FORT MYERS, FLA. – Rain began falling just before the scheduled first pitch on Wednesday, then wouldn’t stop. So the Twins’ game against Tampa Bay was rained out.
If it only had been scheduled for the afternoon, when it was dry. Then more players would have been like third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who left the Lee County Sports Complex having accomplished something.
Plouffe, on the comeback from a strained right calf, went 1-for-3 with a double and scored twice from second base during his second consecutive minor league spring training game.
“It felt great,’’ Plouffe said. “I’m looking forward to getting back in this lineup.”
Plouffe had the rest of the day off, but he hung out at Hammond Stadium because he misses his teammates. Sure enough, game canceled.
If he can make it through Thursday, he’ll be back with them on Friday.
“Friday, he will be back out there at third base,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s running fine, no problems.”
That could also be the day in which Gardenhire trots out his Opening Day lineup. His posted lineup on Wednesday night have been a hint of what’s coming.
Center fielder Aaron Hicks led off and was followed by second baseman Brian Dozier, catcher Joe Mauer, left fielder Josh Willingham, first baseman Justin Morneau, designated hitter Ryan Doumit, right fielder Chris Parmelee, third baseman Jamey Carroll and shortstop Pedro Florimon. Plouffe likely would replace Carroll as the No. 8 hitter.
The Twins feel they won’t have trouble scoring runs, even with uncertainty in the leadoff spot following the offseason trades of Denard Span and Ben Revere.
“I know what we can do offensively. I’m already excited,” said Plouffe, who batted .235 with 24 homers and 55 RBI last season. “You look at the middle of the lineup, there are guys with proven track records, and towards the bottom there’s guys like myself and Parmelee who want to prove ourselves.”
Plouffe needs to stay healthy to prove himself. A bruised thumb hampered him during the second half of last season, and it was about a year ago that he was nursing a sore right hamstring.
• Righthander Mike Pelfrey, Wednesday’s scheduled starter, will join Class AAA Rochester on a road trip to Sarasota on Thursday to get his work in.