Fan club awaits L.A.'s Mattingly

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 26, 2011 - 11:24 PM
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Dodgers manager Don Mattingly

Photo: Alex Gallardo, Associated Press

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MILWAUKEE - When Twins right fielder Michael Cuddyer was growing up, he had posters of Don Mattingly all over his bedroom.

"He was my No. 1 favorite guy," Cuddyer said. "I loved the way he wore his eye-black. I loved his mustache. I loved the way he crouched down into his [batting] stance. The first time I met him, I couldn't speak."

Former Twins reliever Matt Guerrier idolized Mattingly, too, so Guerrier couldn't help but feel starstruck after signing his three-year, $12 million contract with the Dodgers in December. His former idol had just replaced Joe Torre as Dodgers manager.

"It was pretty cool after I signed, getting a call from him and then getting to meet him in spring training," Guerrier said. "You would almost never know he was as great of a player as he was. He's pretty personable.

"He's got a similar style to [Twins manager Ron Gardenhire]. He'll come up and talk to you during batting practice, ask how you're feeling. He expects us to go out and play hard, and that's all he really asks of us."

With the Dodgers opening a three-game series at Target Field on Monday, Guerrier will get a chance to face his former team. He has a 4.50 ERA and entered Sunday ranked fourth in the National League with 39 appearances.

Mauer sits again

Joe Mauer was not in the starting lineup for the second time in four days. In both cases the Twins were playing a day game after a night game.

Gardenhire said Mauer would have been able to DH if the Twins weren't playing in a National League ballpark.

"If he could play first base, he'd probably be playing first base today or third base, somewhere," Gardenhire said. "That's why I want to explore all the options to keep his bat in the lineup as much as we possibly can, especially if all these people are hurt."

Mauer pinch hit for Drew Butera in the seventh inning and remained in the game at catcher, going 1-for-2 to raise his batting average to .200.

Gardenhire said Mauer will have more chances to take ground balls at first base during the team's upcoming nine-game homestand. Mauer played one game at first base for Class A Fort Myers in 2003 and 13 games at first base for Class A Quad Cities in 2002.

Etc.

• Delmon Young (sprained right ankle) will have an MRI exam Monday. He has been on crutches and hasn't been able to put any weight on his foot since jamming it on the left field wall Saturday.

• Jason Kubel (sprained right foot) likely will head on a rehab assignment to Class AAA Rochester after working out with the Twins on Monday. There is talk Kubel might need only four games before returning, but Gardenhire said he'd like for Kubel to play seven games and get 28 to 30 at-bats.

• After throwing 35 pitches in two innings for Class A Fort Myers on Saturday, Kevin Slowey (strained abdomen) is scheduled to throw 50 pitches on Wednesday for one of the Twins' minor league affiliates.

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