Twins get good news on Condrey
MRI shows no structural damage on righty's elbow
ANAHEIM -- The Twins received good news on right-hander Clay Condrey on Tuesday, as an MRI on his right elbow showed a flexor strain but no other structural or ligament damage.Condrey, who is on the 15-day disabled list, will be shut down for 10-14 days to rest the elbow, and Twins general manager Bill Smith said the team hopes to get him back on the mound shortly after that.
Crain shows value to Twins' bullpen
ANAHEIM -- Less than a week ago, Jesse Crain was one of the pitchers who was considered to be a candidate for the ninth inning as the Twins pondered a closer-by-committee scenario.The decision by Twins manager Ron Gardenhire to name Jon Rauch as the closer this past weekend meant that Crain and the rest of the candidates were moved back into their setup roles. But with the Twins' bullpen situation a little up in the air due to Joe Nathan's season-ending elbow surgery, Crain could still play a very important role -- particularly if he continues to pitch like he did on Monday night. Crain tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings against the Angels, retiring all five batters he faced. On a night when Gardenhire wasn't pleased by some of the pitches thrown by his staff, he couldn't help but rave about Crain's performance. "Jesse was really throwing the ball good," Gardenhire said. "Him and [pitching coach Rick Anderson] made some adjustments with his mechanics, got him to hide the ball a little bit better. It's coming out pretty good. His breaking ball is snapping pretty good. We've seen Jesse do really well around here before. We know he's struggled off and on after the shoulder injury. But we've seen Jesse throw the ball very good, and the ball is coming out of his hand pretty good right now." Gardenhire cautioned that it's still too early to say that Crain is completely back on track because it's just one outing, but Crain said he's felt very comfortable on the mound since the start of Spring Training. The right-hander said he made some changes last season to his mechanics, and then after giving up his only run of the spring, he made another tweak when Anderson and Triple-A Rochester pitching coach Bobby Cuellar realized he was short-arming the ball. "I moved my hands down and got some flow to my arm," Crain said. "It's been good ever since. Last night, I wasn't trying to do too much. I was just throwing my pitches and I think it was the most comfortable I've felt out there in my whole career. Hopefully I'll just keep it going." Crain had expressed interest in the chance to close, having held the role in the Minors, but he said he's glad that the roles have been better defined. It's something he believes will benefit all the relievers in the bullpen, not just Rauch. "If you have an idea of where you're going to be, it helps a lot," Crain said. "Especially as a closer, you don't want to be sitting out there eight innings and there are possibly three guys that could close."
Punto back at third base for Twins
ANAHEIM -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had suggested last week that Brendan Harris might get a start at third base when the club faced Angels left-hander Joe Saunders.But when the lineup was posted on Tuesday afternoon, it was Nick Punto who was back at third base for the second consecutive night. Gardenhire said the decision was based on career numbers against Saunders. Punto is 4-for-12 lifetime against the lefty; Harris is 0-for-3. "Brendan will get his time," Gardenhire said. "As I've said, this is not a platoon. Brendan does hit lefties pretty decent, so he'll get his opportunities, at shortstop, too." With Punto at third again, Gardenhire kept his entire Opening Day lineup intact for the second game of the season.
Thome on Buehrle's flip: 'Incredible play'
ANAHEIM -- New Twins slugger Jim Thome spent the majority of the past four seasons with the White Sox, and during that time he became good friends with starting pitcher Mark Buehrle. So he was not surprised to see the defensive play that Buehrle made in Monday's contest between the White Sox and Indians, which has been constantly re-run on highlight shows.The play came in the fifth inning. After he stuck out his leg and had a ground ball ricochet off his shin toward the first-base line, Buehrle raced after the ball and grabbed it with his glove. He then flipped the ball with his glove between his legs, and the no-look flip went straight to first baseman Paul Konerko for the out. "That was a heck of a play, it really was," Thome said. "Just an instinctive-type play. A lot of things he does are pretty incredible. That rates right there up there with all of them... He'll do something like that and you'll go, 'Wow.' Then he'll do something else maybe a month later. You wonder when does it stop? It was an incredible play for sure."
Second baseman Orlando Hudson was back in the lineup on Tuesday after getting hit by a pitch off his left kneecap in Monday's opener. Hudson stayed in the game after getting hit by the pitch, and he said Tuesday that his knee was feeling fine. ... Left-hander Ron Mahay pitched a scoreless inning in a Minor League intrasquad game on Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla. He allowed one hit, walked out and struck out two. Mahay is scheduled to join the Class A Fort Myers Miracle on Wednesday to continue pitching. ... The Twins have signed former Dodgers outfielder Jason Repko to play center field for Triple-A Rochester. Repko, 29, was released by the Dodgers last Wednesday.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.