MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins will be without right fielder Michael Cuddyer for at least two weeks after he dislocated his right index finger in the third inning of Friday night's 4-3 victory over the Royals. Cuddyer was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game, and the Twins called up outfielder Denard Span, their 2002 first-round Draft pick, from Triple-A Rochester to take his spot on the roster. The Twins right fielder injured the finger when he slid headfirst into third base after hustling from first to third on a Justin Morneau RBI single that plated Joe Mauer. Cuddyer dove for the bag and appeared to run his hand into Royals third baseman Alex Gordon, who was guarding the bag. Cuddyer immediately exited the game and was replaced by pinch-runner Jason Kubel.
"You hate to see it happen, especially to him," Morneau said. "He's been swinging the bat well. He's very important in the outfield, and he's our No. 3 hitter. Hopefully, he's not out for too long." In addition to the dislocation, Cuddyer also suffered a large laceration on the knuckle after getting stepped on by Gordon. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the outfielder had three or four stitches to repair the gash. Cuddyer also saw a hand specialist at Hennepin County Medical Center. The feeling was that he didn't injure the tendon in the finger, which Gardenhire said was a very good sign. Last season, Cuddyer sprained his right thumb while sliding feet first into second base. That injury also required a stint on the disabled list. Since then, Cuddyer has worn a guard on his right hand, but it didn't help prevent this injury. Kubel is expected to get the majority of playing time in right field during Cuddyer's absence, with Span likely being used as an extra outfielder. This will be Span's first Major League callup. He was battling with Carlos Gomez for the starting center-field spot this spring and was one of the team's final cuts. In 16 games this spring, Span hit .282 with two RBIs and a .404 on-base percentage.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.