ARLINGTON -- With the Twins bullpen forced to throw 5 2/3 innings after starter Scott Diamond's third-inning ejection in Thursday's 10-6 loss, they called up Triple-A Rochester right-hander Kyle Waldrop to help a group of relievers who have pitched 14 innings in the last four days.Waldrop was called up after Thursday night's game, as the Twins optioned outfielder Matt Carson to Rochester. After recovering from a strained elbow, Waldrop was activated from the disabled list June 1 and recalled by the Twins June 29. He made four appearances during the brief stint, going 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA, striking out one and walking three in four innings before optioned to Rochester on July 12. "We had to use a lot of people last night," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's like a domino effect -- the pitcher leaves the game early like that, we don't really have a choice. We've got three more games here, then four at home and six more on the road without a day off. We had to make a move last night." In 24 games with Rochester, Waldrop posted a 3.34 ERA while striking out 16 and walking 13 in 35 innings. He tossed one scoreless inning in his last outing on Tuesday and has not thrown multiple innings in a game since Aug. 13. "When a lot of guys in the bullpen throw, obviously, you need someone to come step in," Waldrop said. "Mechanically, I wasn't where I needed to be. I worked on some things and got into a little more of a groove. I felt a little more comfortable and got more consistent. I felt better than I did before."
Span gets day off after returning from injury
ARLINGTON -- Denard Span did not start on Friday after going 2-for-5 in Thursday's loss to the Rangers, his first game since he injured his collarbone less than two weeks ago.With the Rangers sending southpaw Matt Harrison to the mound for Friday's game, manager Ron Gardenhire decided to leave the left-handed hitting Span out of the lineup. Span is batting .289 with three homers, 35 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 105 games this season. "He played well," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He put some nice swings out there and ran the bases pretty well. There's a left-hander going today, so he'll be available and then he'll go tomorrow and the next day, we hope." Span said that he does not yet feel 100 percent, but is healthy enough to play. He missed nine games with a collarbone injury that he sustained while diving for a fly ball in the sixth inning of a 7-3 loss to the Rays on Aug. 12. "It may take a little time to get back to diving," Span said. "I don't know how long it's going to be. I don't know if I let the game take over and I dive to try to make a play or if I'm going to be a little tentative knowing my shoulder's situation. I'll only know when that play happens. But it was definitely in the back of my mind last night."
Carson casuality of overworked bullpen
ARLINGTON -- No Twins reliever currently has more than one day off, and one lasted longer than the team's starting pitcher on Thursday.Kyle Waldrop was called up from Triple-A Rochester after Thursday night's loss and, with the Twins choosing to work with an eight-man bullpen, outfielder Matt Carson was optioned to Rochester. Carson recorded eight hits in 21 at-bats during his brief big league stint, starting five games since his contract was purchased from Rochester last Friday. "He's done great," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He was playing good and has a cannon of an arm. He can play defense, he can throw the ball and he's accurate. He put some nice swings out there for us. It's just an unfortunate situation. We had to have pitching." Carson got at least one hit in each of his five starts, going 1-for-5 on Thursday and getting a career-high three hits in his second game with the Twins in last Saturday's loss to the Mariners. In 110 games with Rochester this season, he's batting .277 with 14 home runs and 49 RBIs. "Matt Carson didn't do anything to deserve getting sent down," assistant general manager Ron Antony said. "But with Denard coming back, it was the only move that we could make to bring another arm in. We're preparing for the worst in case Deduno or tomorrow's starter [Brian Duensing] doesn't get deep into the game."
Willingham scratched on Friday with stiff neck
ARLINGTON -- Josh Willingham missed his second straight game with a stiff neck that he began feeling after he woke up Thursday morning.Willingham was a late scratch before Thursday's series opener against the Rangers, and was not in the lineup once again on Friday. "He can't turn his head," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You have to turn it to hit. He tried to open it up in BP [Thursday], but he's here and he just can't get it around. He tried to do it today, but he just can't turn it enough to where he sees the ball. That's a bad thing in this league. He wants to play. He's not happy about it." Willingham will likely be unavailable off the bench, leaving Gardenhire with only two position players on the bench -- outfielder Denard Span and catcher Drew Butera. Gardenhire said that if an infielder is forced to leave the game, he would consider moving Darin Mastroianni from right field to the infield. Mastroianni has started 32 games for the Twins this year, none in the infield, but he did make five starts at second base for Triple-A Rochester this season.
Lee County will receive $15 million over the next 30 years from The Florida Sports Foundation and Department of Economic Opportunity to renovate the Twins' Spring Training facilities, including Hammond Stadium and the Lee County Sports Complex in Fort Myers, Fla. The Twins also signed a 30-year lease with Lee County through 2042 to keep their Spring Training facilities in Fort Myers, a place they have called their Spring Training home since 1991.
Joe Mauer caught his 831rd career game for the Twins, tying Earl Battey's team record. Mauer broke Battey's club record for most games started at catcher with his 795th start behind the plate last Saturday.
Double-A New Britain designated hitter Chris Colabello, third baseman Deibinson Romero, and outfielder Aaron Hicks -- the Twins' second-best prospect, according to MLB.com -- were named to the Eastern League postseason All-Star team on Friday.
ChristianCorona is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.