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04/09/09 1:50 AM ET
Redmond says he's ready for finale
Gardenhire hesitant, but will play catcher vs. Mariners
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Mike Redmond will be starting Thursday's series finale against the Mariners, even though manager Ron Gardenhire was a little hesitant on the idea earlier in the day on Wednesday. Redmond strained his right groin muscle in Monday's opener. Over the past two days, Redmond has been trying to prove to the Twins coaching staff that he can play through the injury and that a stint on the disabled list is not necessary. "It would be easy for me to say, 'Hey, put me on the DL and I'll see you in 15 days,'" Redmond said. "But that is not an option for me. If I blow [my groin muscle] out, I blow it out. Then at least I know I tried. The reason why I've played 11 years in the big leagues is because I haven't gone on the DL every time I got banged up. I'm not about to start doing that now." Before Wednesday's game, Gardenhire that he would have to think about more than just what Redmond wants to do. "It's about the team; it's not always about the individual," Gardenhire said. "It's about whether you can go out and perform and help the team, not just because 'I'm John Wayne.' Everybody plays hurt. ... What we're trying to make sure we do the right thing for the team moreso than anything else." Redmond was expected to get the majority of playing time behind the plate while Joe Mauer is on the disabled list with inflammation in his lower back. Backup Jose Morales started the last two games at catcher with Redmond injured. The team also has catcher Drew Butera at Triple-A Rochester if needed. But while Redmond seems determined to play, he said that it wouldn't be at the expense of the team. "My job is to go out there and hold down the fort until Joe gets back and I'm going to try to do that," Redmond said. "I know the situation right now, we're thin. But I'm not going to go out there and play if I didn't think I could play. I'm not stupid. I wouldn't go out there if I didn't think I could help this team." Redmond has been able to take part in the entire pregame workout the last two days and he said that his groin has been feeling better each day. He said that he'll be limited in his running but that he can do everything well enough to play. He even donned catching gear on Wednesday afternoon before early batting practice and tested the groin with some throws from behind the plate to second and third base. It was an attempt to show the coaching staff that he's ready, and he said he's willing to do whatever it takes to get back on the field. "I really don't know what else I can do," Redmond said. "I strained my groin, and I'm trying to play through it. It's gotten a lot better the last two days. I told Gardy I'd be ready to play tomorrow and I am."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.