MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said on Sunday that he plans on using Michael Cuddyer as the club's regular second baseman moving forward until Tsuyoshi Nishioka returns from a broken fibula suffered on April 7.
Gardenhire said he's "absolutely" comfortable using Cuddyer at second base, and likes having him there because it gives the Twins the chance to get Jason Kubel in right field and use Jim Thome at designated hitter.
Luke Hughes is expected to shift into a utility role, and could see action at first base, third base and second base to give regulars some rest.
"Cuddy has been pretty good at second," Gardenhire said. "He looks pretty comfortable out there. He enjoys second base and actually has a lot of fun there. If he's comfortable, I'm comfortable."
Cuddyer made his sixth start of the season at second base on Sunday, and said he hasn't found the transition from outfield to second base too difficult, as he came up as an infielder in the Minors.
"A little smaller glove is probably the biggest difference," Cuddyer said with a laugh. "You just tell yourself to go out there and play the game. If a ball is hit to you, you just do your best to throw the guy out. When you switch positions, you just have to keep it as simple as you can."
Nishioka, who has started his rehab process by running on an underwater treadmill at Target Field, is still expected to be weeks away from returning.
Twins catch break with home run reversal
MINNEAPOLIS -- Indians left fielder Michael Brantley thought he hit his first home run of the season with one out in the fourth inning against Twins right-hander Carl Pavano on Sunday at Target Field. But the umpires thought otherwise, and after an official review, the home run was overturned and ruled a two-run double instead of a three-run homer.
Brantley's shot went off the limestone yellow overhang in right field, but didn't quite clear the top of the wall for a home run after further review.
The decision ended up costing the Indians a run, as Pavano was able to retire Jack Hannahan and Grady Sizemore to get out of the inning without further damage. The double, however, did give the Indians a 3-2 lead.
The review was the ninth in the short history of Target Field, and it marked the third time that a call was overturned due to replay.
Slowey gets some work in at Fort Myers
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Kevin Slowey, who is on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder bursitis, made a rehab appearance with Class A Fort Myers on Saturday night, allowing one run on one hit in an inning of work.
Slowey is tentatively scheduled to make another appearance with Fort Myers on Wednesday, and could throw 40-50 pitches in that outing.
"Slowey is on his program down there in Florida," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He'll throw in a game and then take a day or two off and throw in another game."
Nathan sharp in appearance against Tribe
MINNEAPOLIS -- Reliever Joe Nathan impressed manager Ron Gardenhire in his one-inning stint against the Indians on Saturday when he pitched a perfect ninth inning and struck out two batters.
"The ball came out relaxed and that was one of things he's been working on," Gardenhire said. "He's been trying to keep it free and easy and nice and relaxed instead of muscling the ball. And he did that last night, you could see it. He wasn't trying to overthrow the ball and he threw some of the best sliders we've seen."
Gardenhire also added that Nathan will not be sent down to the Minors to get more work, as he knows he can get Minor League hitters out based on results in Spring Training.
"He needs innings right now like every other day or something like that," Gardenhire said. "It's hard to do at this level, but if you send him to the Minor Leagues, he's not going to see the type of hitters he needs to see. We just need to get him right up here, and have him build more and more confidence. Then we can start putting him into tighter situations, which he's used to, and he can pitch near the end or at the end [of games]."
Young should return to lineup against Rays
MINNEAPOLIS -- Left fielder Delmon Young remains on track to return to the lineup on Tuesday against the Rays after missing five games, including Sunday's series finale against the Indians, with sore ribs and the flu.
"We know where he was at," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He'll play Tuesday. He'll really go after it in the cage [Sunday] and take some swings."