Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Another Rochester Call-Up

Stan Cliburn pitched batting practice for the Twins on Tuesday, and seemed as excited as one of his players about being in the majors. It’s been a long time since he’s been in the majors, he said -- his catching career with the Angels began and ended in 1980. In fact, he had never set foot on the Metrodome field, though he did hit a home run in Metropolitan Stadium as a player.

Cliburn, the manager of the Twins’ Triple-A team in Rochester, said it’s an honor to be invited to spend September with the parent team. He’s also thrilled to see so many of his players up here -- he said he has managed at least 21 of the current Twins at some point.

One of the highlights, he said: The day when Terry Ryan called a team meeting to deliver the news that Tommy Watkins was being sent up to Minnesota. Cliburn couldn’t stop smiling as he told the story of that day.

Watkins, incidentally, is headed to Fort Myers when the Twins leave town, in order to rehab the abdominal muscle he injured last week. Ron Gardenhire said the Twins would like to get Watkins back on the field before the season ends.

Another of Cliburn’s players, IL Pitcher of the Year Kevin Slowey, makes his first start since July 5 for the Twins tonight. The lineups:

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

Laffey p

Casilla 2b
Bartlett ss
Hunter cf
Morneau 1b
Cuddyer rf
White lf
Kubel dh
Heintz c
Rodriguez 3b
Slowey p