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Mauer-Mijares dust-up spurs team meeting

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN
  • Star Tribune
  • June 26, 2011 - 9:15 AM

MILWAUKEE — The Twins held a meeting Saturday afternoon to clear the air over comments Jose Mijares and Joe Mauer made following Friday's 4-3 loss to the Brewers.

Mijares blamed Mauer for calling nothing but fastballs against Prince Fielder, who drilled the last one for the game-winning, two-run double. Mauer said he did call for fastballs but didn't call for one down the middle.

"Any time these things happen, as a manager, have a little meeting, get it out of the way, clear the air so everybody knows what we're doing and on the same page," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's my job."

Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson also had discussions with Mijares and Mauer, and Mijares said he apologized to Mauer.

"Every player's got to be accountable, and Mijares knows that," Gardenhire said. "He was upset [Friday] night and mad, but he understands that he's got the ball. If you don't like what the catcher calls, you can call timeout or shake, and he understands that. He made a mistake."

Gardenhire expressed great surprise that Mijares threw six fastballs to Fielder.

"The one thing the manager can do is second-guess the heck out of it because I get second-guessed myself by [the media]," Gardenhire said. "So I can say those things -- I would like to see a breaking ball -- but the pitcher can't. If he doesn't want to throw something, don't throw it."

Faith in Nishioka

Gardenhire called Tsuyoshi Nishioka into his office after Friday's game but put him back in the lineup Saturday, even though Nishioka was batting .184.

"He needs to keep swinging and get more at-bats," Gardenhire said. "He'll get better as he goes along. I just don't want him to get too frustrated, bottle it all up and start worrying about things he doesn't need to worry about.

"He's very passionate about this game. He wants us to win; that's all that matters to me. We win and lose as a team."

Hunting for strikes

The Twins plan to place pitching prospect Shooter Hunt on the disabled list to make sure he's healthy after issuing seven walks in two-thirds of an inning Friday for Class A Fort Myers. Hunt, 24, also walked four batters without getting an out the previous night.

The 31st overall pick from the 2008 draft, Hunt has issued 219 walks in 180 professional innings.

"I thought at one time he was getting over the hump," said Twins minor-league director Jim Rantz. "Obviously, we haven't given up on him. We're trying to change his delivery or maybe change his arm slot to help him throw strikes."

Etc.

• Jason Kubel (sprained left foot) will go through a full workout with the Twins on Monday, and if all goes well, he'll be sent on a minor-league rehab assignment.

• Denard Span has had two consecutive days of running, hitting and throwing without feeling concussion symptoms.

• The Twins signed sixth-round draft pick Dereck Rodriguez, the son of Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez, and have now signed 18 of their 52 picks from this month's draft.

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