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The Sports Xchange, Published April 26 2014

Fuld stepping into the fold with Twins

MINNEAPOLIS - After being designated for assignment by the Oakland Athletics on April 12, outfielder Sam Fuld wasn't sure where his baseball future would take him. In seven seasons as a Major Leaguer with the Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics, Fuld had never been DFA'd before.

"It was a learning experience," Fuld said. "But I knew the day would come where I would suit up for somebody, so I had to stay as sharp as I could."

So Fuld took to social media and asked around about places he could train while he was in "DFA limbo," eventually finding a place in the San Francisco Bay Area where he could keep his skills sharp while his future unfolded. He also used the time off to spend time with his wife and kids.

"I treated it kind of like an All-Star break, just an extra long one that came in April," Fuld said. "We were able to do things we normally aren't able to.

With injuries and ineffectiveness in their outfield, the Minnesota Twins were in need of a veteran and claimed Fuld off waivers. And just like that, Fuld's future - at least his immediate one - was clear again.

From afar, Fuld said he has always admired how the Twins play and felt immediately like he'd be a good fit.

"I'm excited, it's a good group," Fuld said. "I've always respected them from across the way and they've lived up to the expectations. They play hard and it seems like there is a lot of fight in the team. That's a lot of fun to be a part of."

After being claimed April 20 while the Twins were in Kansas City, Fuld met the team in Tampa and made his Twins debut against his former team on April 23, going 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. The next day, he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs. Fuld made his Target Field debut Friday in a 10-6 loss to the Detroit Tigers, but was one of the bright spots, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.

Fuld said making his debut with a new team in a familiar environment may have helped steady his nerves.

"I think so," Fuld said. "I can't put a finger on what it was (that made him so successful early), but stepping into that batter's box and having done it so many times already added to that sense of comfort. It was fun to see my old teammates too, and I think that may have helped take the pressure off trying to impress 24 guys and a whole new coaching staff."

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MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 11-11

STREAK: Lost 1

NEXT: Tigers (RHP Anibal Sanchez, 0-2, 3.54 ERA) at Twins (RHP Phil Hughes, 1-1, 6.43 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RF Chris Colabello's RBI single in the sixth inning gave him 27 RBIs, breaking Kirby Puckett's 20-year-old club record of 26 RBIs in the month of April.

--3B Trevor Plouffe doubled in the seventh inning, giving him an American League-leading 10 two-base hits this season.

--CF Sam Fuld had two hits for the Twins in his Target Field debut. In three starts with Minnesota, Fuld has three multi-hit efforts.

--2B Brian Dozier launched his seventh home run of the season into the second deck in left to lead off the seventh inning Friday. He is third in the American League in homers this season.

--LF Jason Kubel had two doubles Friday and has a hit in six of his last eight games. Friday's game was Kubel's second of the season with a pair of two-baggers. He is batting .319 with 12 RBIs this season.

--UT Jason Bartlett (sprained left ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list April 7. He retired from professional baseball on April 19.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I just wasn't able to hit any of my spots. I can't pitch like that against a team like that or I'm going to get hit around. It's one thing to get hit around, but I'm not going to walk guys in and give you free bases. I just wasn't able to make pitches when I needed to." -- Starting pitcher Kevin Correia, after allowing eight runs, seven earned, on eight hits and two walks in only 2 1/3 innings in a 10-6 loss to Detroit.

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MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--OF Oswaldo Arcia (sore right wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 5. He took swings prior to the game April 25 and felt no effects of his sore wrist. He will leave for a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Rochester April 26.

--OF Josh Willingham (left wrist contusion) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 7. He began light rehabilitation April 18. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said April 25 that his wrist feels better and Willingham could begin taking swings early in the week of April 27-May 3. Willingham will go on a rehabilitation assignment before being activated.

--UT Jason Bartlett (sprained left ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list April 7. He retired from professional baseball on April 19.

ROTATION:

RHP Ricky Nolasco

RHP Kevin Correia

RHP Phil Hughes

RHP Mike Pelfrey

RHP Kyle Gibson

BULLPEN:

LHP Glen Perkins (closer)

LHP Caleb Thielbar

RHP Anthony Swarzak

LHP Brian Duensing

RHP Casey Fien

RHP Jared Burton

RHP Sam Deduno

RHP Michael Tonkin

CATCHERS:

Kurt Suzuki

Josmil Pinto

INFIELDERS:

1B Joe Mauer

2B Brian Dozier

SS Pedro Florimon

3B Trevor Plouffe

INF/OF Chris Colabello

INF/OF Eduardo Escobar

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Jason Kubel

CF Aaron Hicks

RF Chris Herrmann

OF Sam Fuld