Seems like every year the Twins (and presumably every other team out there) heads into the All-Star Break saying something to the effect of "we can really use these three days off to heal up all those nagging little injuries and get strong for the second half".
But our Twins, ever the young rebels, seem to have left "healing up" and "getting strong" off the ol' to-do list. Why do I think this?
First: Jason Kubel is now sore in both knees.
Jason Kubel knew he'd have to deal with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee all season.
He just didn't expect to deal with it in his right knee, as well. But lingering soreness in both knees caused the left fielder to be scratched from Thursday night's lineup.
Only recently did Kubel begin having problems with both knees. He said he's been feeling it in each knee for about a month.
Kubel didn't inform the coaching staff of the knee issues until last week, on the club's road trip to Kansas City and Texas. He hoped the pain would settle over the three-day All-Star break, but Kubel was still sore just walking around his apartment in Minneapolis over the past few days.
The cause of the pain is unknown. The outfielder was told by others who suffered similar knee injuries that soreness would linger and sometimes spread to the other knee.
"I don't know if I'm favoring the other knee or not, or if it's the turf or anything," Kubel said. "It's just been getting sore. It's nothing serious, I can work through it. There are just good and bad days, and the last week has been bad."
Kubel said he feels pain mostly when he starts moving after having rested for a while, but that it really flares when he's making plays on balls in the outfield and running the bases.
Second: Lew Ford hurt himself in the first game back.
It seems that left field is a spot prone to injuries for the Twins this season.
In Thursday night's game against the Indians, left fielder Lew Ford strained his right external oblique muscle during a fifth inning at-bat, forcing him to exit the game. Following the Twins' 6-4 loss to the Indians, Minnesota placed Ford on the 15-day disabled list and selected the contract of outfielder Jason Tyner from Triple-A Rochester.
The club is hoping Kubel will be ready to start in left field for Friday's game.
The Twins were already limited at the position prior to Ford's injury, as Shannon Stewart is still dealing with a sore left foot that caused him to miss 33 games already this year. While Stewart has been playing as the designated hitter for the club, Gardenhire is hesitant to use him in the outfield at the Metrodome, with the wear that the Fieldturf can take on injuries.
Third, of course, we're still waiting to hear what's up with Carlos Silva.
Problems with the knee are nothing new for Silva. Last season he dealt with a torn meniscus. He underwent surgery on the knee in late September, and said that the pain he felt Friday was similar to what he felt before. As the outing progressed, Silva said, he felt he couldn't push off his back leg due to some pain. He will undergo an MRI on Monday to see if the injury is serious.That MRI was, by the way, LAST Monday, the 10th. And yet I for one have heard nothing. Have you?
And last but not least, Matt Guerrier and Rondell White are both still on the DL.
Now that you've digested all those injuries, allow me to present you with a little hope for the future:
The Twins promoted righthander Matt Garza to Class AAA Rochester after he went 6-2, 2.51 in 10 starts at Class AA New Britain. It's a promotion worth noting because Garza could position himself for a late-season look if he does well.
Garza was the Twins' first-round pick in the 2005 draft, meaning he's rocketed through the system in just more than 13 months as a pro. He began this season at Class A Fort Myers, where he was 5-1, 1.42 in eight starts before moving to New Britain.