FORT MYERS, FLA. – Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe was supposed to play Sunday, but he tweaked his right calf muscle during early-morning work and might not be back in action for a while.
Plouffe, who was seen with his calf wrapped before the game against Pittsburgh, was injured while doing agility work. General Manager Terry Ryan said the injury shouldn’t keep Plouffe out of the lineup long, but manager Ron Gardenhire painted a darker picture because it’s the second time Plouffe has had problems with his calf in camp.
Gardenhire said that, if it were the regular season, Plouffe could be a candidate for the disabled list.
“My guess is that it is going to be a week plus,” Gardenhire said.
Plouffe missed the first three spring games because of the same problem.
Camp cuts, v1.0
Alex Meyer’s two scoreless innings Saturday ended up being his last innings of the spring, at least in major league camp.
Meyer was one of five players reassigned to minor league camp Sunday, the Twins’ first cuts this spring. He threw five scoreless innings in official spring training games and left quite an impression on the bigwigs.
The righthander will head to minor league camp to get stretched out in time for Opening Day. But the Twins are even more confident that they received a good pitching prospect in return when they traded outfielder Denard Span to Washington in November.
“We’ve got to develop the changeup,’’ Ryan said. “He’s one of those legitimate starting candidates. We have to make sure of the three-pitch mix, which he has. It’s a matter of polish. I don’t think anyone was displeased with anything he showed here. Not only physically but emotionally. He’s a good teammate. He listens. He’s coachable.’’
Righthanders Nick Blackburn, Lester Oliveros, Bryan Augenstein and Esmerling Vasquez also were reassigned to minor league camp on Sunday. Blackburn (wrist surgery in January) and Oliveros (Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in August) were already at the minor league camp.
Ryan said the will announce more cuts Monday. Infielder Daniel Santana, righthander B.J. Hermsen and catchers Chris Herrmann and Josmil Pinto were seen packing up on Sunday. And the clubhouse stall once belonging to infielder Deibinson Romero has been cleaned out. Romero has missed all of camp because of visa issues in the Dominican Republic.
Ryan’s take on brawl
Ryan was not surprised that no players were disciplined further following the brawl during the game between Canada and Mexico on Saturday in the World Baseball Classic in Phoenix. The conflict began when Mexico objected to Canada bunting for hits while up 9-3.
Run differential is a tiebreaking component in the WBC, encouraging teams to build on leads. “It would be difficult to do that,” Ryan said, “because it was a misunderstanding about a rule.”
Righthander Vance Worley, who hasn’t been sharp in his past two outings, gets the ball as the Twins play host to Tampa Bay in a 6:05 p.m. game at Hammond Stadium. Righthander Roberto Hernandez, who used to go by the name Fausto Carmona, will start for Tampa Bay.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III