Kubel battling to find his swing

Twins outfielder Jason Kubel is 2-for-10 at Class AAA Rochester since joining the Red Wings for a rehabilitation stint.


Jason Kubel needs to start hitting in Rochester before he'll be called up.

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Twins outfielder Jason Kubel is 2-for-10 at Class AAA Rochester since joining the Red Wings for a rehabilitation stint. The Twins would like to go back to 12 pitchers later this week and call up a position player. Kubel could be that guy, but he won't be called up until he starts hitting.

"Kube's thoughts were to come back here and join us for the Detroit series after the Thursday day game at Triple-A," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You can't bring him in the middle of the heat not swinging good."

Kubel, out since May 31 because of a sprained left foot, played all nine innings in right field Monday. He was the DH Tuesday.

If he needs more time, the Twins are eyeing Rene Tosoni for the call-up.

Baker getting closer

Righthander Scott Baker, who has missed two starts because of a sprained flexor muscle, played catch in the outfield Tuesday and felt good. He will throw in the bullpen Wednesday. After that, the Twins will decide if Baker will return to the starting rotation or will make a rehab start in the minors to make sure everything is fine.

The flexor muscle is near the ulnar collateral ligament, where Tommy John surgeries occur. Baker said he's had all the UCL tests and he passed "with flying colors."

Twins talk safety

Major League Baseball teams have been reviewing ballpark safety policies following the tragic death of a Rangers fan earlier this month when he tumbled over an outfield railing while trying to catch a ball thrown to him by outfielder Josh Hamilton.

The Twins are no different. Matt Hoy, Twins vice president in charge of operations, said the club constantly checks the ballpark and its policies to ensure fans are as safe as possible.

"As you would expect, we are very concerned about the safety of fans attending games at Target Field," Hoy wrote in an e-mail. "All Target Field railings meet or exceed code requirements for public assembly facilities.

"An example of something we found and changed [last season] would be the railing that currently holds the [Jim] Thome home run total in center field. It was modified with an additional railing to keep spectators back another foot from the rail as it would be quite a fall from that location."

The Rangers announced Tuesday that they are raising the front row railings at Rangers Ballpark to 42 inches, an increase of as much as a foot in some parts of the park. They will also be more vigilant about warning fans about leaning over or sitting on railings.

Hoy said no fan tumbled over a railing at a Twins games at the Metrodome, and so far no one has at Target Field.


• Denard Span played five innings in the outfield Monday and seven Tuesday at Rochester as he works his way back from a concussion.

• Righthander Kevin Slowey (abdominal strain) is scheduled to make his next start at Rochester on Wednesday.

• Joe Mauer played first base for the third time this season Tuesday, and a day after playing there in the first game of a doubleheader. He's expected to catch on Wednesday.

• Gardenhire went out on the field during early batting practice wearing a T-shirt that read, "I love Japanese Women's Soccer." He lost a bet with Tsuyoshi Nishioka over the Women's World Cup final and had to wear the shirt. It was a nice photo opp for the Japanese media.

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