CLEVELAND – Joe Mauer was spotted in the workout room again Tuesday, and he told trainers his back is feeling better after suffering from spasms on Sunday. He’s still not moving well, but said that he’s improved.
How much improvement?
“I can put my shoes on,” he said with a snicker. “The last couple days have been pretty brutal. So I’m starting to move around a little better, which is good.”
Mauer appears to be at least a couple of days away from returning to action. He said he would like to get some swings in and see how he feels before he returns to action. He said his back began to bother him during batting practice Sunday and the discomfort increased until he had to take himself out of the game against Baltimore.
“I’m starting to feel little bit better,” he said. “It’s starting to release a little bit. If I come in [Wednesday] feeling good, I might be able to get out on the field and do some baseball stuff, which would be good.”
Mauer has been stretching, applying heat and having massages to try to get his back loose. He said he’s never had a back problem like the one he has now.
“He’s feeling better but still not ready,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “When I walked into the trainer’s room, he was still in the whirlpool and is doing all the treatment you’re supposed to do. Day-to-day, that’s basically where we are with this thing until it lightens up on him and he is able to go and do everything.”
The Twins’ upcoming roster move might have to be made with Mauer in mind, in case he needs a few more days to recover.
Chris Colabello has moved to first base from the outfield since Mauer has been out. His error in the first inning Tuesday allowed a run to score, but he later made up for it with a solo homer in the seventh.
It took only two moves Monday for Gardenhire to deplete his bench. He doesn’t like that, and he really doesn’t like his outfield depth right now.
Look for the Twins to make at least a roster move after Wednesday’s game to add a position player.
The Twins went into Tuesday’s game against the Indians with a two-man bench once again with Mauer out. While one of his available bench players, Eduardo Escobar, can play some in the outfield, it’s not an ideal situation. So Gardenhire hinted that a roster adjustment is on the way.
“We do need another outfielder eventually,” he said.
Oswaldo Arcia, recovered from a right wrist sprain, is batting .304 with no homers and three RBI at Class AAA Rochester during a rehabilitation assignment.
“He just needs at-bats,” Gardenhire said. “Just hasn’t had enough consistency. The hand is not bothering him.”
Aaron Hicks, on the seven-day concussion disabled list, is eligible come off Thursday, but he just started taking some light swings. The Twins could elect to send Hicks to Rochester to get some at-bats and make sure he’s 100 percent.
Gardenhire gave shortstop Danny Santana his first major league start Tuesday. But Gardenhire said he nearly started Santana in left field after watching him work out in the outfield before games since being called up from Rochester on Saturday.
With Twins starting pitching stabilizing — the staff entered Tuesday with a 2.98 ERA over its previous eight games — officials might decide it no longer needs a 13-man pitching staff.
Josh Willingham (left wrist) hit off a tee with no problems.