Friday, May 25, 2007

Pain in the Neck

Jason Bartlett won’t play tonight -- well, won’t start anyway -- but he should be back on the field this weekend. The shortstop seemed entirely relieved to learn that the neck pain that has bothered him since January isn’t anything serious. Guess that means the pain isn’t going to go away completely for awhile, considering he plays just about every day, but he doesn’t seem to mind that too much. He’s been living with the neck pain for a while; only when he started feeling it in his shoulders did he believe he needed to do something about it. And he says, after four days off, he feels a lot better today. No doubt having that off his mind helps, too.

Joe Mauer is still getting better but still isn’t activated. From reading between the lines, I’m guessing he doesn’t play this weekend but wants to get back next week. Of course, he’s not close to saying any such thing, because he doesn’t want to disappoint anyone if it doesn’t happen.

Matt Stairs put on a show in batting practice. He hit a ball off the speaker above straightaway center field once and planted three balls way up into the upper desk. The last of them hit the bottom of the Twins’ AL championship banner, maybe 10-15 feet above the highest rows of fans. Truly McGwire-esque.

Tonight’s lineups:

Rios rf
Overbay 1b
Wells cf
Glaus 3b
Thomas dh
Stairs lf
Hill 2b
Phillips c
Clayton ss

Litsch p

Castillo 2b
Cirillo 3b
Cuddyer rf
Morneau 1b
Hunter cf
Redmond c
Kubel dh
Ford lf
Punto ss
Baker p

Got a Twins question?

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Each week Phil Miller and Kelsie Smith will choose a question or two to answer on the Sunday baseball page in the Pioneer Press.