-rays taken after Sunday night's game were inconclusive. The team now awaits results of a scheduled CT scan.
Losing Hudson for any period of time would be a huge blow for the Twins, who don't exactly have much in reserve at second base. Hudson has been a catalyst all season at the top of the order.
The Twins have now hosted three nine-game home stands this season, and they've finished 6-3 after each of them. Here's where things stand after seven weeks:
* CF Denard Span: Remember when people were nervous about Span's low batting average a few weeks ago? Well, heading into Sunday night, Span led the Major Leagues with 39 hits in the month of May, which has helped raise his hitting line to .293/.376/.385. Even before this recent surge, Span was still doing his job as a leadoff hitter, drawing walks and taking a lot of pitches.
* Pitching coach Rick Anderson: It's hard to quantify exactly how much of an impact a pitching coach has on his hurlers, but Anderson deserves some percentage of credit for a Twins pitching staff that came into Sunday ranked eighth in ERA (3.74), seventh in FIP (3.82), first in fewest walks (2.01 BB/9), and first in first pitch strike percentage (63.4%). Anderson has worked hard to get Francisco Liriano back on track, and he certainly has played a role in Carl Pavano's success as well. If only he could magically pull a dominant closer out of his bag of tricks...
* RF Michael Cuddyer: Over the last two weeks, Cuddyer has actually tallied at least one hit in 10 of his last 12 games, and he's racked up an extra base hit in seven of his last 10 games. But overall, after hitting .309/.346/.479 with three home runs in April, Cuddyer is hitting just .238/.319/.406 with two home runs in May, dropping his season numbers to .270/.339/.439. When Cuddyer isn't mashing, the Twins lineup feels the pain, because they simply don't have much pop from the right side of the plate.
* C Joe Mauer: This one comes with an asterisk, because he ripped a double off the top of the fence on Sunday night, but Mauer still has only two home runs this season, and he's grounded into 12 double plays. Over the last two weeks, he's hitting .271/.364/.333. Even when Mauer is "cold," per se, he's still a very good hitter, as his .329/.404/.465 for the season would suggest. The incredible power output in 2009 was likely an aberration, but even so, he figured to hit at least 15 or 20 this season. For now, let's just blame Target Field. Or global warming.
* RHP Jon Rauch: Has allowed runs in two of his last four outings, and nearly gave fans a heart attack in the ninth inning on Sunday. Gardenhire actually had LHP Brian Duensing warming up in the bullpen after Rauch put men on second and third with Vladimir Guerrero at the plate. Gardenhire insists Rauch would have faced left-handed hitter Josh Hamilton before getting pulled, but the fact that Duensing even warmed up is somewhat telling.
* Target Field marriage proposals: We've had at least a dozen marriage proposals at Target Field so far this season, which leaves me with one question: When these guys call the Twins to book a marriage proposal, what goes through their heads when they are given three possible open dates because the other 78 are booked? So much for originality...
HOW THEY STAND
1. Twins (30-20)
2. Detroit (26-23)
3. Chicago (22-28)
4. Kansas City (21-30)
5. Cleveland (18-30)
* As mentioned above, Hudson injured his left wrist/hand on the final play of Sunday's game when he collided with Span. X-ray results pending.
* Span took a shot to the groin on the play. Despite some "burning," he said his "package" will be fine.
* RHP Pat Neshek (hand) is currently throwing in extended spring training. According to manager Ron Gardenhire, Neshek still feels some pain in his finger, but not enough to keep him from pitching. The next step is to send Neshek on a rehab assignment with Class-A Fort Myers. There is no timetable for his return to the big leagues.
* RHP Clay Condrey (elbow) underwent an MRI last weekend that showed inflammation, and he is currently contemplating and consulting with doctors about how to proceed this summer. Condrey has yet to throw a pitch for the Twins this season, and his status for the rest of the season is very much up in the air. It might make more sense for the Twins to put him on the 60-day DL in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for someone like Anthony Slama or Kyle Waldrop.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Monday: @ Mariners, 9:10 p.m. LHP Francisco Liriano (4-3, 3.17) vs. RHP Doug Fister (3-2, 2.03).
Tuesday: @ Mariners, 9:10 p.m. RHP Nick Blackburn (6-1, 4.28) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.12).
Wednesday: @ Mariners, 9:10 p.m. RHP Kevin Slowey (6-3, 4.15) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (3-2, 3.22).
Thursday: @ Mariners , 9:10 p.m. RHP Carl Pavano (5-5, 3.99) vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (2-4, 3.50).
Friday: @ Athletics, 9:05 p.m. RHP Scott Baker (5-4, 4.48) vs. LHP Dallas Braden (4-5, 3.60).
Saturday: @ Athletics, 8:05 p.m. Liriano vs. RHP Trevor Cahill (3-2, 3.31).
Sunday: @ Athletics, 3:05 p.m. Blackburn vs. TBD
* All games on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities