Posts Tagged ‘Rene Tosoni’

Twins notebook, 6/26

June 26, 2011 Comments off

Mauer to start working out at first base

MILWAUKEE — Had they been playing by American League rules, Joe Mauer likely would have been in the Twins lineup on Sunday as the designated hitter.

With DH not an option in the Twins’ final Interleague road game of the season, Mauer was out of the lineup for the day game after Saturday’s night game. And that’s part of the reason why Twins manager Ron Gardenhire would like Mauer to get comfortable at first base.

“Yeah, definitely, if he could play first base, he probably would be playing first base today,” Gardenhire said. “Or third base, or somewhere. That’s why I want to explore all the options we have to keep his bat in the lineup as much as we possibly can, especially when all these people are hurting.”

When the Twins return home after their series with the Brewers, Mauer will put in some work at first base to get comfortable with the new position.

Gardenhire said Mauer is still working his way back behind the plate, but should have more time to get acclimated to first base when the Twins are back home. He also said he’d like to have Mauer work with special assistant to the GM — and former Twins manager — Tom Kelly at first base, but has no plans for that as of yet.

“I’d love to, but I don’t think Joe’s ready for that one,” Gardenhire said. “TK’s as good … as I’ve ever been around, as far as teaching people at first base — absolutely.”

Gardenhire prefers a week’s rehab for Kubel

MILWAUKEE — Twins outfielder Jason Kubel (left foot sprain) is getting close to a rehab stint, and his manager would like it to include as many as seven games.

Ron Gardenhire said Kubel could play as few as four Minor League rehab games, but he’d prefer to see Kubel get about 28 to 30 at-bats over a week of games at either Class A Fort Myers or Triple-A Rochester.

“I’ve seen guys come back with 15 or 20 at-bats, and I just think — you’ve been out a month, 30 at-bats is probably a pretty good thing,” Gardenhire said. “I know we originally talked about four days, but when we get home, I’m going to maybe talk about a little bit more.”

Kubel ran the bases with no issue on Saturday, and was scheduled to do the same on Sunday.

Twins head trainer Rick McWane also gave updates on Denard Span (concussion), Kevin Slowey (abdominal strain) and Delmon Young (right ankle sprain).

McWane said Span was scheduled to work out on Sunday at Target Field and is still slated to be evaluated when the team returns home.

Slowey threw 35 pitches in two innings with no problems on Saturday night, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts for the Fort Myers Miracle. His next outing is scheduled for Wednesday.

“He is going to pitch on the 29th, three to four innings, 50 pitches,” McWane said. “We haven’t decided where he’s going to pitch.”

Young, who left Saturday’s game after injuring his ankle in the fifth inning, will have an MRI on Monday after the Twins return home.

Tosoni doesn’t mind quick turnaround

MILWAUKEE — When he learned that he had been recalled and added to the Twins’ 25-man roster on Saturday, Rene Tosoni had to scramble to get his laundry done. He had only been home four hours, and had plenty to clean before catching a flight at 6 a.m. on Sunday.

Of course, he didn’t mind, since it meant Tosoni would be back with the big league club again just one day after being optioned. Tosoni flew from Milwaukee to Rochester and back, logging just over 1,200 miles in less than 24 hours.

“When I got called up, I was in Columbus, and I’ve been living in hotels since,” Tosoni said. “Traveling kind of sucks, but it’s all right. I’m happy to be here.”

Tosoni didn’t even see anyone with the Red Wings, who were in Syracuse on Saturday before returning home Sunday.

After not getting much sleep Saturday night, Tosoni spent about five hours traveling Sunday morning, leaving Rochester, N.Y., at 6:10 a.m. ET and arriving in Milwaukee at 10:07 a.m. CT.

Said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire: “That trip going down is never as fun as the one coming back.”

Twins ink fourth-round pick Summers

MILWAUKEE — The Twins announced on Sunday that they have signed right-hander Matt Summers, their fourth-round pick out of UC-Irvine.

Summers, the 18th Draft pick signed by the Twins from the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, is the second-highest pick signed behind second-rounder Madison Boer, also a right-hander.

Previously drafted by the Yankees, Summers was the Big West Pitcher of the Year in 2011. He was 11-2 with a 1.72 ERA, striking out 96 batters in 109 2/3 innings in 16 starts. He tossed the fourth no-hitter in school history against Long Beach State.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Young sprains ankle, lands on DL

June 25, 2011 Comments off

MILWAUKEE — As he crashed into the left-field fence in the fifth inning, Delmon Young’s spike got caught on the bottom of the wall, forcing his weight down on his right ankle.

