Twins put Cuddyer on DL with thumb injury, call up McDonald

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins lost an important hitter
in their struggling lineup for the next two weeks when they placed
right fielder Michael Cuddyer on the 15-day disabled list Friday
because of a sprained right thumb.

Cuddyer was hurt in Wednesday's game against Detroit when he
made a hard slide into second base to break up a double play and
hit his hand on the bag. He was originally scheduled to play
Thursday, but manager Ron Gardenhire was nervous about Cuddyer's
swollen, black-and-blue hand.

An MRI exam on Friday revealed ligament damage that is expected
to require 10 to 14 days of recovery.

"The only silver lining is that I don't have to have surgery,"
Cuddyer said.

Outfielder Darnell McDonald's contract was selected from
Triple-A Rochester, and the 28-year-old -- whose only prior major
league experience was a 17-game stint with Baltimore in 2004 -- was
in right field and went 0-for-2 with a walk in the Twins 7-5 defeat of the Angels Friday.

Cuddyer is one of a handful of Twins who have been reliable
hitters all season, while several holes at the bottom of the order
have contributed to their struggle to stay relevant in the AL
playoff race. They were just swept in a three-game series by
division-leading Detroit, defeats by the scores of 1-0, 3-2 and 4-3
in which they had numerous chances to drive in go-ahead runs.

"We're having trouble sustaining offense, and there's no better
example than the past couple games," general manager Terry Ryan
said, answering a question about his level of urgency to acquire
another hitter before the trade deadline. "Maybe one guy can
provide that."

Cuddyer, who had four hits on Wednesday and is batting .289 with
10 homers and 56 RBIs, was batting cleanup. Justin Morneau will
move from fifth to fourth while he's out.

"Guys have to pick each other up," Gardenhire said.
"Everybody has injuries. We've got to try to fill some holes until
he gets back. That's all we can do."

Regardless of whether or not Ryan adds a player in the coming
weeks, the Twins are anticipating the return of one of their
original regulars, left fielder Rondell White.

The often-injured 35-year-old strained his right calf muscle
while running out of the dugout just four games into the season. He
reinjured it three weeks later and has been rehabilitating in
Florida ever since, with his hamstring recently becoming more of a
problem than the calf.

But Ryan said White is fully healthy, and after beginning a
second rehab assignment this weekend he could be back within a
couple of days.

"If he gets a hit tomorrow, we might be bringing him back,"
Gardenhire said, laughing.