First baseman Justin Morneau did not play Friday after reporting a slightly stiff lower back Thursday before a game against Boston. And he’ll likely sit out Saturday’s game against Boston as a precaution.
“He’s had plenty of at-bats, he’s played in the World [Baseball Classic] games,’’ Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s done it all this spring. I’m not going to take a chance.’’
The Twins expect Morneau to be in the lineup for Monday’s season opener against the Tigers.
In other injury news:
• Righthander Liam Hendriks said his bullpen session Thursday went well and he will start Sunday in a minor league spring training game while the rest of the team unpacks in the Twin Cities. If that goes well, look for Hendriks to join the team next week.
• Outfielder Darin Mastroianni, out all week after fouling a ball off his left foot, said he’ll likely miss Saturday’s game and try to be ready for Opening Day.
The Tigers finally announced their rotation for the opening series against the Twins at Target Field. The matchups go like this:
Monday: Righthander Vance Worley vs.righthander Justin Verlander.
Wednesday: Righthander Kevin Correia vs. righthander Anibal Sanchez.
Thursday: Righthander Mike Pelfrey vs.righthander Rick Porcello.
• Lefthander Rafael Perez (rehab from shoulder surgery) has been throwing in the bullpen and could pitch in an extended spring training game within the next two weeks.
• Righthander Rich Harden (rehab from major shoulder surgery) is making progress, too, and is throwing in the bullpen. But he’s not close to appearing in a game. The plan has always been to take it slow with Harden, who has been plagued by shoulder problems.
• The Twins hope to get some clarity in the next couple of days on the case involving prospect Deibinson Romero, who has not been granted a visa to leave the Dominican Republic for the United States. Some of Romero’s documents were lost in a flood, which has caused the delay. Romero has been working out at the Twins’ complex in Boca Chica while waiting for resolution of his case.
The Twins will play their final game of the spring training schedule Saturday against Boston at JetBlue Park. Pelfrey will start for the Twins, with Joe Mauer behind the plate. Lefthander Felix Doubront will start for the Red Sox.
La Velle E. Neal III