Daily dispatch from Fort Meyers
Backup catcher out because of sore knee
JUPITER, FLA. – Twins catcher Mitch Garver is day to day because of a sprained right knee suffered during Wednesday’s game against Houston in West Palm Beach.
Garver was participating in a rundown during the first inning. Houston’s George Springer was thrown out at home and Jose Altuve was out at third during the 3-2-5 double play. Garver injured his knee during the play but stayed in the game and completed his scheduled five-inning stint.
“I was a little bit surprised after the game when I heard that he had tweaked his knee a little bit on a rundown,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “He came back after the game and is getting checked [Thursday].”
The Twins aren’t taking any chances and sent Garver out for a MRI exam. The club will know more about his condition Friday.
Garver, 27, is expected to start the season as Jason Castro’s backup and play in around 40 games. He’s 1-for-8 with a home run in spring training games. Garver and Castro are the only two catchers in camp who are on the 40-man roster. Of the nonroster invites in camp, Jordan Pacheco has the most experience, with 377 major league games played over six seasons. Bobby Wilson has appeared in 324 games over eight seasons.
Mejia’s mixed outing
Adalberto Mejia pitched a 1-2-3 first inning Thursday against the Cardinals, then did the same in the third inning.
But that second inning was a little rough.
Mejia fell behind Marcell Ozuna 2-0 in the second, then served up a pitch that might still be traveling after Ozuna launched it over the wall in left for a long home run. Oscar Mercado lined a two-out RBI single later in the inning, giving St. Louis a 2-0 lead at the time.
Overall, Mejia was pleased with the way he pitched, getting five ground-ball outs. He just fell behind Ozuna and tried to be aggressive.
“You got that exactly right,” Mejia said. “I was trying to be aggressive, and he just connected.”
Molitor said Mejia is not throwing many breaking balls, preferring to work on command of his fastball. He’s fine with that, as pitchers progress through spring training in different ways.
“I know he’s got a couple different breaking balls,” Molitor said. “But, no, I like guys early in camp getting their arm strength up and trust that they can use their fastball.”
Molitor was told Logan Morrison refers to him as “Paulie 3K,” which is a nod to the Hall of Famer’s 3,319 career hits.
The manager, who likes to return serve in these situations, is working on a response.
“What’s he go by, LoMo?” Molitor asked. “I’ll have to think of something besides that.”
Molitor has texted Morrison but has not met him yet.
• Molitor said it didn’t look good for Michael Kohn when he grabbed his arm Wednesday after throwing a pitch. But he said the training staff is now hopeful the righthander does not have a serious injury.
• Outfielder Brock Stassi (back) could return to the lineup as soon as Sunday.
• Outfielder Ryan LaMarre (groin) told Molitor he could play one day after straining his groin muscle, but Molitor sent him back to Fort Myers as a precaution.
Morrison is scheduled to make his Twins debut during Friday’s game against Toronto. Righthander Jake Odorizzi, traded to the Twins nearly two weeks ago, also makes his spring debut. Lefthander Thomas Pannone will start for the Blue Jays. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.
La VELLE E. NEAL III