Notes: Balfour has arthroscopic surgery

Notes: Balfour has arthroscopic surgery

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins expect to know in the next couple of days whether right-hander Grant Balfour might need Tommy John surgery. Balfour had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow Wednesday in Cincinnati and Minnesota medical officials will review the pictures before any determination is made.

"They took a lot of pictures, measured things and they are sending it all back to our doctors," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They'll all look at it and make a decision."

Balfour, who has been on the disabled list because of forearm soreness, recently experienced pain in the elbow area.

"It should be a day or two before we know exactly where we're at," Gardenhire said.

Dr. Tim Kremchek, the Cincinnati Reds' orthopedic surgeon, performed the arthroscopic surgery on Balfour's elbow and will confer with Minnesota's doctors before Balfour's course is set.

No regrets: If Twins catcher Joe Mauer had chosen to play football at Florida State rather than sign a baseball contract with Minnesota coming out of high school in 2001 as the No. 1 overall pick, he could have conceivably been in last weekend's National Football League draft.

Had Mauer played four consecutive years of college football, this would have been his draft class. Mauer, the former Gatorade National Player of the Year in football, said he watched the weekend draft with more than casual interest.

"When I was coming through high school, those guys were the high school football players making names for themselves all over the country," Mauer said. "It's interesting to follow them as a former football player who was coming up at the same time. But as far as me and football, I have no regrets about the decision I made. I'm very happy to be playing baseball for the Minnesota Twins. I'm a Minnesota guy and baseball is the greatest passion for me. Here I am in the Major Leagues, so it couldn't have worked out any better."

Bartlett back: Shortstop Jason Bartlett, who tore the fingernail off his left pinky while moving a television set in his hotel room over the weekend, was back in the lineup on Wednesday.

Against left-hander Brian Anderson, Gardenhire went with Nick Punto at second base rather than Luis Rivas. Matthew LeCroy, who generally hits well at Kauffman Stadium, was the designated hitter.

"We'll move people around and see if we can generate a little more offense," Gardenhire said. "We like [LeCroy] swinging in this ballpark. He normally stays on the ball very well and uses the whole field."

With Rivas just 2-for-21 over a 10-game span, Gardenhire decided to give him a night to relax.

"He hasn't played very well on this trip to this point," Gardenhire said. "Whether that's because of sitting around the hotel in Detroit, I don't know."

Leaving them loaded: The Twins have created a statistical oddity in the clutch hitting department. They entered Wednesday's game leading the American League in hitting with runners in scoring position. They had a .328 average with five doubles, 10 homers and 74 RBIs with runners in scoring position.

However, Minnesota was just 4-of-28 (.143) when loading the bases before Wednesday's game. The Twins received a game-winning hit from Lew Ford on Tuesday with runners at first and third.

On deck: Right-hander Kyle Lohse will work the getaway game of the Kansas City series on Thursday afternoon. He'll be opposed by right-hander Runelvys Hernandez. Lohse has given up six homers in 17 2/3 innings.

Robert Falkoff is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.