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Updated: July 21st, 2011 5:11pm
Twins activate outfielder Jason Kubel after two-month DL stint

Twins activate outfielder Jason Kubel after two-month DL stint

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins will officially welcome back their hottest hitter from the early part of the season.

Sidelined since May 30 with a sprained left foot, outfielder Jason Kubel was activated from the disabled list after Thursday night's loss to the Detroit Tigers. To make room, the team optioned left-hander Scott Diamond back to Triple-A Rochester.

Kubel went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk in his final rehab game for Rochester on Thursday.

"We talked about him either traveling to Indianapolis (for more rehab) or coming back here," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I wanted to make sure he's ready. He said 'Gardy, I feel good. I'm seeing it really good. ...

"His foot feels good, so we'll get him back up here."

Prior to landing on the disabled list, Kubel was hitting .310/.355/.465 with five home runs, 14 doubles and 30 RBIs in 217 plate appearances.

He sprained the foot while attempting to track down a fly ball in Detroit. The initial thought was that Kubel would be able to return within a few days, but he was placed on the disabled list on June 3, then halted his rehab assignment prematurely on July 4 after re-aggravating the injury.

All in all, Kubel played in seven rehab games, tallying six hits in 21 at-bats (.286) with two extra-base hits.

The Twins will now have four outfielders for three slots -- Kubel, Ben Revere, Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer. It's likely Kubel will split time between right field and designated hitter, with Cuddyer mixing in at first base. Kubel also took some groundballs at first base during his rehab assignment.

"I'll take my chances," Gardenhire said about the potential logjam. "I'll find a way. Believe me. I've said we've been very right-handed and I'd like to get a little more pop from a left-hander. We'll take our chances. Let's get him back here and we'll put him in there. ...

"You know (Jim) Thome isn't going to be able to play everyday. You can't do it. It's not going to happen. This allows Kubel to get in there. I can put Kub in right, Cuddy at first and DH Thome. I can get them all in there. And (Joe) Mauer behind the plate. There's going to be a little more of that."

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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