Blackburn's status will affect Twins' move

Blackburn's status will affect Twins' move

Blackburn's status will affect Twins' move
NEW YORK -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he expects to make a roster move before the club returns home to Minnesota on Monday for a three-game series against the Red Sox.

Gardenhire said the move depends on the health of right-hander Nick Blackburn, who is slated to throw bullpen sessions on Friday and Sunday in anticipation of his start on Tuesday. Blackburn missed Thursday's start against the Yankees due to stiffness in his right shoulder.

If Blackburn is ready to go, the Twins will bring up another position player, as they currently have 13 pitchers on the roster after recalling right-hander Jason Marquis on Wednesday and designating infielder Luke Hughes for assignment.

"By the end of the weekend, we'll make a decision and do the right thing and get a position player back," Gardenhire said. "What that will be, I don't know. I'm still debating on the third catcher situation."

Gardenhire said he might decide to go with a third catcher because Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit are generally in the lineup at the same time, including on Thursday for Minnesota's series finale against the Yankees, as Mauer was behind the plate and Doumit started in right field.

"I'm still trying to decide our way through that," Gardenhire said. "Like tonight, we have them both playing and I like having both of them in the lineup, so it makes a big difference. So we'll see how we get through the next few days."

Gardenhire also added that no catcher at Triple-A Rochester has the edge to be recalled, as the club currently has three backstops there in Drew Butera, J.R. Towles and Rene Rivera. But Butera is the only one on the 40-man roster, and he leads all three with a .250 batting average in 10 games.