FORT MYERS, FLA. – Twins righthander Matt Magill has not pitched in an exhibition game since March 13 because of biceps tendinitis and is a candidate to start the season on the injured list.
However, he has been rehabilitating his arm and it’s at the point where he has been able to play catch in recent days. He hopes to throw a bullpen session by midweek.
Although he’s back on track to return, he will not be ready for Opening Day. He is expected to need a least a couple of weeks to be game-ready.
Magill’s injury appears to lead to either Mike Morin or Ryne Harper, both righthanded non-roster invites, making the Opening Day roster, which is expected to consist of 11 pitchers.
With five off days before April 12, the Twins likely will need only 11 pitchers, with lefthanded starter Martin Perez working out of the bullpen until he’s needed in the rotation on April 16.
Harper threw a scoreless inning Sunday and has not given up an earned run in 11 innings. Morin started spring training with seven scoreless innings but has given up runs in his past three outings.
The Twins created a spot on their 40-man roster Saturday when they traded outfielder Michael Reed to San Francisco for outfielder John Andreoli and cash. That also points to a non-roster pitcher — or someone claimed off waivers — making the team.
Magill, using a fastball that averaged 94.7 mph, had a 3.81 ERA in 40 games last season.
Manager Rocco Baldelli was not ready to announce the composition of his pitching staff Sunday.
“I’ll have some sort of firm answer for you,” he said, “maybe [Monday].”
New bullpen catcher
Connor Olson played for the St. Paul Saints last summer, but he will wear a Twins uniform in 2019. Only in the bullpen, though.
The Plymouth native and Concordia (St. Paul) alum has been hired as the Twins’ new bullpen catcher for all 162 games. Olson, 22, served in the same job for the Saints last year, and even got into three games — going 3-for-11 with a double — when regular catcher Justin O’Conner was injured.
Olson won’t get that chance with the Twins, but hardly minds.
“This is awesome,” Olson said. “My first day here, watching Nelson Cruz taking BP, playing catch with Jose Berrios — it’s unreal.”
Olson replaces Nate Dammann, the Twins’ bullpen catcher since 2007, who is now an assistant to the major league staff in charge of replay reviews.
The Twins on Monday will play Class AAA Rochester in what has become a regular event. Righthander Jake Odorizzi, who made his past two appearances in minor league games so he could work on certain aspects of his pitching in secret, will pitch for the Twins for the first time since March 10.
It’s the Twins’ next-to-last exhibition game before camp breaks and they head north. The game will not be televised or broadcasted on radio.