By Joe Christensen
MILWAUKEE — The Twins waited to post their lineup, so they could check on Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel.
Morneau is back in there after missing Sunday’s game with “general soreness.” Kubel is out with “general illness.” The way the Twins are describing their ailments these days, it makes me feel like I should salute.
Anyway, Nick Punto (bruised ribs) returns to the lineup, and the report on Denard Span’s first game from Class AAA Rochester was encouraging, so if all goes well tonight, it sounds like he’ll be activated from the DL on Thursday.
Bobby Keppel is here, wearing No. 44. Manager Ron Gardenhire also revealed today that Luis Ayala had asked to be traded three weeks before the Twins designated him for assignment on Monday. I’ll have much more on that in the notebook.
The clubhouses were completely revamped after last week’s flood damage. New carpeting, furniture, the works. Pretty impressive how fast they’ve gotten the work done. There are a few feet of dry-wall missing in certain parts of the service level, but health department inspectors have been through and the Twins were assured there are no health hazards.
Update: It sounds like Kubel has cold and flu symptoms. “He threw up [Sunday], and the fateful word: a little ‘dizzy,’ so we’ll see,” Gardenhire said.
(*) Here’s Gardy on Ayala: “He wanted an eighth-inning role; that’s why he signed over here. He wasn’t pitching well enough to be an eighth-inning guy. So there you have it.
“His thoughts were if we gave him the ball in that eighth inning, he’d be able to do the job. My thoughts are if you’re not getting them out, you’re not going to pitch in the eighth inning. We’re trying to win. So there’s your difference.
“When you walk into my office and tell me you don’t like your role, and he talked about his contract for next year — you lose me right there. I don’t deal with that. We’re talking about winning now. That’s why he’s out the door and another guy’s in there to pitch. And it’s not because he’s a bad guy. His theories are a little different.”
Interesting to note the Twins still have nine days to try and trade Ayala or pass him through waivers.
Update: The Brewers placed RHP Dave Bush on the 15-day disabled list with a micro tear in his right triceps muscle. Mike Burns will be recalled from Class AAA Nashville to pitch Thursday against the Twins.
Update: Span left tonight’s game for Rochester after getting hit by a pitch in his final plate appearance. Span, who was 1-for-2, remained in the game after appearing to get hit in the hand and stole second base but was later removed for a pinch hitter. Will have the update here ASAP.
Update: Punto left the game with cramping in his ribs. Matt Tolbert replaced him at second base in the seventh.
Update: Span has a bruised left hand. Nothing serious, we’re told. He was taken out for precautionary reasons.
1. Carlos Gomez, CF
2. Brendan Harris, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Joe Crede, 3B
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Nick Punto, 2B
9. Francisco Liriano, P
1. Jason Kendall, C
2. Casey McGehee, 2B
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Corey Hart, RF
6. Mike Cameron, CF
7. J.J. Hardy, SS
8. Bill Hall, 3B
9. Jeff Suppan, P
Miller Park. First pitch: 7:05 p.m.