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Chris Parmelee played only at first base with the Twins last season, but in the minors he has 323 games at first and 282 in right.

Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

TWINS 11, PITTSBURGH 6 Today: Twins (ss) vs. Boston, Fort Myers, Fla., 12:05 p.m. (1500-AM); Twins (ss) at Toronto, Dunedin, Fla., 12:05 p.m.

Parmelee looks like Twins starter at first base

  • March 30, 2012 - 6:08 AM

BRADENTON, FLA. - The Twins haven't made it official yet, but it's becoming increasingly clear Chris Parmelee will be their Opening Day first baseman if Justin Morneau remains strictly in a DH role.

"I'm not going to deny it," General Manager Terry Ryan said. "Morneau hasn't been over there [at first base] too much, as you know. If that's what we're doing, so be it."

Parmelee played first base again Thursday against Pittsburgh and went 1-for-5 with an RBI double and a walk in the Twins' 11-6 victory.

Brian Dinkelman went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI, and Brian Dozier went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI, as the Twins scored more than seven runs for the sixth time in their past 11 games.

Asked to name the team's most pleasant surprise of the spring, Ryan said: "Parmelee. From Day 1. I mean, he's just taken good at-bats, he's played a very good first base. He's done OK in the outfield. You start to wait for him to crack because he's a kid and hasn't played Triple-A."

Morneau hasn't played first base since March 13.

Parmelee, 24, advanced from Class AA to the majors last September and batted .355 with six doubles, four homers and 14 RBI in 21 games.

His numbers aren't as flashy this spring. He is batting .269 with three homers and nine RBI, but he has impressed the Twins with each plate appearance.

"There's been one or two at-bats where I said, 'That didn't look so good,'" Ryan said. "People say that about the best player in the game."

JOE CHRISTENSEN

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