Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said this afternoon that Joe Mauer is still battling a sore shoulder that stems from taking foul tips off the area during the pre All-Star break series in Detroit. The soreness apparently is affecting his throwing.
Factor in that, plus the whole Carl Pavano-Drew Butera vibe that Gardy likes, and that was enough for the manager to DH Mauer today.
No update on Justin Morneau, who is still recovering from a concussion.
Closer Jon Rauch, who was socked on the left ankle by a line drive on Monday, is good to go.
Nick Blackburn will work out of the bullpen for now, but will still throw bullpen sessions in front of pitching coach Rick Anderson when possible. Anderson agreed that Blackburn is at the point where, to borrow a phrase from a popular song, he has to free his mind so the rest will follow.
Before you cringe at Nick Punto's name in the lineup, Little Nicky is 11 for 24 (.458) with four doubles and four walks off of Kevin Millwood
The only unfortunate thing about the lineup is that Jim Thome is 6-for-10 with three homers off Millwood. But the Twins still have several hitters with good numbers against the veteran. See below
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B - 7 for 11 vs Millwood
3. Joe Mauer, DH - .300 vs Millwood
4. Jason Kubel, RF - 5 for 15, HR vs Millwood
5. Michael Cuddyer, 1B - .423, HR vs Millwood
6. Delmon Young, LF - 5 for 12 vs Millwood.
7. J.J. Hardy, SS
8. Nick Punto, 3B
9. Drew Butera, C
Carl Pavano, RHP
1. Felix Pie, LF
2. Miguel Tejada, 3B
3. Nick Markakis, RF
4. Luke Scott, DH
5. Ty Wigginton, 1B
6. Adam Jones, CF
7. Scott Moore, 2B
8. Craig Tatum
9. Cesar Izturis, SS
Kevin Millwood, RHP