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Monday's observations

The Twins need continued good results from Cuddyer.


- Francisco Liriano was sloppy early on against the Tigers, but Detroit couldn't take advantage of the walks and he really settled in over the second half of the outing. It was a very encouraging performance.

- It's extremely important to the Twins' chances that the real Michael Cuddyer is the one with six hits, six RBI and three walks in his last three games. As is, they have left-handed hitters batting first, third, fourth and fifth, with switch-hitter Alexi Casilla presently doing awful work in the two hole. Ideally, they'd have Joe Mauer hitting third (or, even better, second), followed by Justin Morneau, Cuddyer and then Jason Kubel.

- Jon Lester's five starts against the Yankees since the beginning of last season: 8 Ks, 8 Ks, 8 Ks, 7 Ks and 10 Ks. If only he hadn't botched a double-play ball, he might have thrown eight scoreless innings in this one.

- Over whatever it was that ailed him this spring, Alfredo Aceves could be a very valuable pitcher for the Yankees. Expect to see him soak up a lot of middle relief innings in the coming weeks and vulture some wins in the process. I expect him to be of use in AL-only leagues.

- It's hard to see how the Brewers could leave Rickie Weeks in the three hole when Ryan Braun comes back, but they'll have to be at least a little tempted after Monday's go-ahead homer in the top of the ninth. I've come to think that a lot of Weeks' struggles are mental. If he's decided that the third spot is where he belongs, it might be one of those subtle changes that lead to big results.

- One walk in 6 2/3 innings for Fausto Carmona is a good sign. 10 flyball outs, versus seven on the ground, isn't.

- Scott Podsednik had two of the White Sox's six hits against Zack Greinke. Of course, he was caught stealing after the first, grounded into a double play with two on and none out in the eighth and committed an error in the outfield. In his defense, that giant fork sticking out of his back could be affecting his play.

- Mike Napoli stole five bases in 2007 and seven last year by running when nobody expected it. Now he's running when everyone expects it. He hasn't helped the Angels by getting caught three times in five tries over the last four games.

- The funny thing is that it's the Angels' catcher that's running like crazy and the A's were the ones who had their backstop batting leadoff. Kurt Suzuki, who has two career steals, hit a solo homer in four at-bats in the contest.

- If the Padres take Scott Hairston out of the lineup simply because they're playing a righty on Tuesday, then Bud Black is crazy. I'm moving Chase Headley back to third base before I think about sitting Hairston again.