Young left Saturday’s 11-1 loss at Miller Park and was carted off after suffering a right ankle sprain. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game, and the Twins recalled outfielder Rene Tosoni.

“I got my spike caught on the bottom of the scoreboard; the black ledge just sticks out,” Young said. “Instead of my foot missing it and just hitting the ground, it got caught in there, and the rest of my weight went into it.”

Young misjudged a fly ball by Brewers shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, first coming in on it before racing back toward the warning track. As he crashed into the left-field fence, he landed awkwardly on his ankle at the bottom of the wall. Betancourt raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.

The ball bounced away from Young as he laid on the warning track, clearly in pain. He was helped to his feet and onto a stretcher before being carted off the field.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and the training staff raced out to attend to Young when he was unable to get back up after the play.

“I saw him go into the wall and then when I saw him start rolling, honestly, I passed Betancourt rounding third,” Gardenhire said. “I was out of the dugout running that way and he was coming home. I was just looking at Delmon and it didn’t look very pretty.”

X-rays taken at Miller Park on Young came back negative. Young will have an MRI when the Twins return to Minnesota on Monday.

“Hopefully the MRI shows that there’s no ligament damage or anything,” Young said. “It’s not as [bad] as the sprain I had back in ’03 before the Draft, but it’s the same foot. So hopefully this one doesn’t cause any problems from the first one I had.”

Young already spent two weeks on the disabled list in early May with a strained oblique, and his most recent injury is yet another on a long list for the Twins this season.

“We’ve been dealing with it,” Gardenhire said. “You just have to keep playing and keep trying to run people out there. It’ll be easier on us once we get back to American League baseball.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins notebook, 6/24

June 24, 2011 Comments off

Nathan feeling rejuvenated after DL stint

MILWAUKEE — Joe Nathan said that he felt as good on Friday as he has since before undergoing Tommy John surgery last March.

“Now it’s just a matter of getting pitching strength and getting that experience back, and getting out there and throwing every day,” Nathan said. “That was my first time throwing back-to-back [days since the surgery]. The more times you get out there and do that, I think the better it’s going to get.”

Nathan was activated from the 15-day disabled list after Thursday’s game, as right-hander Jim Hoey was optioned to Triple-A Rochester.

In three rehab games for the Red Wings, Nathan allowed one unearned run on two hits while striking out five and walking one in three innings. Before going on the DL, Nathan went 1-1 with a 7.63 ERA, allowed 13 earned runs in 17 appearances for the Twins.

“The biggest difference has been the confidence to get back out there and feel fine,” Nathan said. “Confidence, I think, came with the way it felt after the scar tissue started breaking up. I think my arm speed has been a lot better.

“I’ve always talked about finishing pitches, and I felt like I wasn’t finishing too well early on. When I threw in Rochester, it just felt like I was able to get out in front more and finish a lot more pitches. Even ones that I missed, a lot of times they were down.”

Thome off DL, activated for Saturday

MILWAUKEE — Jim Thome was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list after the Twins’ 4-3 loss to the Brewers on Friday. Outfielder Rene Tosoni was optioned to Triple-A Rochester.

Thome had been on the 15-day disabled list since June 2 with a strained left quad, which was related to his strained oblique in early May that kept him out for three weeks. After five at-bats in a simulated game on Wednesday, Thome was deemed healthy enough to return.

He was evaluated after taking batting practice and running the bases prior to Friday’s game at Miller Park. After the game, the Twins announced he had been activated for Saturday’s game.

“I got out and moved around, and if all goes well I’ll be activated tomorrow,” Thome said before the game.

Thome was on the DL during the Twins recent hot streak, which he said was fun to watch, and got him excited to return.

With the previous two injuries being related, Thome was also optimistic about his chances to stay injury-free for much, if not all, for the rest of the season.

“I hope so, yeah, that’s the goal,” Thome said. “I’ve had a history of lower back issues in the past, so the frustrating part is any time you’re rehabbing anything, you want to make sure that everything’s good.”

Kubel, Span expected to return soon

MILWAUKEE — Injured outfielders Jason Kubel and Denard Span both had great days back in Minnesota on Friday, according to Twins head trainer Rick McWane.

Kubel had a “very good day” of running on Friday and was scheduled to run the bases on Saturday.

“He’s very close,” McWane said. “Very encouraging news about him, and Denard as well.”

Span played catch on Friday, hit off a tee and, more importantly, had no concussion symptoms.

