Monday, August 27, 2007

Catcher Still Can't

No Joe Mauer again tonight, and probably not for a few days, at least. Ron Gardenhire said Mauer was not significantly improved -- in fact, he said, “Right now, he’s Kirk Gibson waiting to pinch hit.” Yeah, Gibson homered in that ’88 Series, but that’s not a very happy comparison, considering what a difficult time Gibson had walking back then. Remember, that Game 1 homer was Gibson’s only at-bat in the entire series.

Mauer did some exercises, and worked out in the swimming pool that he got plenty of use out of when the Twins were here in May.

Gardenhire is still trying to find out whether Scott Baker, who is home in Louisiana with his wife after the birth of their second son, expects to be back by Wednesday to do his normal between-starts workout. If not, his next start probably will be pushed back to Saturday and a Triple-A pitcher, presumably Kevin Slowey, will start one end of Friday’s doubleheader with Kansas City. If Baker makes it to Cleveland, he and Matt Garza could pitch in the doubleheader, and no call-up would be needed.

Tonight’s game wasn’t on the Indians’ original schedule; it was supposed to be played Thursday, but was moved back so Cleveland and Seattle can fit in one of their makeup games from the season-opening snowstorm. But because they didn’t start selling tickets for this game till mid-season, the crowd appears to be tiny. It’s a half-hour to first pitch, and there can’t be more than 2,000 people in the park.

Tonight’s lineups:

Casilla 2b
Bartlett ss
Hunter cf
Morneau 1b
Cuddyer rf
Kubel dh
Redmond c
Tyner lf
Punto 3b

Silva p

Sizemore cf
Cabrera 2b
Hafner dh
Martinez 1b
Peralta ss
Blake 3b
Lofton lf
Gutierrez rf
Shoppach c
Byrd p