Gardenhire sees 'super utility' role for Plouffe

Trevor Plouffe's role seems to have morphed with Justin Morneau now serving as a full-time DH.

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Trevor Plouffe tracked down a ball in the outfield during spring training, but it appears he might end up playing some infield after all.

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

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PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. — When spring training camp opened, there were indications that the Twins were ready to start Trevor Plouffe in right field. A series of events has apparently led Plouffe to more of a reserve role.

On Monday, manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed that Justin Morneau would primarily be the designated hitter early in the season, and that Chris Parmelee would start at first base. He also indicated that Ryan Doumit would play a lot in right field.

Then, before Monday's game against Tampa Bay, Gardenhire mentioned that Plouffe was scratched from the starting lineup and, instead, got some swings in a minor league game. Why?

"He has a little bit of a sore arm from playing outfield and infield," Gardenhire said.

What?

"I told him super utility everywhere," Gardenhire said. "Shortstop, second, everywhere. I didn't bring a [backup] shortstop along, you know. I've got Jamey Carroll. Alexi [Casilla] is on that side. Gotta have another guy who can play them all. That's Plouffy."

Plouffe, who was drafted as a shortstop in 2004 and has made 52 of his 78 major league starts there, was told in October he would be converted to a full-time outfielder, and he spent much of his offseason working in the outfield.

Etc.

• Righthander Jason Marquis is expected to return to the team Tuesday after spending two weeks to be with his daughter, Reese, who was seriously injured in a bicycle accident in New York.

• Infielder Alexi Casilla (right knee) received an anti-inflammatory injection and might try to play in a game before camp breaks. "I will be ready by Friday [for the opener], for sure,'' he said.

• Plouffe and Mauer stayed in Fort Myers and hit in a minor league game.

• Sean Burroughs tweaked his back while getting off the bus in Port Charlotte and was a late scratch. Chris Parmelee started at first instead.

• Luke Hughes hit his team-high sixth home run Monday. Danny Valencia hit his fourth.

On deck

Liam Hendriks will make his final spring start as the Twins play host to Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Jeremy Hellickson will start for the Rays.

 

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