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04/08/09 1:50 AM ET
Redmond ready to catch, if necessary
Twins backstop's injury improved enough to play if needed
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Mike Redmond was not in the starting lineup Tuesday night, one day after he pulled his right groin muscle, but the good news for the Twins is that he feels he could catch -- if necessary. "I can feel it, but I've got it taped up pretty good," Redmond said of the injury he suffered while running out a double in Monday's opener vs. Seattle. "That helps a lot. I feel like I could catch if I had to [now] or within the next two days." Manager Ron Gardenhire said Redmond would have been his backup Tuesday night if anything had happened to Jose Morales, who got the start. And when he pinch-hit for Morales in the ninth inning, Gardenhire intended to use Redmond behind the plate if the game went extra innings. But the skipper was hesitant to declare Redmond completely good to go, saying he'll be re-evaluated Wednesday and the team will then decide how to proceed from there -- leaving open the possibility of a stint on the disabled list. "He can move enough to catch," Gardenhire said. "But like I said, this is an iffy situation with a catcher. ... He's going to have to show us he's better by tomorrow, or we'll have to do something. But right now he says he's OK, and that's barely OK." Redmond, 37, arrived early to the ballpark Tuesday to get treatment for the injury. The catcher, who was expected to see the majority of time behind the plate with Joe Mauer on the disabled list, said he didn't know what to expect considering that this is the first time he's ever suffered a groin pull. After Monday's contest, Redmond said that he was a little more concerned than normal about this injury. But he tested the groin during pregame workouts and said afterward he was able to do everything -- although it was not at full strength. "Running is going to be dicey," Redmond said. "The good thing is that I'm not fast to begin with, and speed has never really been a part of my game. "Obviously, I feel way more relieved today than I did last night. I wasn't sure that I would be able to do as much as I did today. So that's good." The groin pull is the biggest concern, but it wasn't the only injury that Redmond suffered during Monday's opener. He also was hit on his right shoulder and the side of his neck with a piece of Russell Branyan's broken bat in the fifth inning. Redmond said that the top of his shoulder was a little sore on Tuesday, but nothing to be concerned about. For him, it was just another injury to add to list of nicks and scrapes he's played with throughout his career. "I just went five weeks [in spring] feeling great, and I get in the first game and I've got a pulled groin and get hit in the neck with a bat," Redmond said. "So I went from 100 percent to 50 in one game." But while he's not feeling in top shape, Redmond said that he's going to try to do everything in his power to get back on the field as soon as possible. He knows the team is without Mauer already, and he is determined not to set them back another catcher. "It's manageable," Redmond said of the groin pull. "Tomorrow, if it gets better, I hopefully should be ready to go. Because I understand the situation we're in, and if I can [play], I'm absolutely 100 percent going to try."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.