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Twins Weekend Notes: Cuddyer Homers Twice In One Inning, Rainville Retires, Boof Bonser's Return

It's been a long weekend, what with the Twins playing for their lives and Brett Favre officially throwing a pass as a Viking.  So in case you missed it, here's all your Twins info in one glorious nugget of a post.

  • Most notably, the Twins swept the hapless Royals...hapless may seem like a harsh term, considering Kansas City could have won Friday or Saturday's contest.  But a sweep is a sweep and it couldn't come at a better time.  Both Chicago and Detroit lost today, giving the Twins just a 4.5-game deficit with 38 games left to play.
  • Michael Cuddyer's two homers in the seventh inning of Sunday's contest made him the first Minnesota Twin to ever accomplish the feat.
  • It sounds like Boof Bonser's recovery from a torn labrum and rotator cuff in his throwing arm is coming along quicker than anticipated.  While Rustin Dodd's report says Bonser could return to the Twins in September, I'm going to have a hard time believing he'll be ready to step into the rotation until I see him putting up some good numbers at higher levels toward the end of his rehab stint.  Don't get me wrong, I'd rather see Bonser available to pitch than Brian Duensing as a starter or Bob Keppel from the bullpen, but we're not quite there yet.
  • Dodd also has quotes from Ron Gardenhire stating that Francisco Liriano's "tired arm" may need more than the allocated 15 days to recover.  This is a curious case, and if a guy is going to suffer from a "tired arm", then to me that validates speculation that in the future he might be more effective out of the bullpen.  Does six innings a week with a five-day break wear you out more than an inning at a time two or three times a week?  Regardless, Liriano will have to work on his endurance, strength, mechanics...something.  Because it's not as though he was being over-used as a starter.
  • This is from earlier last week, but in case you missed it, minor league pitcher Jay Rainville unexpectedly retired.  It's believed that the surgery in 2006 has been the culprit in zapping him of his high-potential heater; since the Twins drafted him in 2004 with the 39th overall pick, he'd been tabbed as a future power arm for the big league rotation.  Rainville was solid in his return in 2007, but had struggled some since his promotion to double-A.  If this is the end of the pro-ball road for the 23-year old right-hander, he finishes his minor league career with a 37 - 31 record in 527.1 innings (97 starts, 106 appearances) with a 4.08 ERA.  He struck out 396.  Happy trails, Jay.
  • Joe Crede was scratched again before Sunday's contest due to a "tight back".  No word on whether he'll be available for Monday's opening salvo with the Orioles, but that's pretty much a daily given by this point.
  • Justin Morneau missed all three games of the weekend after being sent back to Minneapolis to rest and deal with his dizziness.  He nor Crede have been placed on the disabled list, so the Twins are running a short bench until they're either back or placed on the DL retroactively.
  • If you're going to any of the Rangers games at the end of the week, be sure to pick up a program.  I'm doing the Dugout Splinters section once again.

See you tomorrow!