Looking at the Minnesota Twins here in the beginning of June, it's getting difficult to believe these guys have a shot at defending their American League Central title. In fact, the casual fan may not even recognize half the guys on the roster, filling in for the numerous injured players.
Jim Thome and Jason Kubel joined the party on the 15-day disabled list Thursday due to a strained left quadriceps and sprained left foot, respectively, becoming two more casualties in a long line of damages for the Twins this season. There is currently no timetable for either of their returns.
This marks the 13th time the team has utilized the DL so far this season, which is barely two months old. With Jim Jam stalled at 593 career homers and Kubel leading the team with 30 RBI and one of the few decent batting averages at .310, things are not looking good. In their absence, Ben Revere and Luke Hughes have been recalled to join the mess.
Ron Gardenhire, who many think has overstayed his welcome in Minnesota, had this to say regarding the injury epidemic:
"I don’t even count any more. Injuries happen in this game. Unfortunately, we’ve had quite a few. Right now we’re looking for bench help. I lost two left-handed hitters today. Some of these kids are not ready to come up here and sit on the bench. There might be somebody in Triple-A who might be ready."
So... do the Twins trainers just suck at training? Can it really be a fluke that a decent number of players from this Spring are hurt? Like most fans, I need someone to blame, pronto.
Speaking of, Joe Mauer finally got some action behind the plate Thursday in an extended Spring Training game down in Fort Myers. He says he feels "real good." I hope that's not an exaggeration, since he went 0-for-5 at the plate. His recovery has been like watching the grass grow. Hurry up already.
Good news: Anthony Swarzak, after pitching an absolute gem last weekend, earned his first big league victory since 2009. Way to go, buddy. Also, the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals. In recent years, this would not be considered big news, but I was pretty excited to see them snap a four-game skid and watch the bullpen toss three scoreless innings. Good job.
Did you find any joy in that win? Did you even watch the game? I've heard recently from more than a few people that they don't even really watch the games anymore, or they'll turn it on in the eighth, see the Twins are behind, and continue watching Dancing with the Stars or whatever craptastic program they were enjoying in the meantime.
I hope these links cheer you up. If so, maybe you'll record your regularly-scheduled Friday night reality show and check out the game tonight, featuring Carl Pavano against left-hander Danny Duffy at 7:10pm.
Meet Brian Dinkleman [Twinkie Town]
Twins reach DL limit, forced the change logo [That's Twins Baseball]
Scott Erikson attempts to sell 1994 No-Hitter on eBay [Onion Sports Network]
Put yourself in a Twins uniform. [JibJab]