MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins will continue to go with a six-man bullpen for the time being after optioning Jeff Manship to Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday.Manship was sent down to make room for Nick Blackburn, who was reinstated from the Family Medical Emergency List in time for his start against the Tigers. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he would have loved to have kept Manship to pitch out of the bullpen. But with the team needing three catchers on the roster right now while Joe Mauer works his way back from a deep soft tissue bruise on his left heel, the Twins can't keep seven relievers right now. "He'll go back down and if he's throwing like he is right now, he'll probably be back up here again," Gardenhire said of Manship. "We'd honestly like to have him in our bullpen. I wish we didn't have to send him down because he's a perfect long guy, spot starter. But I don't have any room right now. The Twins have been short one member of their bullpen since Saturday when Pat Neshek was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right middle finger and the club called up catching prospect Wilson Ramos. They are expected to go with a six-man bullpen until Mauer is healthy enough to return.
MRI reveals tissue bruise on Mauer's heel
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins received good news on catcher Joe Mauer on Tuesday when an MRI of Mauer's injured left heel revealed no structural damage, just a deep soft tissue bruise.Prior to the results of the MRI, there had been concerns within the organization that perhaps Mauer might have to go on the 15-day disabled list due to the injury. It was a move that would have been considered if the MRI had shown a deep bone bruise or something else more concerning in the heel -- such as a slight fracture -- that might have sidelined the All-Star catcher for a longer period of time. Instead Mauer, who was out of the lineup for a fourth consecutive game on Tuesday, remains day-to-day. The Twins waited until learning the results of Mauer's MRI before making a roster move to reinstate Nick Blackburn from the Family Medical Emergency List on Tuesday. With the good news on Mauer, the Twins optioned right-hander Jeff Manship to Triple-A Rochester in order to open up a spot for Blackburn, who was set to start against the Tigers on Tuesday night. "We needed to hear that the MRI said he didn't have a crack in his foot or anything like that," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Now we know it's a tissue bruise. It's not something where we need to sit him down for a couple weeks. Now it's just let it improve and go from there." And while there is still no timetable for his return, the decision not to put Mauer on the DL is a sign that the club doesn't expect Mauer to be out for a prolonged period of time. As for when Mauer might return, Gardenhire said it will be up to the catcher to let his skipper know when he feels like he can get back on the field. A positive sign for the club is that Mauer appears to be showing improvement each day. "He feels better today," Gardenhire said. "He went to go get the MRI. But he has told everybody it feels better."
Ramos racking up the hits
MINNEAPOLIS -- Wilson Ramos has been finding himself in rare territory when it comes to his offensive production over his first few games in the big leagues.Ramos, who was in the lineup again on Tuesday and batting eighth, had four hits in his Major League debut on Sunday and added three more in Monday night's win over the Tigers. He is the first Major League rookie to record at least seven hits over his first two career games since Nanny Fernandez did it for the 1942 Boston Braves. When Ramos' name was announced in the starting lineup on Tuesday night, the crowd greeted him with one of the loudest ovations for any Twins player.
Orlando Hudson's 10-game hitting streak ended in Tuesday's 4-3 victory over the Tigers, as the second baseman went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. Over that streak, Hudson had gone 18-for-48 (.375). His 18 hits since April 23 were the third most in the Majors, trailing only the Tigers' Austin Jackson (23) and the Cubs' Ryan Theriot (22).
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.