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Several may fill Nathan's shoes

FORT MYERS — It's looking more and more as if just one Twin will not be enough to take closer Joe Nathan's place.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday that barring a trade, the Twins will start the regular season with a closer-by-committee approach.

"If we decide to go with one guy as we go along, we'll go with one guy," Gardenhire said. "But we're going to start out and we're going to look at a lot of different people, and we'll see what happens. We've got about three or four different guys we can go to."

The plan is for right-handers Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch and Jesse Crain, and left-hander Jose Mijares to get time in the ninth depending on matchups and performance.

That means left-hander Francisco Liriano likely will not be considered for closer.

BRADLEY SITS: Mariners DH Milton Bradley sat out his only chance this year to face the Cubs, with whom he spent a tumultuous 2009 season. Manager Don Wakamatsu said there were no ulterior motives in the preseason game, before which Bradley cut off an interview attempt by three Chicago writers by saying "no chance" and "beat it." He told the writers "you ran me out of town," then flashed a peace sign and said, "Peace."

A'S: Former Rays right-hander Chad Gaudin, released by the Yankees last week, agreed to a contract.

BRAVES: Rightfielder Jason Heyward was scratched as a precaution because of shin splints.

CARDINALS: Outfielder Ryan Ludwick left the game against the Mets in the third with a bruise after twice fouling a ball off his left shin.

CUBS: First baseman Derrek Lee was scratched with lingering foot pain but should return to the lineup today or Tuesday.

DODGERS: Catcher Russell Martin is being brought back gradually from a strained right groin, playing in a minor-league game rather than making his Cactus League debut.

GIANTS: Right-handed starter Matt Cain, left-handed setup man Jeremy Affeldt and right-handed closer Brian Wilson agreed to contract extensions through 2012.

INDIANS: First baseman Russell Branyan will go on the disabled list with a herniated back disc, giving the starting job to Matt LaPorta.

METS: Shortstop Jose Reyes, coming back from an overactive thyroid, is expected to play in minor-league simulated games soon and make his Grapefruit League debut this week.

NATIONALS: Rookie Ian Desmond will be the opening day shortstop, beating out incumbent Cristian Guzman.

PADRES: Manager Bud Black said right-hander Jon Garland will start on opening day in Arizona on April 5.

REDS: Left-hander Aroldis Chapman looked good in his return from backs spasms that sidelined him for nearly a week. The Cuban defector pitched one inning of a minor-league game against Brewers players.

ROCKIES: Closer Huston Street said the shoulder stiffness that has sidelined him this spring is lingering but he will try to pitch through the problem with hopes of joining the active roster by the end of April.

ROYALS: Right-hander Gil Meche had his first bullpen session since last pitching March 22 because of a stiff shoulder and neck, and said he felt fine.

WHITE SOX: Catcher Ramon Castro left a game against the Rangers in the second with an apparent leg injury.

Several may fill Nathan's shoes 03/28/10 [Last modified: Sunday, March 28, 2010 9:09pm]
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