04/11/12 8:18 PM ET
Gardenhire thankful for opportunity to restore order
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
The Twins dealt with a plethora of injuries last season, including early-season setbacks to Joe Mauer and Tsuyoshi Nishioka, and never used their Opening Day lineup after their regular-season opener against the Blue Jays.
They came close against the Indians on Aug. 12, but Michael Cuddyer ended up being a late scratch with a strained neck suffered during batting practice.
"I almost got it in Cleveland, except for early batting practice killed me," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire joked before Wednesday's game against the Angels.
Gardenhire said that Ryan Doumit was ready to make a start in right field at Target Field after practicing there during pregame warmups on Monday and Wednesday. Doumit served as the catcher in the home opener against the Angels on Monday, which gave Mauer back-to-back starts at first base.
"I said I wanted to give him a day out there working and he had that," Gardenhire said. "We got Joe some nice days off from behind the plate after a long spring. We're rested. We're ready to go. We'll see what happens. It's tough putting both your catchers in the lineup. It's really tough. But I like to see Dooms' bat in the lineup. The guy can swing it."
Hendriks recovering, hoping for Sunday start
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins right-hander Liam Hendriks, who missed Sunday's start with food poisoning, worked out without any problems on Tuesday and Wednesday at Target Field.
Hendriks, who was hospitalized in Baltimore from Saturday to Monday, played catch both days, and said he's in line to throw a bullpen session on Thursday with the hope of starting on Sunday against the Rangers.
"I came in yesterday and did some running and throwing and everything feels good," Hendriks said. "I feel strong. So we'll see what happens from there. I'm throwing a bullpen tomorrow. I've just been playing catch."
The Twins need a fifth starter on Sunday, as they opened the year with a four-man rotation because of an off-day on Tuesday.
Right-hander Anthony Swarzak, who started in Hendriks' place on Sunday, is expected to start on Friday against the Rangers, while right-hander Nick Blackburn will start on Saturday.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the rotation remains in flux, especially considering right-hander Scott Baker will miss the year due to elbow surgery.
"We'll sit down and start writing it all out and figure out who fits where and where everyone is slotted," Gardenhire said. "First, we've got to see what the kid does. He feels pretty good. But he was pretty sick. See how strong he is and go from there."
Marquis' return to Twins' rotation is in sight
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins right-hander Jason Marquis remains on track to start with Double-A New Britain on Thursday, and is slated to rejoin the rotation after his outing.
Marquis, who missed two weeks of Spring Training tending to his 7-year-old daughter, who was injured in a bicycle accident, is expected to throw around 100 pitches. He allowed just one run over six innings in his first outing with New Britain.
The Twins haven't decided where Marquis will be slotted in the rotation just yet, but it could be as early as Tuesday against the Yankees in New York.
"He's game-on," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "If it were up to him he'd be pitching for us tomorrow, not down there, but we're trying to do the smart thing and let him get some innings underneath his belt, as you need in Spring Training, before we throw him into the hot box here. He's pitched 13 years. He knows when he's ready. But he also knows this is the right thing now."