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Twins likely to carry two catchers in ALDS

Twins likely to carry two catchers in ALDS

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire's postseason roster is not yet finalized, but he said Sunday that catcher Jose Morales will likely not be on the roster for the American League Division Series.

Morales has been used as the team's third catcher, and filled in twice at first base to give Michael Cuddyer a day off. But with catcher Joe Mauer expected to start every game despite a sore knee, the Twins will use Drew Butera as the backup, leaving Morales as the odd man out.

"With this lineup, you're not going to pinch-hit for anybody. They're all going to play," Gardenhire said. "You need more speed, you need more pinch-runners and defensive replacements than anything else."

Minnesota's postseason bullpen also remains a question mark, although Gardenhire has said the team will carry 11 pitchers. Right-hander Jon Rauch, who had fluid drained from his left knee and had a cortisone shot, will throw a bullpen session on Monday. Gardenhire said the team will make a roster decision after that.

"He'll tell me how he feels," Gardenhire said of Rauch. "For sure, that's when we'll know whether he's going to make (the roster) or not make it."

The other bullpen spot in question is the role of long reliever, which will come down to either Kevin Slowey or Scott Baker -- both of whom started during the regular season. Slowey pitched a scoreless inning of relief Saturday, while Baker last pitched Sept. 29 against Kansas City, allowing a pair of runs in five innings.

"Slowey did fine yesterday, other than the fact that he wore himself out warming up," Gardenhire said. "I will talk to Baker [on Sunday]. He has questions in his own mind whether he can get up and get his elbow loose, and whether he'll be able to do that. ... I told him, 'You have to be honest with me.'"

Left-hander Brian Duensing experienced tightness in his shoulder prior to Saturday's start against Toronto but was feeling fine on Sunday.

He's scheduled to start Game 3 of the ALDS.

"Duensing, they told me, felt good today," Gardenhire said. "[He] should be fine."

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