Monday, February 06, 2006

Jason Kubel Reported At Full Strength

For Minnesota Twins prospect Jason Kubel the good news is that the knee brace is off and he can play at full strength after missing '05 with a torn ACL. The bad news is the Twins continue to be committed to Michael Cuddyer, who just signed a $1.3 million contract and to whom manager Ron Gardenhire plans to replace Jacque Jones in right field. Kubel, 23, who hit .343 with 16 HR in just 350 AB for the AAA Rochester Red Wings two years ago, will be watched closely to see if he is the same player he was before blowing out his knee during the '04 Arizona Fall League. But Kubel likely will return to Rochester unless he destroys spring training pitching. Kubel's best shot might come if the oft-injured Rondell White, the Twins '06 DH, goes down, or the Twins trade outfielders Torii Hunter or Shannon Stewart. Still in the hunt is outfielder Lew Ford, who this year begins his third season with the Twins.

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