MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he likes having Chris Herrmann on the roster, as it gives him the flexibility to use Josmil Pinto as a designated hitter on days he's not serving as catcher.
Herrmann, who can catch, play first and both corner outfield spots, was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on April 7 after Jason Bartlett was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle.
Having Herrmann on the bench as an extra backup catcher to Kurt Suzuki, has allowed Pinto to get extra at-bats as a designated hitter. Pinto started there on Tuesday against the Blue Jays to mark his fifth start at DH this season. Pinto is hitting .231/.333/.577 this year with three homers and five RBIs in eight games.
Gardenhire said he fought to have Herrmann on the roster so he could use Pinto more at DH this season, but Herrmann ultimately started the year at Triple-A before the injury to Bartlett.
"We were hoping to get that figured out in Spring Training so we could use [Pinto] as a DH and get him more at-bats but it didn't work out," Gardenhire said. "We went a lot of different ways with a lot of different arguments. But with the injuries we've had, this is kind of the way we like it. We want to see him swinging. We don't want him sitting here. He can get plenty of at-bats and catch, too."
Gardenhire said the Twins will have to decide whether to keep Herrmann on the roster once players on the DL such as Josh Willingham (left wrist contusion), Oswaldo Arcia (sprained right wrist) and Bartlett return.
"Once everybody gets back, we'll have to try to figure out how to keep getting [Pinto] at-bats," Gardenhire said. "We like running him up there so it's working out pretty good."
Arcia receives cortisone shot in ailing wrist
MINNEAPOLIS -- Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, who is on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 5 with a sprained right wrist, received a cortisone shot in his wrist on Tuesday.
Arcia, who originally injured his wrist taking batting practice in the cages during the first series of the year in Chicago, is expected to rest his wrist for the next few days.
"We'll let that settle in for the next couple days and then test it out," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony. "It's still a little inflamed and a little sore. So hopefully that'll take care of that."
Antony added the Twins still haven't decided on whether Arcia will go on a rehab assignment before rejoining the club.
Jason Bartlett, who has been on the DL with a sprained left ankle since April 7, began his rehab assignment on Tuesday. He played in a game at extended spring camp, and will play in a few more this week before playing with Class A Advanced Fort Myers, according to Antony.
Dozier's pop a plus, but Gardy wants consistency
MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Dozier is proving early this season that hitting a team-leading 18 home runs last season was no fluke, as he again leads the team in homers.
Dozier entered Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays tied for second in the American League with four homers in 12 games. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's not surprised that his leadoff hitter is supplying power again but would like to see him improve his .191 batting average and .328 on-base percentage.
"He can obviously do it and he's doing it again this year," Gardenhire said. "But ultimately what we'd like to see for him is to get his batting average and on-base percentage up leading off. But home runs are gonna come with that swing. He has a short swing but it's to the ball. If they make a mistake, he can pull the ball, and in this ballpark if you can pull the ball, you can do some things."
Gardenhire also noted that Dozier has been hurt by some tough luck early this year, and it's evidenced by his batting average on balls in play (BABIP). Dozier is hitting just .161 on balls hit in play after hitting .278 on balls in play last year, according to fangraphs.com. The league average BABIP is usually about .300.
He's also hitting line drives at a higher rate than last year, with 22.9 percent of the balls he has hit this season being classified as line drives, compared to 20.8 percent last season.
"He's had some bad luck hitting the ball right at some people," Gardenhire said. "But we believe he can be a .275-.300 hitter. That's what we hope. He's a pretty good all-around player."