Monday, June 4, 2007

Four Days to Joe

Three time zones away from his teammates, the reports on Joe Mauer were good today. Ron Gardenhire said Mauer worked out on his sore leg Monday and reported no ill effects.

That makes Tuesday a fairly big day in the progression: Mauer will get behind the plate during a game -- albeit an extended spring training game -- for the first time since May 3, two days before he went on the disabled list with a strained right quad.

Mauer will catch five innings, Gardenhire said, and the team will see how he feels. If he’s up to it, he could then catch a Fort Myers Miracle game against Vero Beach on Wednesday.

That makes Thursday decision day, and if there are no setbacks, the Twins would send Mauer home to Minnesota and activate him Friday night for the Metrodome game with Washington.

The Twins could certainly have used him here in Anaheim, where the Angels are getting great pitching lately. Here are tonight’s lineups, with Luis Rodriguez giving the Twins an extra left-handed bat against Jered Weaver:

Castillo 2b
Punto ss
Cuddyer rf
Morneau dh
Hunter cf
Redmond c
Kubel lf
Rodriguez 3b
Tyner dh

Bonser p

Willits dh
Cabrera ss
Guerrero rd
Matthews cf
Anderson lf
Kotchman 1b
Kendrick 2b
Napoli c
Figgins 3b

Weaver p