Baker close to returning; other Twins mending

Baker close to returning; other Twins mending

Baker close to returning; other Twins mending
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Scott Baker threw a bullpen session on Saturday, and is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday and be available to pitch for the Twins.

Baker has been dealing with a right elbow strain since July 7, and has not pitched for the Twins since early August. After going on the disabled list on July 17 (retroactive to July 7) and coming off on July 23, Baker managed just three starts before being shut down again.

Second baseman Alexi Casilla, who has been sidelined since Aug. 13, is scheduled to test his strained hamstring on Tuesday. Casilla initially hit the DL with the hamstring injury on July 29 and returned on Aug. 12.

Casilla played in just one game before returning to the DL.

Head trainer Rick McWane also gave updates on catcher Joe Mauer, who is done for the year due to pneumonia, and Jason Kubel, who continues to be bothered by pain in his left foot, which he sprained in late May.

"Joe Mauer is still at home, still complaining of body aches and the cough," McWane said. "Jason Kubel is going to be available to pinch-hit from here on out, and that's it."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said there was still hope that center fielder Denard Span could get in a few games over the final 10 days of the season.

Span, who suffered a concussion in a home-plate collision at Kansas City in early June, has not played since Aug. 18, when the concussion and migraine symptoms returned. It's possible that Span could be back in the lineup at some point during the Twins' home series with the Mariners this week.

"He's actually probably been as lively in the clubhouse as I've seen him," Gardenhire said. "Hopefully, we get back after this New York trip (a makeup game at the Yankees on Monday), get on the field and get him in a ballgame or two, a couple of at-bats, whatever it might take. See how he does, how he responds and go from there."

Rene Tosoni joined the list of Twins to catch the flu bug that has been going around the clubhouse. The rookie outfielder was not with the club on Sunday, but Gardenhire said the hope was for Tosoni to join the Twins after the game for their trip to New York.

Danny Valencia was "still shaky" according to Gardenhire, which made the third baseman a late scratch, as he continued to deal with the flu bug.