Updated: August 30th, 2012 4:14pm
Twins place Denard Span on 15-day DL one game before rosters expand

Twins place Denard Span on 15-day DL one game before rosters expand

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Reinforcements are scheduled to arrive on Saturday, but the Minnesota Twins elected to place Denard Span (collarbone) on the 15-day disabled list anyways.

The move is retroactive to Aug. 28, which means Span isn't eligible to return until Sept. 12.

On the surface, this seems like a head-scratching move, especially considering the Twins elected not to DL Span when he initially injured his collarbone on Aug. 12 on an awkward dive against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Span missed 10 days before returning to the lineup on Aug. 23 -- one day after claustrophobia kept him from making it through an MRI -- but he missed the last three games of the Seattle series this week with lingering discomfort. Span was actually scratched from Tuesday's lineup about an hour before the game.

So why place him on the disabled list now, after not doing so for nearly three weeks, when rosters are set to expand on Saturday?

Per a Twins official, the team is confident Span could use at least another 10 days to let his collarbone rest. An open-sided MRI earlier this week showed no significant damage, but Span remains sore.

Also, the team has interest in recalling outfielder Matt Carson from Triple-A Rochester. But per MLB rules, players must spend at least 10 days in the minor leagues after being demoted. Carson can only be recalled to take the place of a player who lands on the disabled list, otherwise he'd have to remain with Rochester until Sept. 3.

In this case, there would be incentive to placing Span on the disabled list.

Of course, if Span shows up to the ballpark in a few days with no pain in his collarbone, the Twins -- despite expanded rosters -- still wouldn't be able to activate him until Sept. 12.

It's possible the injury always needed one full month to heal. But if that's the case, whether Span did a poor job of telling the Twins how he feels, or whether the Twins did a poor job handling the injury, it's a situation that likely could have been handled better.

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.
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In this story: Denard Span