Happy Monday! I can say that with only the smallest iota of irony, because the Twins managed to sweep a four-game series over the weekend and are now just 16 games under .500. Jon has your Monday morning entertainment coming up at eight, but until then here are a few Twins-related breakfast nuggets.
- Following being pulled after just five innings this weekend due to a sore back, it sounds like Nick Blackburn might have to miss his next start entirely. With Francisco Liriano due to come off the disabled list and make his start in Cleveland tomorrow night, it means that Anthony Swarzak would be able to take Blackburn's Thursday slot on seven days rest. For Nick it's just back stiffness, so it's not serious provided he just gives himself a few days to rest up.
- Both Denard Span and Justin Morneau missed Saturday's and Sunday's games in Kansas City. Span tweaked his neck on Friday and of course the Twins were cautious, but it sounds like he should be availble to start tonight. Morneau, meanwhile, had a sore wrist and is still dealing with the pinched nerve in his neck. He's a bit more sketchy than Span in terms of a return. If the Twins end up sending him back to Minneapolis to get checked out, it's more likely he'll be placed on the disabled list. All things considered, I am not opposed to shutting Morneau down for the season if that's what the club thinks is best.
- It is feasible, depending on what happens with Morneau, that the Twins could field their most complete lineup since opening day within the next three weeks. Joe Mauer, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Jason Kubel, and Jim Thome should all be back with the team by the end of the month, as should Glen Perkins, Kevin Slowey, and Joe Nathan barring any setbacks.
- Speaking of Nishioka, he begins rehab games tonight.
- Tonight at 6pm, the 2011 MLB Draft kicks off. The Twins have the 30th overall pick in round one, as well as a pair of selections in the supplemental round, which is the only portion of the draft taking place today. We'll have an open thread for those of you who are into the future of the franchise, but we'll also have info on each of Minnesota's selections.