Fuld's injury leaves Gardenhire with thin bench
CLEVELAND -- Already down their entire Opening Day outfield and their All-Star first baseman, Minnesota's bench is falling apart in the middle of this seven-game road trip.
Manager Ron Gardenhire had set his lineup Thursday morning, but when he went to the clubhouse, he learned he had to scratch center fielder Sam Fuld.
In the first inning Thursday, the Twins announced that they placed Fuld on the seven-day concussion disabled list, recalling Eduardo Nunez from Triple-A Rochester.
As he made a throw to home plate in Wednesday night's loss to the Indians, Fuld aggravated a headache that began Friday in the series opener against the Orioles. The original injury occurred when Fuld slammed into the wall at Target Field as he caught a laser off Manny Machado's bat.
"It started when he hit the wall in center," Gardenhire said. "[Fuld] never said a word to anybody. He kind of replayed the whole thing -- the throw he made out here where he did the flip got him sore in the neck."
With outfielders Josh Willingham, Oswaldo Arcia, and Aaron Hicks all on the disabled list, Gardenhire had to set a lineup Thursday without his Opening Day starters and one of his top backups in Fuld.
"A ton of outfielders hurt," Gardenhire said. "It just, kind of caught me by surprise. I didn't expect [Fuld's injury], so I'm kind of ad-libbing."
Making the bench even thinner is Chris Colabello's shift to first base in Joe Mauer's absence.
"It's getting thinner," Gardenhire said of his bench.
With Rochester playing about 140 miles south in Columbus, Nunez had a relatively short trip to join the team. Since being optioned after the April 17 doubleheader against Toronto, Nunez is hitting .235 (4-for-17) with three RBIs in five games with Rochester.
When Gardenhire reset the lineup, his bench consisted of shortstop Pedro Florimon and a bunch of empty space. Nunez is expected to be in uniform Friday.