FORT MYERS, FLA. – The laser off Brian Roberts’ bat came right at Twins righthander Liam Hendriks.
“I tried to stop the ball with my hand instead of my face,” Hendriks said.
And the third-inning line drive, indeed, struck and bruised Hendriks’ pitching hand. He left the game immediately but didn’t need X-rays. He’s listed as day-to-day and will be re-evaluated Wednesday. He left after 2⅔ innings, during which he gave up four hits and struck out two.
Hendriks said he believed he wouldn’t miss much time because he had full range of motion with the hand moments after the incident. His availability for Opening Day is unclear. The Twins need a fifth starter on April 7, and Hendriks remains a candidate.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t seem too worried about Hendriks’ hand.
“We haven’t named our rotation but he’s definitely in the mix,” Gardenhire said.
The Twins went on to win 9-5 on a blustery day during which many balls were pushed from left to right by a stiff wind. Aaron Hicks, Chris Parmelee and Wilkin Ramirez each had three hits.
A couple of other Twins are dealing with recent nagging injuries. Shortstop Pedro Florimon injured an ankle during the game and likely will be taken off the travel roster for Wednesday’s game at Bradenton against Pittsburgh. Outfielder Darin Mastroianni has a sore left foot after fouling a pitch off it Monday. He should be fine.
Hendriks planned to ice his hand overnight and test it Wednesday.
“It wasn’t too bad,” he said. “Other than a little bloody wrist and some scratches, I was fine.”
LA VELLE E. NEAL III