Kubel also approached on contract

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 9, 2011 - 12:00 AM
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Jason Kubel knocked in Trevor Plouffe with a single, tying the score 6-6 in the eighth inning against the Red Sox on Monday night at Target Field.

Photo: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

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Michael Cuddyer isn't the only player the Twins have approached about a new contract in recent weeks.

The team also spoke to Jason Kubel, trying to get a sense of his thinking with free agency approaching.

It's unknown whether the Twins made an offer to Kubel, as they did with their two-year, $16 million trial balloon with Cuddyer, but the sides did talk late last month, two people familiar with the discussions said.

Kubel and Cuddyer have let the team know they want to hold off on negotiating until after the season, but both veterans have always been clear about how much they like playing for the Twins.

"I like it here," said Kubel, who went 3-for-4 with a homer in Monday's 8-6 loss to Boston, raising his average to .312. "It's really comfortable for me. I know everybody here, and it makes it pretty easy on me."

Gibson, Slama update

Class AAA Rochester pitchers Kyle Gibson and Anthony Slama had their right elbows examined by Twins doctors Monday, and both could wind up having Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery.

"Both players will undergo further diagnostic testing [Tuesday], and we will provide an update during [Tuesday] night's game," General Manager Bill Smith said in an e-mail to reporters.

New addition

Tsuyoshi Nishioka's wife, Naoko, gave birth to the couple's first child at 8:26 a.m. Monday The girl, named Sena, weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces.

Nishioka was not in the starting lineup, but manager Ron Gardenhire said he was available off the bench.

No time to rant

Gardenhire said there are times when a manager needs to scream and yell at his players and times when he needs to be careful not to kick them when they're down.

On Sunday, after the Twins finished getting swept by the White Sox with a 7-0 loss, it could have gone either way.

"Honestly, I went in there in the mind that I was going to scream and yell," Gardenhire said. "But there were some guys in there that took [the loss] pretty hard, so I decided I didn't need to kick them, and I backed away from them."

Casilla has been missed

The Twins continue to hope Alexi Casilla will be ready to come off the disabled list Friday, the first day he's eligible. He tested his strained right hamstring during batting practice Monday and will continue to do running drills.

Casilla doesn't have eye-popping numbers. He's batting .259 with a .322 on-base percentage, but he's definitely been missed since he was injured on July 27 in Texas.

"As soon as I saw him get hurt, I went 'oof,' " Gardenhire said. "That's another big injury because he was playing so well at the top of the order, swinging well. He may not have the marquee name, but as far as what we're doing, he was doing really, really good and had been a big-time producer in our lineup."

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