Back strain likely to end Crede's year

Back strain likely to end Crede's year

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins third baseman Joe Crede has battled numerous injuries all year. Now, it appears his latest injury -- a strained lower back -- may end his 2009 season.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Monday that he doesn't anticipate Crede will play again this season. Crede was in the lineup Sunday for the first time in three weeks, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts as the designated hitter in an 8-0 win over Oakland.

After the game, it was clear Crede's back was still bothering him.

Crede "didn't feel very good swinging yesterday," Gardenhire said. "We knew that he'd be a little bit behind because he hasn't had many at-bats. He was having pain in his lower back and into his legs. ... He couldn't swing the way he wants to swing. He tried. It's just not going to work out."

Crede has undergone two epidural shots to try to alleviate the back pain, but he has had only five at-bats since Aug. 21. Given the way Crede felt after Sunday's game, Gardenhire said he anticipates that it could have been the final game of the season for the veteran third baseman.

"I haven't heard that from anybody, but you're hearing it from me. I would say so," Gardenhire said when asked if he thought Crede's season is done. "From my conversation with him after the game, it doesn't sound good. It doesn't sound like it's going to work out. He tried. He took the shots. He's done everything."

The Twins signed the free agent Crede to a one-year contract in the offseason with the hopes that he would bring power, defense and a veteran presence. When healthy, he has provided all three of those, hitting 15 homers and driving in 48 runs in 90 games.

But a handful of injuries throughout the season hampered Crede's production and limited his time in the lineup.

"He's pretty bummed," Gardenhire said. "He wanted to get back out there. He knew he wasn't going to be 100 percent, but he wanted to be out there to see if he could help out."

Tyler Mason is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.