Twins' Rosario hopes to return as DH soon
TAMPA, Fla.—Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario, dealing with right triceps tendinitis, said he still hasn't been cleared to resume throwing but continues to improve and hoped to return in a DH role in a few days.
"I'm a little bit hurt but I want to try to be 100 percent for the season," Rosario said Monday, March 12. "I feel better every day.
Twins manager Paul Molitor, however, said Rosario's progress has only been "fair" as his absence has dragged on since his last game appearance on March 4.
"I think he's probably a bit anxious to get some at-bats, but it's tough to find room," Molitor said. "We'll see if his throwing picks up here in the next couple days, and we can start maybe putting together a schedule about when he might play."
If that sounds like a slow-play of the situation, it's because the Twins will be careful with one of their core players.
"We're going to have to start some kind of throwing program which is going to allow him to play in a game," Molitor said. "When he gets in the game, most likely we're going to have to tell him to throw the ball to second base so he avoids that temptation of trying to make that one throw that's maybe going to set him back. If a guy's still symptomatic, you're not going to force the issue."
Rosario, who received a $50,000 raise to $602,500 after a 27-homer breakout season, said he wasn't aware of any talks regarding a multiyear contract extension after missing out on Super 2 arbitration eligibility by three service days.
"The only thing I'm focusing on right now is my arm and getting ready for the season," he said. "I was feeling good at the plate. I'm not swinging at a lot of balls (out of the zone)."
Odorizzi pushed back
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi had been scheduled to start Tuesday, March 13, against the Baltimore Orioles, which would have put him on track to start against them on Opening Day at Camden Yards. That still figures to be the case as teams often attempt to shield their starters from seeing early-season opponents during spring training.
With newly signed Lance Lynn making his Twins debut on Tuesday, Odorizzi will now skip Tuesday's start and throw a second between-starts bullpen session on Thursday in advance of a start Sunday against Twins minor leaguers. Odorizzi last pitched in a game on March 7.
Asked if Odorizzi is healthy in light of the layoff, Molitor said, "I think relatively. I think he's doing OK."
Count to five
After stating repeatedly he was leaning toward opening the year with a four-man rotation while awaiting Ervin Santana's return from Feb. 6 finger surgery, Twins manager Paul Molitor said a conventional five-man rotation was now back in play.
"I've got more options, just with the depth, just with other factors including how ready (Lynn is) going to be as far as length," Molitor said. "You want to try to be as creative as you can to look at every option."
Veteran right-hander Phil Hughes, fighting for one of those rotation spots, gave up a solo homer on a changeup to Tyler Austin but looked sharp in a four-inning stint against his former team.
"Our team is better with these moves that we made," Hughes said. "It kind of makes my status a little cloudier, but I can't let that affect me. I have to still try to be a productive guy on this team. I still have to crack that five. We have a lot of good arms in that room now. That's a really good thing for the Twins."
Twins super utility man Ehire Adrianza (left calf) expects to return to game action on Tuesday after missing the past week. He suffered the setback while playing left field against the Philadelphia Phillies at Clearwater.
"I was trying to play through the pain but I couldn't (ignore) it anymore," he said. "I have to be smart because it was early in the spring. I just want to be ready on Opening Day. That's all that counts. Right now I feel 100 percent. Hopefully I'll keep out of the training room."
Lefty Stephen Gonsalves was due to throw another bullpen on Monday and work three innings his next time out in a midweek game. The Twins' top pitching prospect has a 2.45 earned-run average in just 3 2/3 innings this spring in the Grapefruit League, plus another two scoreless innings against the University of Minnesota in the spring opener.
Catcher Willians Astudillo made a no-look pickoff throw to first that nabbed pinch-runner Shane Robinson, the ex-Twins reserve. Astudillo went out on a back field and practiced the play last week.