Morneau making slow, steady progress
First baseman recovering from concussion
BALTIMORE -- Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire and injured first baseman Justin Morneau exchanged text messages Friday, and Gardenhire said Morneau is making slow but steady progress in his recovery from a concussion.
"He's feeling better," Gardenhire said. "He's at the ballpark. He's actually getting really motivated to push through this thing and see where he's at. We knew there would come a time when he'd get anxious and I think he's there. He's feeling better."
Gardenhire said Morneau has been working out lightly in the Twins' clubhouse at Target Field. Friday's workout lasted four hours, the manager said.
"He's had 24 to 48 hours to where he's feeling good," Gardenhire said. "So that's good."
Gardenhire cautioned that Morneau isn't anywhere near ready to be activated. Morneau has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 16, retroactive to July 8. The injury occurred when Morneau was kneed in the head by Toronto's John McDonald while trying to break up a double play.
"He'll have to take some swings," Gardenhire said. "He'll have to go through the workouts -- get out on the field and take ground balls. He'll do all that stuff, probably by the time we get back home, I'm guessing -- unless he decides he wants to fly to Kansas City and work it out there. ... We just have to wait day by day and see where he's at."
Twins to decide on Hudson on Sunday
BALTIMORE -- Orlando Hudson appears to have put off a trip to the disabled list -- at least for another day.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the injured second baseman, who sustained a strained right oblique muscle during a third-inning swing Friday night, would get until at least Sunday to prove he's healthy enough to avoid his second trip to the disabled list this season.
"Orlando is going to get his treatment today, then come in tomorrow and try to take some swings," Gardenhire said before Saturdays' game against the Baltimore. "If it's still bothering him, then he'll go on the DL. That's what the trainer recommended, so we'll go with the trainer."
Gardenhire said Hudson tried to convince the Twins' training staff Friday night that he had experienced only a cramp in the warm, humid conditions at Camden Yards. On Saturday, Hudson was busy taking treatment and speaking to a group of youths before the game and avoided talking to reporters.
"Gotta work," Hudson said while dashing from the weight room to the training room.
After the game, Hudson didn't give a direct answer when asked if he was feeling better. He did, however, express frustration that he was letting his teammates down by being hurt.
"It's just a letdown," he said. "Freak accident. A letdown."
Gardenhire will accede to his trainers' advice on how to proceed with Hudson's injury -- but only until Sunday.
"I don't know if it's better. Orlando says he's OK all the time," Gardenhire said.
When Hudson landed on the 15-day disabled list June 8, it was eight days after he had sprained his left wrist in a collision with teammate Denard Span in Seattle on May 31. Hudson kept telling Gardenhire that he was getting better, something that was slower to happen than the second baseman wanted.
"I go with the trainers. [Head athletic trainer Rick McWane] had a recommendation, and if that's what the trainer recommends, I'll go with it," Gardenhire said. "I also told him that this is not going to be a four- or five-day thing, waiting around. It's not going to happen. We'll go through the weekend and by the time we get to Kansas City, either he can play in Kansas City or he can't. That's just the way it's going to be."
If Hudson is placed on the DL, Gardenhire said the Twins don't necessarily need to summon an infielder from Triple-A Rochester, though Trevor Plouffe is a possibility. The bruise on infielder Matt Tolbert's right middle finger hasn't healed sufficiently to allow him to throw, Gardenhire said. The Twins could also opt for another arm in the bullpen.
"I don't have to have an infielder," Gardenhire said. "We'll just have to see who's available."
Slama learns from giving up home run
BALTIMORE -- Rookie right-handed reliever Anthony Slama said he has to shake off the home run he allowed to Baltimore's Luke Scott on Friday night as "a bad pitch" that he has to learn from.
"It was exactly what I wasn't trying to do," said Slama, who surrendered a sixth-inning homer that was the difference in a 3-2 Orioles win. "I wasn't trying to give him anything to pull because I knew he was trying to pull the ball. It just came across a little bit. It is a learning experience."
What does the 26-year-old Slama, who was making only his second Major League appearance, think is the best way to recover from such a tough outing?
"I want the ball tonight. I want the ball as soon as possible to kind of forget about that one," he said.
The mistake was magnified because pitching coach Rick Anderson had visited Slama on the mound right before Scott's at-bat to go over the strategy the Twins wanted to use against the O's cleanup hitter.
"We had a plan of attack. That's the worst part about it. I wasn't able to execute that pitch. It's all about execution at this level. You have to execute your pitches and if you don't, they will hurt you," Slama said.
Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.