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The Sports Xchange, Published June 27 2013

Twins undecided as trade deadline approaches

As baseball's July 31st trade line nears, the biggest question for the Minnesota Twins, 5-3 losers to Miami on Wednesday, is whether they are going to be buyers or sellers as the market for available players heats up. Assistant General Manager Rob Antony ventured an answer to that question recently.

"We don't know yet," Antony said. "We'll (let) the next month dictate that. We really don't have a good idea when we're under .500 right now."

Antony did say that the phone calls have begun, but added that there are no names being talked about specifically. At this point, those teams calling are trying to determine which teams will be buyers and which will sellers.

Although there are specifics of players, the Twins find that several players are worth calling about. They expect teams to check on closer Glen Perkins, who recently earned his 19th save, which put him in fifth place in the American League.

Teams are looking for always looking for starting pitching, said Antony, so veterans Kevin Correia, who has a strong and consistent season, and Mike Pelfrey, who has three straight quality starts, might fit will on a team trying to make a pennant run.

But it remains to be seen what the Twins want to do. They are clearly a team with a healthy minor league system that includes Alex Meyer, Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton. So, while they have decent trade prospects it is doubtful they want to trade away their future when it is looking so bright.

On the other hand, the Twins have a young team on which a veteran player that can help put them over the top might not fit in. The team has been bringing up players all season -- Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Arcia and the recently-promoted Kyle Gibson -- trying to gauge just exactly what the future will bring.

"You're trying to figure out what you want to hang on to, what you're building around, and what you're willing to part with," Antony said. "But you'd be really hard-pressed to give up on the season."

Minnesota Twins notes and quotes

RECORD: 34-40

STREAK: Lost two

PAST 10 GAMES: 5-5

NEXT: Twins (Samuel Deduno, 3-2, 3.72) at Royals (Jeremy Guthrie, 7-5, 4.20)

PLAYER NOTES:

--OF Byron Buxton, 19, is the No. 1 prospect in all the minor leagues, according to Baseball Prospectus, which just released its updated midseason rankings. Buxton, who is playing Class A baseball, was the second overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. Other Royals prospects on the top-50 list are 3B Miguel Sano (No. 6) and RHP Alex Meyer (No. 44). Buxton will play for the U.S. in the Futures Game, and Sano will compete for the World Team.

--RHP Samuel Deduno will make his seventh start of the season Thursday against the Royals. It's his third time facing the Royals -- he pitched six shutout innings in their last meeting June 4. In his two starts against the Royals, he is a combined 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA. Deduno also led his native Dominican Republic to the World Baseball Classic championship in March. He was 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings, beating Puerto Rico in the title game.

--LHP Scott Diamond gave up eight hits and four runs in five-plus innings against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. Diamond, who took the loss, pitched four shutout innings before falling apart. Something similar happened Tuesday to Twins starter Kevin Correia, who pitched five shutout innings before the Marlins rallied to win. On the positive side for Diamond, he got a hit. In fact, Twins pitchers are 2-for-32 at the plate the past two years, and Diamond has both hits.

--RF Oswaldo Arcia went 2-for-3 against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. He leads the Twins with a .344 road batting average this season, including five doubles, three homers, one triple and 11 RBIs in 64 at-bats.

--C Joe Mauer went 3-for-5 against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. In seven career games against the Marlins, he is hitting .414 with two doubles, two homers and eight RBIs.

--LHP Caleb Thielbar, 26, has not allowed a run yet this year. The rookie reliever has made 13 appearances for a combined total of 14 2/3 innings, allowing just five hits. He holds the Twins' record for most consecutive appearances and most scoreless innings to start an MLB career.

--LHP Brian Duensing had his streak of homerless innings snapped Tuesday. He had gone 50 2/3 innings over 48 appearances before Marlins' rookie Derek Dietrich got him on Duensing's first pitch of the night, a slider that he was just trying to get over for a strike. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Dietrich "ambushed" Duensing. The reliever rebounded to retire the only batter he faced Wednesday, getting Logan Morrison to ground out to first.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You jump up like that, three runs quick, and you think: 'Here we go.' But nothing happened after that. We couldn't put them away. We had chances. We needed another big hit to open the lead up, but to (the Marlins') credit, they battled back and outplayed us in this series." -- Manager Ron Gardenhire after a loss to Miami on Wednesday.

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MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--C Ryan Doumit (sprained ankle) was injured June 23 and returned to the lineup June 25 against the Marlins. He pinch-hit and ran gingerly to first base. He sat out June 26.

--RHP Mike Pelfrey (back strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 19.

--CF Wilkin Ramirez (concussion) went on the seven-day disabled list May 26. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Fort Myers on June 20.

--CF Aaron Hicks (left hamstring strain) went on the 15-day disabled list June 10. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on June 25.

--OF Darin Mastroianni (stress reaction in left ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 16. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 22 after having surgery on a bone chip in his left ankle. His ankle was moved to a walking boot from a cast May 29.

--RHP Tim Wood (right rotator cuff strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 24, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 24. He began a rehab assignment in mid-April, but he was shut down May 9.