Scouting Report: Twins Update

August 24, 2009|By JEFF ZREBIEC

The Minnesota Twins are barely hanging on in the playoff race as they've struggled to compensate for an injury-ravaged rotation and a pitching staff that has the fourth worst ERA in the American League. Kevin Slowey (right wrist surgery) is out for the season, while Glen Perkins (left shoulder tendinitis) and Francisco Liriano (left arm fatigue) are also both on the disabled list.

The Twins do have superstar catcher Joe Mauer, one of the front-runners for the AL Most Valuable Player award. Mauer is batting .442 (38-for-86) with seven homers and 21 RBIs in 21 August games, and .386 (54-for-140) since the All-Star break. Mauer's sidekick and former MVP Justin Morneau hasn't played since last Monday because of an inner ear infection.

Michael Cuddyer hit his 20th, 21st and 22nd homers over the weekend and is the fourth Twin to reach that plateau - the other three are Mauer, Morneau and Jason Kubel. It is the first time Minnesota has had four players with 20 homers or more since 1987.

The Twins are 33-27 at the Metrodome but are just 6-19 against the AL East.

- JEFF ZREBIEC

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