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.

Punto hits DL; Plouffe promoted; Blackburn sent to Rochester; Capps arrives; Morneau update

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: July 30, 2010 - 4:35 PM

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told ESPN1500 today that Nick Punto is likely headed to the DL with a pulled hamstring, and that Nick Blackburn is likely headed to Class AAA Rochester to start.

No official word on those moves yet, but I'll post the news when we have it.

Matt Capps is here, wearing No. 55.

Seattle went 3-1 against the Twins at Safeco Field two months ago, but the Twins have to feel good about having six more games against the Mariners on their schedule (including a three-game set in Seattle late next month).

Seattle is 6-20 in July. The Mariners have lost the opening game in each of their past seven series. King Felix pitches on Saturday, never a fun assignment for the opponent, and lefthander Luke French pitches Sunday. The Twins will look to continue their roll against last-place teams after going 6-1 on their road trip to Baltimore and Kansas City.

Update: Punto officially lands on DL with strained left hamstring. Trevor Plouffe was promoted to take Punto's roster spot, and Blackburn was sent to AAA Rochester, making room on the active roster for Capps.

Justin Morneau said is making progress and took some swings off a tee today but there is no timetable for his return from a concussion, suffered July 7. (corrected)

Capps did a group interview, seems like a great guy. Rauch declined interview requests, saying he has relayed his thoughts to Gardenhire. More on that after Gardenhire's daily press briefing.

Update: Morneau said, "Activity has been pretty limited, but we’re kind of increasing slowly every day. We went through the warm-up today like we normally do, stretched and that kind of stuff, played some catch, took some swings off a tee, 20-25 swings. ... It’s felt pretty good so far, but the problems really haven’t been during activities, it’s been a couple hours after, so kind of waiting to see how the rest of the day reacts, and if it goes good, we’ll do a little bit more tomorrow.

"I think I’ve set goals as this thing's been going. I think that’s put more stress on me than -- I originally wanted to be back after the All-Star break, and I was kind of trying to rush things a little bit, and then trying to be back when it was time to come off the DL [July 23]. ... But now I’ve come to terms that if we’ve taken this long, we’re going to wait until it’s better and we’re not going to rush back, when it’s better it’s better, and we’ll be happy and we’ll be out there for the rest of the season playing."

MARINERS (39-64)

1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Chone Figgins, 2B
3. Casey Kotchman, 1B
4. Russell Branyan, DH
5. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
6. Michael Saunders, LF
7. Josh Bard, C
8. Josh Wilson, 3B
9. Jack Wilson, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Doug Fister (3-6, 3.56 ERA)

TWINS (56-46)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Delmon Young, LF
5. Jason Kubel, RF
6. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
7. Jim Thome, DH
8. Danny Valencia, 3B
9. J.J. Hardy, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Scott Baker (8-9, 5.00 ERA)

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

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