Daily dispatch from Fort Myers
Dozier reports, can finally smile
Brian Dozier had a smile on his face Wednesday morning as he walked into the Twins' clubhouse. He assured everyone who asked that he wasn't smiling Tuesday.
"It was the worst pain ever," Dozier said of his weekend bout with a kidney stone, a battle that ended in a nearby hospital Tuesday, when Dozier underwent a procedure we won't go into detail about. "Well, at least they didn't have to cut me open," Dozier said. "But I was on my knees all weekend."
The trouble started during a dinner with his buddies in Mississippi, a tradition he observes before departing for camp every year. "I thought I was dying," Dozier said of being stricken at the restaurant. "I went to the [emergency room], man. I rolled in there, and they were like, 'Oh, it's just a kidney stone.' And I said, 'WELL DO SOMETHING.' "
But the doctors' advice was just to drink lots of water — and wait. It's a problem that often solves itself, so Dozier traveled to Fort Myers in time to report to camp Sunday. Things quickly got worse, though, and by Tuesday morning, the stone had gotten stuck in his bladder. "And that wasn't good," Dozier said. "It was six solid hours of pain on Tuesday, and I finally called the doctor and said, 'Enough.' "
Dozier this winter gave up eating meat, and that may have been part of the problem, he said. "The doctor said it was too many leafy vegetables. It's supposed to be good for you, but you have to intake a lot of water," the Twins' second baseman said. "So there was a little dehydration."
He doesn't have to stay away from baseball, though. The sixth-year starter went through a light workout Wednesday, and he hopes to be up to full speed again by Thursday. Missing a couple of days of camp won't have any affect on him, he said — though one thing will change.
"I'm going to stay away from spinach for a while," he vowed.
•Former AL MVP Justin Morneau was in uniform for the first time as a coach Wednesday, and Paul Molitor wants him to find a role that's comfortable. "He asked a ton of questions in small meetings and large meetings. He's eager to learn," the Twins' manager said. "He wants to see what he's challenged by and see where that takes him."
• The Twins expect a crowd of about 6,000 fans for Thursday night's exhibition game against the University of Minnesota. Among them will be several hundred first responders from the Fort Myers area and their families. The Twins distributed free tickets among them in recognition of their work during Hurricane Irma last September.
Let's meet Jordan Pacheco
2017 stats: .273 with three home runs in 42 games with the independent league Long Island Ducks.
Acquired: Signed as a free agent to minor-league contract
Role: Competing for utility role; he's played six positions, but is currently a catcher.
Did you know: The Rockies' starting third baseman in 2012-13, he's now trying to beat Mitch Garver for a job as the backup catcher. And the two share amazing similarities: Both attended La Cueva High in Albuquerque, then played at the University of New Mexico, and both were drafted in the ninth round — Pacheco in 2007, Garver in 2013.