It was the first time since the concussion that Span had no concussion symptoms after participating in baseball activities.

McWane also updated the status of reliever Kevin Slowey, who continues to rehab in Florida. Slowey will pitch on Saturday night for Class A Advanced Fort Myers.

“Tomorrow night, actually, he’s going to pitch for the Miracle,” McWane said. “Two to three innings for the Miracle tomorrow night in Bradenton.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walk-off single nets Twins sweep of Padres

June 19, 2011 Comments off

MINNEAPOLIS — An unlikely trio sparked the Twins’ seventh straight win on Sunday.

Entering the game, outfielder Rene Tosoni and third baseman Matt Tolbert had a combined batting average of just .188 (30-for-160). But they delivered back-to-back two-out doubles in the seventh to plate the tying and go-ahead runs.

With the game tied again in the ninth, Drew Butera singled to left, scoring Delmon Young from second base for the 5-4 Twins victory and the three-game sweep of the Padres.

“That’s that ‘Never Die’ attitude,” Butera said. “That’s the way we feel right now. We feel any situation in a game we can come back from.”

Butera, who entered the game batting .169, delivered the walk-off single thanks in large part to Tosoni and Tolbert. If not for Tosoni pinch-hitting for Rene Rivera in the eighth, Butera would never even have been in the game.

With the way things have been going for the Twins lately, it was fitting that a trio with only 50 hits among them on the season would come through in the clutch. What makes it even more impressive is that they did it against Mike Adams and Chad Qualls, two of the toughest relievers in the National League.

Making it even more improbable was the fact that Tosoni would have struck out if Rob Johnson had held on to a foul tip earlier in the at-bat.

“That was a big inning for them … after the error they came up with two clutch hits from guys at the bottom of the order,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Good things are happening for them, they’re catching breaks and playing well.”

Tosoni said he wanted to make the most of his opportunity, and he did just that as his double went down the line and into the right field corner, scoring Luke Hughes, who had reached on a throwing error two batters earlier.

That at-bat, with the way Tosoni battled Adams, inspired Tolbert to come through with a double of his own.

“Tosoni got me all fired up,” Tolbert said. “Once I saw him hit [that] double, get into scoring position and he tied it up, I was like, ‘OK, now I’ve got to do my part.’

“He came off the bench cold and just battled his butt off.”

But after the Twins had taken the lead in the seventh, lefty reliever Glen Perkins struggled through the eighth, giving up three singles and an intentional walk, with an infield hit tying the game at 4.

Fundamentals came into play on the game-tying hit, as a single between second and first was fielded by Hughes, and Perkins did not get to first in time.

“I think Hughesy didn’t know that Lexi [Alexi Casilla] was playing hard pull,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “He’s got to know that, in the first place. … But still, our pitcher’s got to cover first base, so a couple screwed up plays there.”

Alex Burnett relieved Perkins, tossing a perfect ninth for his second win of the season, and setting up the Twins for a walk-off victory.

Young got things started with an infield single deep in the hole between third and shortstop. After a sacrifice bunt and intentional walk, Butera delivered for the win.

After dishing out a number of shaving cream pies to the face following walk-off hits this season, Butera finally got one in return on Sunday from Hughes, his roommate.

“He got me good,” Butera said. “I had it coming to me, though. I kept getting everybody on the team, so I had it coming to me.”

After flirting with a no-hitter his last time out, Francisco Liriano started strong before a couple bad innings nearly dealt him a loss. Liriano gave up just three runs on eight hits over seven innings for his second straight quality start and his fourth in five starts.

But trouble came for the Twins lefty in the fourth and fifth, when the Padres strung together seven hits and plated three runs. All seven of the hits were singles. For the game, the Padres’ had 11 singles and zero hits for extra bases.

“It was a hard seven innings, the ball was kind of flying all over the place off him,” Gardenhire said. “But to his credit, he hung in there pretty damn good, and he battled.”

Minnesota won for the 14th time in 16 games for their sixth sweep of the season. It was the Twins’ fourth walk-off victory and the second of the homestand, which saw them go 8-1 against the Rangers, White Sox and Padres.

As they head to a pair of National League parks for the first time this season as the hottest team in baseball, the Twins are no longer in last place for the first time since May 8.

“When I was here earlier, I think I was here for two weeks and we won two games, and one of them was the no-hitter with Frankie,” Tosoni said. “It was my first call-up and it was kind of tough because we weren’t winning too many games.

“Now, it’s awesome, [everybody] carrying one another. Winning’s always better, everybody knows that, so it’s been pretty good.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.