Finger strain flareup sidelines Cuddyer

Finger flareup sidelines Cuddyer

CHICAGO -- Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer couldn't hide his frustration with being out of the lineup on Saturday because of a flareup in his previously strained right index finger overnight.

Cuddyer, who missed his team's 2-0 victory against the Cubs on Saturday afternoon, said he woke up at 1:30 in the morning with a searing pain that would not subside.

The frustration on Cuddyer's part comes from being unaware as to how this particular setback came about.

"Not only because of not being able to play but not knowing why and not knowing how long, not knowing what," Cuddyer said. "All these unanswered questions. Why did it flare up again when nothing really happened to it again? I didn't get jammed, I didn't hit anything off the end of the bat, I didn't make any throws that felt like it was strained. I went to bed, and it was fine, normal, great."

Cuddyer missed four games earlier this month with the index finger strain. He returned from the injury against the Mariners on June 6 and had played in seven straight games since then, including going 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored during Friday's Interleague contest against the Cubs.

On the season, Cuddyer is hitting .262 in 58 games with nine home runs, 12 doubles and 34 RBIs.

Cuddyer said he was taking medication for the pain and icing the finger. He said he would see a hand specialist on Monday to re-evaluate the situation.

"[The doctor] said maybe there was some blood left over that got loose and that's the inflammation," Cuddyer said. "They're puzzled as well."

"I know when he walked in here this morning, it was ugly," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before Saturday's game. "He said if he would have had a saw, he would have cut his hand off last night, so that tells you he probably wasn't feeling too good. That's what he told me. It pretty much tells me that he's in some pain."

The news came at a bad time for the Twins, as Cuddyer already was filling in as a center fielder for Denard Span. Span left Tuesday's game against the A's in the third inning because of dizzy spells and has remained out since then. Gardenhire said Span felt no better on Friday.

Following Saturday's game, the Twins optioned pitcher Anthony Swarzak to Triple-A and recalled catcher Jose Morales to provide some depth on the bench. The Twins played Saturday with a 23-man roster and had only three position players on the bench -- Matt Tolbert, Brian Buscher and Mike Redmond. Relief pitcher Luis Ayala would have been the next option as a pinch-hitter.

Saturday marked the second of 15 consecutive games against National League opponents, with nine of those contests in National League ballparks.

"It's the worst possible time because it's National League baseball and you need actually more of a bench," Gardenhire said.

Jesse Temple is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.