Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Mauer's in right field; Span lands on DL; Cuddyer has epidural

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: August 18, 2011 - 5:23 PM

Joe Mauer is scheduled to make his professional debut in right field Thursday night, with the Twins facing lineup issues as they open a four-game series against the Yankees.

Luke Hughes went to the wrong gate and missed his flight on his way back from Class AAA Rochester.

With Matt Tolbert, Michael Cuddyer and Denard Span injured, and with Jason Kubel tending to a family matter, the Twins needed Trevor Plouffe to play second base, and there was no one else available, besides Mauer, to play the outfield.

Span lands on DL

Span was placed on the DL with migraine symptoms, clearing a roster spot for Luke Hughes.

Cuddyer's MRI exam showed a herniation in his neck. He was given an epidural and the Twins will see if he can play in the next day or two. If not, outfielder Joe Benson could be promoted from Class AA New Britain.

Kubel is expected to return to the team on Friday.

No biggie, it's only the Yankees

Mauer vaguely remembers playing right field once in Town Ball and said he could probably count on his hands how many times he's played the outfield. He was still searching for a glove. For now, he's using one of Kubel's.

The discombobulated Twins will be facing Yankees lefty CC Sabathia. Righties are batting .254 against Sabathia, compared to .203 for lefties.

Sabathia is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in his past two starts, which came against the Red Sox and Rays. Before that, he was 16-4 with a 2.55 ERA in his previous 20 starts (yes, a decision in every one).

Alex Rodriguez is here, but he's not expected to play until Saturday at the earliest.

YANKEES (74-47)

1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Nick Swisher, DH
6. Andruw Jones, RF
7. Eduardo Nunez, 3B
8. Francisco Cervelli, C
9. Brett Gardner, LF

Starting pitcher: LH CC Sabathia (16-7, 2.93 ERA)

TWINS (54-68)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Trevor Plouffe, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, RF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Rene Tosoni, LF
8. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS
9. Drew Butera, C

Starting pitcher: LH Brian Duensing (8-11, 4.53 ERA)

Target Field. First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network

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