CLEVELAND – The Twins on Thursday made several roster moves. Before the game against the Indians, they placed Sam Fuld on the seven-day disabled list for concussions and called up infielder Eduardo Nunez from Class AAA Rochester. After the game, they optioned Pedro Florimon and Chris Herrmann to Rochester.
The next move could include Joe Mauer.
The first baseman has been playing catch and swinging lightly while treating his sore back. That ends Friday, when he plans to increase his activities.
"I'm going to get to the park early and give it a good test and see where we are at," Mauer said.
Mauer has told the Twins that he thinks he can be ready to play by Friday or Saturday.
"I think Saturday is more realistic," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
If Mauer can't play by then, look for him to land on the disabled list. He will have missed a week of games by then, so missing another week won't be that much of a stretch. Playing shorthanded, like the Twins have since Mauer suffered back spasms Sunday, affects the rest of the roster. Players such as Jason Kubel and Chris Colabello can't get time off, and it can wear them down.
"It doesn't make any sense not to do it," Gardenhire said.
Mauer is dealing with discomfort on the lower left side of his back that's been grabbing at him since he left Sunday's game. But he's been encouraged by the progress he's made.
"It's definitely getting better," he said.
The other moves
Herrmann was 1-for-4 on Thursday — raising his batting average to .128.
Florimon didn't start Thursday. He's batting .108.
The moves had to be made so both players can go to Rochester and find their swings. Despite Florimon's awful numbers, Gardenhire had a hard time sending him down.
"He's a great shortstop," Gardenhire said. "He can pick it. He can play shortstop with anybody in baseball, he just needs to find his swing.
"It's tough for me with Flory because I appreciate the heck out of what he does. But if you see him, he knows he needs this. This is very important to get his confidence up and get his swing right now. He is not helping us other than the defensive part, and he wants to be an all-around baseball player."
Florimon took his demotion like a pro.
"Defense, I can pick it," he said. "I have to hit a little more. If I can hit a little more I can be here a long time."
The Twins will announce Friday who will replace Florimon and Herrmann on the roster. Aaron Hicks, who's eligible to come off the concussion DL, should be one of the call-ups.
The Twins' inexperience, because of injuries, showed a few times Thursday.
Eduardo Escobar got turned around on Michael Brantley's drive over his head in the first inning and missed making a catch — although it would have been a tough one. The Twins had Escobar play deep in center because it's easier for him to come in on balls than go back. That left space in front of him, though. Escobar played so deep that Mike Aviles was able to stretch a single into a double in the seventh because Escobar had to run so far in to get to the ball. Escobar did make a nice throw to Danny Santana, who relayed home in the first to get Carlos Santana at the plate.
Carlos Santana beat out an infield hit in the fifth because Danny Santana hesitated before throwing to first.
"He has to recognize the pace of the game up here and be a little quicker," Gardenhire said. "A couple guys got on because of it.''