Michael Cuddyer, the Twins right fielder who is on the disabled list for the second time this season, was asked if he is jinxed.

"My hands are jinxed, that's for sure, it's unbelievable," said Cuddyer, who is suffering from a strained tendon in his left index finger. In April, he went on the DL because of a dislocated right index finger.

Last year, he was on the disabled list from July 19 to August 3 because of a sprained right thumb.

Though Cuddyer is eligible to be activated from the DL on Sunday at Detroit, he said he doesn't know how soon he will be healthy enough to return to the starting lineup.

"It's about three weeks since it's been sore," he said of his injury. "I think it's just constant pounding on it. I don't know, honestly, I have no answer. ... It's kind of just basically stayed the same. Hopefully we'll see some improvement, but right now it's just been the same the whole time."

It hasn't been much fun for Cuddyer, being forced out of the Twins lineup because of injuries all the time.

"The past calendar year it's been tough for me as far as my hand is concerned," he said. "Obviously since the All-Star break last year, hurting my thumb and then my finger earlier and then this finger, this is about as frustrating as you can get.

"... You just try to get healthy, try and get yourself back and help the team on the field, rather than just being a cheerleader in the dugout."

Cuddyer is batting .252 with three homers and 35 RBI. In 144 games last year, he hit .276 with 16 homers and 81 RBI, compared to .284 with 24 homers and 109 RBI in 150 games in 2006.

No rush for Liriano

Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson is of the opinion that there isn't any rush to get Francisco Liriano back to the big leagues from Class AAA Rochester. Anderson points out that there are things other than his pitching that the lefthander has to improve on after being out for more than a year following elbow ligament replacement surgery.

"People keep asking me about him and I say there is no rush," Anderson said.

"I feel it is not just getting his arm in shape, it's attacking hitters and how to set up hitters and how to hold runners and how to field his position.

"You miss a year and one half and you've got to back in all of that again. The neat situation is that our rotation has done a real good job, and there is no rush for Frankie. The more times he gets out there every five days, the better."

In 15 starts at Rochester, Liriano is 6-2 with a 3.80 ERA, with 78 strikeouts in 90 innings. His control was a problem in his three starts with the Twins earlier this year, but so far with the Red Wings he has walked 27 batters while giving up 82 hits.

In his most recent start, Liriano gave up no runs on three hits and one walk in six innings Saturday in a 2-0 victory over Buffalo.

Anderson said in talking to Liriano, he is impressed with Liriano's confidence that he will get back to where he was before the surgery, when he emerged as one of baseball's most dominant pitchers as a rookie in 2006.

"But it is really nice to see him throwing well and he's getting his confidence going and just [in his] pitching ability, he's really doing a good job," Anderson said.


The 642 workers taking part in building the Gophers football stadium had a luncheon last week on the one-year anniversary of the start of construction. According to Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi, despite 3,500 to 4,000 working hours, there have been only two minor injuries that have led to people missing work. ... Maturi is proud of the scoreboard that will be in the stadium. "We kind of brag about it, it's going to be the second-largest scoreboard in America," he said. "If people go by the stadium, they really see a football stadium now and they can kind of visualize where things are going to be, the pressbox and the suites and the low boxes as well as the general seating, and we're on time and on budget and we're excited about the future."

Should the Twins make the playoffs this year, there could be a conflict with the Gophers-Indiana football game scheduled for Oct. 4 at the Metrodome. It might force the Gophers to play on a Friday night, like they have had to do in the past when there was a conflict with baseball's postseason.

Twins infielder Matt Tolbert, who is on the disabled list after injuring a ligament in his left thumb in May, is in Fort Myers, Fla., trying to get ready for a return, but he recently said: "I can't swing, I still haven't put my glove on and played catch. I'm ... just waiting on the thumb and just trying to get back."

Anoka's Jake Deitchler, only the third high school wrestler to qualify for the United States Olympic team, might be one of the best wrestlers Gophers coach J Robinson has recruited, but Robinson plans on redshirting Deitchler next year. "He's doing Greco-Roman wrestling in the Olympics and our style is different, so he will have an adjusting period," Robinson said.

Gophers baseball players Derek McCallum and Nick O'Shea have been selected to play in the Northwoods League All-Star Game on Monday in Madison, Wis. McCallum, a second baseman for St. Cloud, was leading the league with a .377 average, and leading his team with five home runs and 32 RBI. O'Shea was hitting .311 with six home runs (second in the league) and 28 RBI for Green Bay.

Kyle Carr, the former Gophers pitcher drafted and signed by the Twins, has made two appearances in the rookie Gulf Coast League. Carr, a 12th-round pick, pitched two shutout innings with three strikeouts.

Speaking about Stu Bickel, the freshman defenseman for the Gophers men's hockey team last season who signed a free-agent contract with the NHL's Anaheim Ducks last week, Ducks assistant GM David McNab told the Orange County Register that he "is a really good prospect. ... I just think he has a chance in a couple of years to be a pretty good player." Bickel's contract is worth $875,000 a year if he plays in the NHL. "I evaluated everything, and I felt like I had a long time to make a good decision," Bickel told the newspaper. "I'm really satisfied with my decision."

St. Louis Park's Marc Trestman is 2-0 coaching Montreal of the Canadian Football League, beating Hamilton 33-10 in Week 1 and Winnipeg 38-24 in Week 2. The Alouettes play host to Calgary tonight.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on his Podcast twice a week at www.startribune.com/sidcast. shartman@startribune.com