BRADENTON, Fla. -- Second baseman Alexi Casilla was a late scratch from Thursday's game against the Pirates because of tightness in the back of his right knee.

The injury isn't considered serious, and he's expected to be back in the lineup on Friday.

"He tried to stretch, tried to get loose, but he's got stiffness in the back of his leg," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "So ... they're going to try to loosen him up, but he's not going to play."

Daniel Santana started in Casilla's place and batted second. The 21-year-old prospect hit .247 with seven homers, 15 doubles and five triples with Class A Beloit last season.

"People have been pumping [Santana] up down there," Gardenhire said. "He's a nice little player. We're going to get him out there and get a chance to take a look at him. I like that."

Fellow prospect Angel Morales started in right field and batted sixth. Morales, 22, dealt with an elbow injury last season and was limited to just 33 games with Class A Advanced Fort Myers, where he hit .264 with three homers and six doubles.

Santana went 2-for-5 with a walk but left the game in the ninth inning after dislocating his left pinkie sliding into second on a double. Morales went 2-for-3 with a double and two walks.

Pavano target of extortion plot by ex-classmate

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Right-hander Carl Pavano has been targeted by an extortion plot involving a former high school classmate, his family told the Record-Journal of Meriden.

Pavano's family told police that Christian Bedard, 36, of Southington, Conn., tried to extort money and a luxury SUV from Pavano by threatening to publicly reveal a three-year "emotional and physical relationship" the two had while attending Southington High School.

Southington police seized a laptop and journal from Bedard's home last week but have not charged him. Pavano's sister told the newspaper that Bedard's claims are false.

Through a team spokesperson, Pavano declined to comment, because it's an ongoing legal matter.

General manager Terry Ryan said that he was told of the issue during the bus ride from Fort Myers to Bradenton but didn't want to comment further.

"I haven't talked to Carl about it, and until I do, I'm not going to be able to give you much," Ryan said. "So I'm going to have to get some details, see what Carl says and go from there. It affects Carl, and we'll have to see exactly what comes about here. I don't know enough about it. I haven't talked to him yet. I suspect I'll have more [on Friday]."

Manager Ron Gardenhire, who heard about the issue while playing catch before Thursday's game against the Pirates, has not talked to Pavano either.

"It's really unfair for me to say anything until I talk to Carl and see whatever his take is on the whole thing," Gardenhire said. "I would imagine he's in the same situation as all of us. He can't do anything about it. Other people are going to take care of it. We'll see. I've got to talk to him before I talk to anybody about that."

Plouffe to see Grapefruit action Friday

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Outfielder Trevor Plouffe went 2-for-3 in a Minor League game on Thursday and will return to Grapefruit play on Friday in his first big league action since straining his right hamstring on March 18.

Plouffe went 4-for-4 with three homers and a double in a Minor League game on Wednesday, and played outfield for the first time on Thursday.

The Twins plan on getting Plouffe plenty of at-bats to get ready for the season, as Spring Training is nearing an end, with the last game scheduled for April 4.

"I'll get him in as much as I possibly can," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Maybe on days he doesn't start up here, I'll let him go down the street and get five to six at-bats."

Plouffe is also scheduled to see some time at shortstop before spring is over, as he'll be used there during the season in emergency situations.

Waldrop diagnosed with strained right elbow

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Kyle Waldrop, a top candidate to open the season in the bullpen, has been diagnosed with a strained right elbow, according to general manager Terry Ryan.

Waldrop hasn't pitched since Friday, and it's unlikely that he'll be healthy enough to make the club out of Spring Training.

"We're a little concerned about him," Ryan said. "He hasn't done so well here the last day or two, so we're going to have to shut him down for a while."

Waldrop posted a 1.50 ERA in six innings this spring, striking out three and walking none. That was enough to impress Ryan, who said Waldrop would have made the team if healthy.

"He did pretty good, I thought," Ryan said. "I was thinking that he put himself in pretty good position. It's unfortunate. This guy hadn't been hurt in a number of years."