Notes from Fort Myers: Tonkin, May among six Twins sent to minor league camp

  • Updated: March 11, 2013 - 11:46 PM

– The Twins said goodbye to six more players Monday, sending them to Class AAA Rochester or Class AA New Britain. But for at least a couple of them, General Manager Terry Ryan said, the message was more like, “See you later.”

Righthander Michael Tonkin, for instance, gave up only one hit and didn’t allow a run in his four one-inning appearances this spring, and seems to lack only a little more experience before he’s ready for the Twins, Ryan said.

“Hopefully he’ll go to Double-A and do the same thing,” Ryan said. “Maybe he will be on the fast track.”

For now, the 23-year-old Tonkin is headed to minor league camp, optioned to Class AA New Britain along with fellow righthanders B.J. Hermsen and Trevor May, catcher Josmil Pinto and infielder Danny Santana. Catcher Chris Herrmann was optioned to Class AAA Rochester.

May, acquired from Philadelphia in the Ben Revere trade, “has got all the things we’re looking for in a starting pitcher candidate. He’s got the side, and the arm strength; he can spin a ball,” Ryan said. “Now, it’s just a matter of attacking the strike zone. … All he has to do is get in that zone, early and often, and his stuff will work plenty good.”

The Twins had hoped Herrmann would challenge for a job as a third catcher, because he can play outfield as well. But he went 1-for-10 at the plate.

Guerra in IC unit

Righthander Deolis Guerra is in the intensive care unit of a Fort Myers hospital, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, as doctors monitor the blood clot in his pitching shoulder.

“They can’t take him out because of” the unpredictable nature of blood clots, Gardenhire said, but Guerra is in no pain and expects to be released from the hospital in a few days. “He feels fine, but he’s being guarded. This is a serious thing they have to monitor.”

Once the clot has dissolved, doctors will schedule surgery to remove the first rib on his right side, in order to give the artery more room as a way to prevent a recurrence. Guerra is expected to miss several months of the regular season.

The rest of the Twins’ injury news was all positive Monday:

• A magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed nothing more serious than a strain in Trevor Plouffe’s right calf, and the third baseman should be sidelined days, not weeks, Ryan said.

• Right fielder Chris Parmelee took batting practice with no problem, and he said his groin injury is completely healed. He will be back in the lineup Wednesday.

• Lefthander Scott Diamond threw a session of live batting practice for eight minutes, Gardenhire said, and reported no discomfort in his elbow, where bone chips were removed in January.

• He’s not injured, but Justin Morneau returned to Fort Myers from the World Baseball Classic on Monday and will return to a normal schedule after Tuesday’s day off.

Another Harvin fan

Gardenhire on Monday’s big transaction: “I draft him every year on my fantasy team. Every year, I pick Percy Harvin. Yes, I’ll miss him. On my fantasy team.”

On deck

The Twins have no game scheduled Tuesday, one of two breaks in Grape­fruit League play. They return to action Wednesday night in Hammond Stadium, with Kevin Correia facing the Orioles.

PHIL MILLER

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