Notes: Morneau tagged with two honors

Notes: Morneau tagged with two honors

ANAHEIM -- Earning Player of the Month honors likely would be the highlight of the week for many ballplayers.

Not so for Twins first baseman Justin Morneau.

Sure, Morneau was excited to learn Monday that he was named the American League Player of the Month for May after hitting .380 with 10 home runs. It's the first such honor for the reigning American League MVP.

But even he admitted later in the day that he was a little more excited about another "honor" he was receiving this week -- the chance to meet hockey legend Don Cherry.

Cherry is best known for his acidic commentary on the show "Hockey Night in Canada" on CBC. His blunt style of commentary has earned Cherry quite a following throughout Canada.

"He's one of the people I've always wanted to meet," Morneau said with a smile.

Cherry was in Anaheim to help do some between-periods commentating for NBC's coverage of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Anaheim Ducks and the Ottawa Senators. Knowing that, Morneau had his agent call Cherry, and his broadcast partner Ron MacLean, to invite them to Tuesday's game vs. the Angels -- it was an invitation they happily accepted.

Morneau's week of hockey won't be over after Cherry's visit either, as he has tickets to Game 5 of the series on Wednesday night. Morneau and his girlfriend will stay behind in Anaheim to take in the game, courtesy of tickets from Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger.

The Twins' first baseman has taken in the Stanley Cup Final before, traveling to watch the Carolina Hurricanes capture the Cup last season on one of the Twins' off-days. That's actually where Morneau got to know Pronger.

But though he might have a chance to see the Ducks pull off the Stanley Cup victory in Game 5, Morneau said he isn't necessarily rooting for Anaheim. Although, Morneau somehow found a way to justify his rooting against a fellow Canadian team if they did win and he got a chance to touch the Cup.

"I don't really have an allegiance to either team," Morneau said. "But I think it looks better for Minnesota and for Vancouver if they lose to the team that won the Stanley Cup."

Fort Myers rehab update: Joe Mauer's workout down in Fort Myers, Fla., on Monday was reported to have gone off without a hitch.

The plan now is to have Mauer catch five innings of an extended Spring Training game on Tuesday. Depending on how Mauer does in that game, he will either catch another game with that group or join Class A Fort Myers for one start.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that everything is still on track for Mauer to rejoin the club on Friday and be activated for the game vs. the Nationals.

The news on the other rehabbing player in Fort Myers is not quite so promising.

Outfielder Rondell White is set to begin light jogging on Tuesday. White had been shut down for the past few days after suffering yet another setback in his running program. The hope is that this time, White will be able to make it through running without any problems. And right now, there is no timetable as to when White might be able to get back to the field.

Seeking answers: Outfielder Josh Rabe could possibly be heading for shoulder surgery.

Rabe was sent on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Rochester two weeks ago but after playing in a few games, Rabe still was feeling some discomfort in his right shoulder.

Twins general manager Terry Ryan said that Rabe was scheduled to go to Birmingham, Ala., on Monday to receive a second opinion on his shoulder from Dr. James Andrews, a noted shoulder specialist. The meeting will determine whether the club pursues the idea of surgery.

Twins tidbits: Jason Bartlett got the day off Monday because Gardenhire thuoght the shortstop needed a breather. The skipper said with the neck and shoulder issues Bartlett has had, he wants to give him days off now and then. ... Michael Cuddyer recorded his 11th outfield assist of the season in the first inning of Monday's game. ... The Twins recorded four stolen bases in Sunday's loss, giving them 46 steals on the year. That puts them third in the Majors in steals.

Down on the farm: Alexi Casilla hit his first home run of the season, part of a 3-for-4 day at the plate, in Rochester's 4-1 victory over Scranton on Sunday. Nick Blackburn pitched eight innings, allowing just one unearned run on four hits. ... Double-A New Britain swept a doubleheader over New Hampshire. Matthew Allegra hit a three-run homer in a 9-1 victory in Game 1 and Felix Molina drove in two runs for a 4-1 win in Game 2. ... Yohan Pino gave up two runs on six hits over five innings as Class A Fort Myers lost at Jupiter, 3-2. Eduardo Morlan gave up the winning run in the ninth inning. ... Johnny Woodard delivered two home runs, one in the eighth and one in the ninth, to help Class A Beloit to a 14-4 victory at Peoria.

Coming up: Right-hander Scott Baker will try to rebound from his last start, when he lasted just three innings and gave up six runs, as he takes the mound again Tuesday night against the Angels. The 9:05 p.m. CT contest will also feature Angels right-hander Kelvim Escobar.

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