FORT MYERS, FLA. – Righthander Samuel Deduno is out for a few days because of a groin muscle pull, an injury that occurred Tuesday while pitching for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic title game.
It rained during the game, and play was halted when Deduno requested that the mound be repaired. What has come to light is that Deduno slipped on the mound with his left, or landing, leg during the game, causing the injury.
He threw in the bullpen Thursday and felt some discomfort. He was sore Friday and his condition remained unchanged Saturday.
‘‘He didn’t think it was a big deal,’’ Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, ‘‘but it is a big deal. He can’t start with that. We’re on hold until he gets back off of that. Kinda makes us ad-lib a little bit again.’’
It’s unclear if Deduno will be ready to pitch in a game before spring training ends. It really handcuffs the Twins, who looked forward to seeing him make two starts following his successful WBC run and compete for a spot in the rotation.
Deduno, who was 6-5 with a 4.44 ERA last year with the Twins, was scheduled to start Sunday, which won’t happen now. Righthander P.J. Walters will replace Deduno. Walters isn’t stretched out, so it’s unclear if he will be able to make a case to be added to the rotation. He could go north as a long reliever. It looks as if righthanders Cole De Vries and Liam Hendriks are the main competitors for the final spot in the rotation, with Walters on the fringe.
Pressly looking good
Rule 5 pick Ryan Pressly appears close to locking down a spot in the bullpen.
Pressly threw another scoreless inning Friday to lower his ERA to 0.82. His velocity was up to the low 90s, and his breaking ball was effective.
‘‘We like him. We like him a lot,’’ Gardenhire said. ‘‘He’s throwing the ball well. Good angle, nice little breaking ball, good velocity.’’
If Pressly makes the team, he won’t be babied just because he’s a rookie who hasn’t pitched above AA.
‘‘We think he can pitch now.’’ Gardenhire said. ‘‘Not for the future.’’
• Righthander Anthony Swarzak (cracked ribs) is scheduled to pitch an inning in a minor league spring training game Monday as he continues to work his way back. He can’t come off the 15-day disabled list until April 6.
• Lefthander Scott Diamond pitched three innings for Class AAA Rochester on Saturday, giving up three runs on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts. The plan is for Diamond to return to action on April 12 after making a full recovery from offseason surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow.
The Twins return to Fort Myers on Sunday to play host to Toronto. Walters will start for the Twins while righthander David Bush starts for the Blue Jays. First pitch is at 12:05 p.m.
La Velle E. Neal III