Morneau rebuffed on contract talks
Justin Morneau’s representatives, earlier in camp, contacted the Twins to feel them out about starting contract negotiations. The Twins, according to sources, turned them down.
Morneau, who is a free agent after the season, said he would like to stay with the Twins if the team had a chance to win. He also said that he would not like to negotiate any deal during the regular season. So it looks like both sides will wait to see how the season goes.
Morneau missed the final three games of spring training because of lower back tightness, which concerned the Twins since they are about to play in cold weather. But Morneau took four at-bats in a minor league spring training game Saturday and felt good.
So he’s good to go for Opening Day.
De Vries update
Righthander Cole De Vries is feeling better after leaving Friday’s game after three innings because of mild stiffness in his forearm. Anything involving the forearm sounds concerning because it could be a warning sign of elbow problems. But De Vries reported to the park Saturday feeling much better,
He’s now considered on schedule to pitch Saturday at Baltimore.
‘‘That was just a precautionary decision,’’ Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. ‘‘He felt a little strain or something in his forearm. Doesn’t seem to be an issue.’’
Mike Pelfrey must feel he’s ready to start the season because he wasn’t worried about finishing spring training strong.
Pelfrey instead went to tinkering with his slider, and it showed in the Twins’ 4-2 loss to Boston. He gave up all four runs over 3⅔ innings on nine hits while striking out two.
Some of the hits were bloopers, meaning he was close to getting ground balls if he got those pitches down.
‘‘We wanted to work on my slider, and I think I got beat on it a lot tonight,’’ Pelfrey said. ‘‘I think that is my fourth-best pitch, and I probably and gave up four to five hits on it. Not a great day for them but I guess it’s a reason why it is my fourth-best pitch.’’
While Pelfrey tinkered, batters reached base and the game slowed down. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he feels that’s why his team missed a couple plays in the field.
‘‘The pace was nowhere,’’ Gardenhire said.
• Joe Mauer struck out looking in the second inning Saturday, It was only his second strikeout of spring training. Both came in games against the Red Sox in a span of three days.
• The Twins entered the weekend with less than 1,000 tickets remaining for Opening Day and officials were confident the game would be a sellout.
• Righthander Samuel Deduno (sore left groin) is starting to feel better but is not ready to throw in the bullpen yet.
The Twins will spend Sunday preparing for Opening Day on Monday. Liam Hendriks will remain Fort Myers, pitching in a minor league game. He was struck on the right hand by a line drive Tuesday, so the Twins want to make sure he’s recovered. He will likely start for the Twins on Friday is that goes well.
La Velle E. Neal III • 612-673-4888