FORT MYERS, FLA. – The final Twins roster decisions will likely take up to the deadline for Opening Day, as the team monitors Phil Hughes’ injury situation as well as the waiver wire for upgrades.
Rosters are due at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, hours before the opener against Baltimore.
So the traveling part to Washington for Tuesday’s final exhibition game will include everyone remaining in camp — including bubble guys such as outfielder Ryan LaMarre, lefthander Gabriel Moya and righthander Tyler Kinley — as well as about 12 minor leaguers to be used as extra players against the Nationals.
Hughes emerged from his start Thursday against the Yankees with a strained left oblique, an injury that can linger. The disabled list is a possibility, so the Twins will take the next few days to wait and see if Hughes can throw in the bullpen.
“We’re buying time,” manager Paul Molitor said. “I wish I could tell you when he was going to get back on the mound, when there is going to be a bullpen or a side [throwing session]. I just don’t really know.”
If Hughes proves that he’s healthy and can be the long reliever until he’s needed to start on April 11, then the Twins have to cut either Moya, who has posted a 0.82 ERA this spring, or Kinley, a Rule 5 draft pick who has to be offered back to the Marlins.
“Obviously it has an impact on Moya and Kinley and how it is going to proceed,” Molitor said.
Hughes has told the Twins that there’s enough soreness to keep him from throwing as hard as he wants.
About the bench
Twins outfielder Zack Granite, bothered by a sore right shoulder, entered Sunday’s 6-1 loss to Boston in the sixth inning and had no problems. Indications are that he should make the team, if he’s healthy enough.
Mitch Garver should be the backup catcher, and Ehire Adrianza the main utility player off the bench. That leaves a competition between LaMarre, Robbie Grossman and the waiver wire.
LaMarre was 0-for-1 Sunday but is still batting .475 with two home runs and 10 RBI this spring, forcing the Twins into a tough decision. Grossman, who didn’t play Sunday, is batting .188.
The Twins would like to have a hitter come off the bench with a little thump, and that’s where waivers comes into play. They will see if anyone who fits that description becomes available. If not, they will make a decision among their own players.
• The Twins are expected to place Kennys Vargas on waivers this week. The Twins just claimed him on Saturday from the Reds, who claimed him from the Twins earlier in the week. The Twins want to keep Vargas at Class AAA Rochester for depth.
• Jasmily Santana, 15, sang the national anthem before Sunday’s game. Her father, former Twins ace and two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, looked on nervously.
• Righthander Ervin Santana, recovering from surgery in his middle finger, can now grip a ball. That puts him a little closer to playing catch and beginning a throwing program.
• Third baseman Miguel Sano’s conditioning wasn’t an issue in the seventh inning when he dived to his left to snag a line drive off the bat of Xander Bogaerts.
The Twins on Monday will fly to Washington, where they will play the Nationals on Tuesday afternoon. Jose Berrios will start for the Twins, against Nationals lefthander Gio Gonzalez.
La VELLE E. NEAL III