Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer

Jim Mone, Associated Press - Ap

Mauer limited to pinch-hit role

  • Article by: La VELLE E. NEAL III
  • Star Tribune
  • June 20, 2012 - 8:38 AM

PITTSBURGH - Twins catcher Joe Mauer was limited to pinch-hitting duties Tuesday as he continues to recover from a bruised right quadriceps muscle.

Mauer was injured Sunday when Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks made a questionable slide into him despite having a clear path to home plate.

Mauer did some early work Tuesday and planned to hit before the game and be available as a pinch hitter. If he got on base, he would have needed a pinch runner -- unless he hit a homer and could jog around the bases.

"I'll probably need a runner," Mauer said. "It's made big improvements from [Monday to Tuesday]. That's encouraging."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that even if the games were under American League rules, Mauer was not well enough to start.

As for the play on which he was injured, Mauer wasn't pleased about Weeks' slide but would not come out and criticize him.

"I mean, he definitely didn't have to," Mauer said. "But it happened and you have to keep going."

Capps also day-to-day

Closer Matt Capps was not available Tuesday but indicated that it won't be long before he can pitch in a game.

"I certainly feel good enough to compete," he said.

Gardenhire said before the game that he would choose, based on the matchups, between righthander Jared Burton and lefthander Glen Perkins for closing duties.

Capps made it clear his condition is so minor that he never had an magnetic resonance imaging exam. He said his arm felt like he had pitched five consecutive days and it is something he can work through.

"I saw the doctors, and everything they could tell me, it seemed like it was just a little bit of a strain," Capps said. "Got some anti-inflammatories, and they were confident nothing major was going on [so] an MRI was not ordered. And I did not feel that was necessary, either."

PNC Park vs. Target Field

Ryan Doumit broke in with the Pirates in 2005 and spent seven seasons with them before he signed with the Twins as a free agent during the offseason.

"It was a treat," said Doumit, who received a mix of cheers and boos before he singled in the second inning. "I loved everything about my time here. I really did. I grew up in this organization. Quality people on that side. It's a great city and a great place to play but it was just time for me to move on. I wish everybody nothing but the best here."

It also was Capps' first visit to PNC Park since he left after the 2009 season. He was asked which ballpark is better, Target Field or PNC Park?

"The view from the dugout is second to none," Capps said of PNC Park. "At night, when the city is lit up and the bridges are lit up, it's a beautiful place. As far as the amenities and the atmosphere, Target Field is second to none. Both are great in their own right."

Extension in Fort Myers

The Twins and Lee County have agreed to a 30-year extension to their lease at Hammond Stadium, the team's spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla. The agreement was necessary before the county could apply for a $15 million grant from the state to fund planned upgrades. The county is expected to match the grant, providing $30 million.

"The Twins and Lee County have enjoyed a model partnership for the past 22 years," Twins President Dave St. Peter said. "[Tuesday's] action by the county board is an important step in the process aimed at extending that relationship."

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