Twins notes: Bartlett will work on ankle, swing during assignment

Jason Bartlett will head Sunday to Fort Myers, Fla., on board with the plan to get him as many at-bats as he needs to get going at the plate.

Bartlett is on the disabled list because of a sprained left ankle and will begin a rehabilitation stint while with Class A Fort Myers, but the Twins see it as a chance to sharpen his swing after the veteran shortstop went 4-for-43 in spring training. Utility players are not expected to generate a lot of offense, but they are expected to at least be functional.

“I need it,” said Bartlett, who before the opening week of this season last played in the majors in May 2012, sitting out all of 2013. “I felt good coming out of spring and, obviously, when you sit there [on the bench] you lose it. I feel good in the cage, but it’s a matter of seeing something. I’m excited to get back out there and start playing every day and see if I can come back up here and help the team.”

Bartlett, who will work out with the Gulf Coast League Twins a few days before joining the Miracle, is expected to eventually rejoin the major league team. But what if he doesn’t find his groove?

“We haven’t talked about that,” assistant General Manager Rob Antony said. “We talked about him getting down there and getting at-bats.”

The plan is for Bartlett to end up with Class AAA Rochester before completing his rehab assignment, which can last up to 21 days.

Willingham update

Outfielder Josh Willingham had a magnetic resonance imaging exam on his left wrist Saturday. While leaving for his appointment, he expressed confidence, saying, “They aren’t going to find anything.”

The Twins ran out of patience in playing shorthanded, making the move to call up righthander Michael Tonkin. Willingham was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 6. There’s a chance that Willingham could also go down to Fort Myers to get some swings in.

Three-man bench

Tonkin’s return gives the Twins 13 pitchers. With an off day every week in April, it appeared the last thing they would need would be an extra pitcher. But that was before the run of short starts.

So the Twins decided to beef up the bullpen with Tonkin’s fastball. He had thrown 4⅔ scoreless innings at Rochester with no walks and five strikeouts when he was called up to replace Willingham.

“You have to roll with the situation,” acting Twins manager Terry Steinbach said, “and our bullpen has been used a little more than we wanted it to because of our starting rotation situation. So if we can get a little help, a little bit of breathing room, we’ll see how this thing rolls on and get back to that four-person bench.”

That leaves the Twins with a three-man bench. Saturday, it consisted of Chris Herrmann, Eduardo Escobar and Darin Mastroianni. Herrmann’s presence is important because it makes it easier for the Twins to use catcher Josmil Pinto as a designated hitter.

Pinto homered Friday and was 1-for-4 in Saturday’s 7-1 victory over Kansas City. He will get his turns behind the plate as Kurt Suzuki’s backup, but the Twins want his bat in the lineup when he isn’t catching.

“Let’s face it,” Steinbach said. “To have pop in our lineup is something we have been striving for a long time. He showed us in the three weeks he was up last year what he can do to the offense. He had a nice spring for us, and we’re going to try to get him in there as much as we can, as well as try to get him behind the plate.”

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MinnesotaK. Gibson (11-10)000
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NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
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Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
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St. Louis 1
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UCF 24
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UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 6 3rd Qtr 11:35
Massachusetts 0
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(2) Alabama 10
Rice 10 2nd Qtr 5:51
(17) Notre Dame 14
(10) South Dakota St 10 2nd Qtr 2:19
(24) Missouri 21
Fla Atlantic 7 2nd Qtr 6:29
(22) Nebraska 24
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Northwestern 7
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Miami-Ohio 3
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(6) Auburn 21
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
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(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
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(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 1st Half 5:00
Seattle 0
New England 4:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
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Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
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Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
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Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
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