FORT MYERS, FLA. – Nelson Cruz entered the clubhouse Thursday with his left wrist wrapped, the result of being plunked by a pitch during batting practice the day before. But Cruz got dressed for duty like it was business as usual.
"It's going to be fine," he said.
Cruz was hit by righthander Cody Stashak, who walked one batter in 25 innings last season after being called up to the majors. The ball struck the wrist where a tendon used to be. That tendon ruptured last season as Cruz took a swing, but he was able to avoid a lengthy stay on the injured list at the time.
He had the area treated — the Twins took it easy with him Thursday — and is expected to resume full activities soon.
"He went into the training room this morning and has been receiving treatment, but mainly just giving him a day to make sure everything continues to feel good is important," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "We'll get him back out there in the next day or two, I'd say."
Shortstop Royce Lewis will lead off for the Twins on Friday against the Gophers in an exhibition game. A year ago, Lewis suffered an oblique strain on the eve of the Grapefruit League opener and ended up appearing in only two spring training games before being cut from camp.
"Being healthy and trying to control my health is one of the hardest things," Lewis said. "Some things are out of your control."
This year, the 20-year-old is healthy and has added 25 pounds of muscle. He's tried to add a few pounds each offseason by taking in more calories as he works out. He didn't anticipate the spurt he had during the offseason, but his shoulders are broader and his biceps are bulging this spring.
He will top a prospect-laden lineup against the Gophers. Lewis will be followed by righthander Alex Kirilloff, catcher Ryan Jeffers, designated hitter Trevor Larnach, left fielder Brent Rooker, second baseman Travis Blankenhorn, center fielder Gilberto Celestino, first baseman Zander Wiel and third baseman Jack Reinheimer. Righthander Randy Dobnak will start and be followed by lefthander Blaine Hardy, righthanders Trevor May, Tyler Duffy, Matt Wisler and others.
The Gophers will fly back to the Twin Cities immediately following the game because they have a three-game series with TCU that begins on Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota will not bring three of their top pitchers — Max Meyer, Patrick Frederickson and Sam Thoresen — to Fort Myers because of that series.
•Righthander Sergio Romo threw in the bullpen Wednesday and appears to be over the mild left shoulder separation that led the Twins to keep him from getting on a mound.
•Righthander Kenta Maeda threw a 42-pitch bullpen session Thursday, with teammates Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda providing support and intel on some hitters he will face.
Charlie Barnes, pitcher
2019 Stats: 7-8, 4.88 ERA in 25 starts for Class A Fort Myers, AA Pensa-cola and AAA Rochester.
Acquired: Selected in the fourth round of 2017 draft.
Role: Lefthanded starter at Fort Myers or Pensacola.
Did you know: Barnes doesn't throw hard, touching around 90 miles per hour. He thrives on precision and a quality changeup that floats in around 75-77 mph. He also mixes in a slider and curveball. Barnes graduated from Clemson in three years with a degree in parks, recreation and tourism management. He's the 16th member of his family to earn a degree from the university.
La VELLE E. NEAL III