Notes from Fort Myers: Plouffe's recovery picks up speed

  • Updated: February 21, 2013 - 9:42 PM
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Twins infielder Trevor Plouffe.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

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Third baseman Trevor Plouffe, slowed by a strained right calf muscle, increased his activities Thursday. He took batting practice, got his running in and took extra grounders.

"It felt good,'' he said. "I felt like I could go a couple days ago, but it being so early in spring there's no reason to push it. I still have over a month left in spring training.''

Plouffe, who's expected to open the season as the Twins' third baseman, might be held out of the first few spring games.

"He's getting better,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Not ready to play in a game yet but not too far away either.''

Hendriks next up

Gardenhire on Thursday announced that righthander Liam Hendriks will start on Sunday against Tampa Bay. Hendriks is one of several returning starters who will have to compete with a group of offseason acquisitions to earn a spot in the 2013 rotation. Veteran righthander Kevin Correia, a free-agent signee, is scheduled to start the exhibition season opener on Saturday against Baltimore in Bradenton.

Kinda sloppy

Have the Twins hit the dog days of training camp already? Gardenhire was not thrilled with how some of the drills went on Thursday.

"We had a few rough moments during our hang loose drills,'' Gardenhire said. "Some guys were not locked in. But that happens after doing it for eight days. We had a couple clusters. So we had to stop it and yell. Or just say what ... are you doing?"

Etc.

• The Twins have scheduled an intrasquad game for 9 a.m. Central time Sunday before their spring training home opener against the Rays at Hammond Stadium. Several of the younger pitchers in camp, including B.J. Hermsen, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Jose Berrios, Andrew Albers and Caleb Thielbar, are scheduled to pitch. Berrios on Thursday threw to hitters for a second time this week and continues to show a lot of promise. "He can throw it. He can wing it,'' Gardenhire said.

• Groundskeeping guru George Toma, who wasn't allowed to travel because of a blood clot in his leg, is doing better. The Twins hope Toma will get the go-ahead in the next few weeks to travel to Fort Myers.

• The Twins still don't know when third baseman Deibinson Romero will be able to report to camp. Romero remains in the Dominican Republic, waiting for his visa.

LET'S MEET

MARK SOBOLEWSKI

Third baseman

Age: 26

2012 stats: .262 with 18 home runs and 51 RBI in 94 games at Class AA New Hampshire, then .188-2-8 at Class AAA Las Vegas

Acquired: Minor league Rule 5 selection Dec., 6, 2012.

Role: Third baseman, likely at Class AAA Rochester.

Did you know? Sobolewski was a fourth-round pick by Toronto in 2008 out of the University of Miami.

PHIL MILLER

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