09/26/12 1:04 PM ET
Though happy to be healthy, Morneau not satisfied
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Morneau wants to be more productive and isn't happy with Minnesota's place in the standings. But Morneau, who was given the day off against the Yankees on Wednesday, is hoping it'll springboard into next season, as he's already played in more than 130 games for the first time since '09.
"I'm not just happy to be out there," Morneau said. "I guess you can look for a silver lining, but it's hard to be satisfied with our team in last place. But being out there is a start, and hopefully next year, we'll be playing for something."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said it's been nice being able to write Morneau's name in the lineup every day, and that it's hard to convince the slugger to take a day off. But Gardenhire was able to do that successfully on Wednesday, as Morneau entered play as a career .140 hitter against CC Sabathia, and the Twins have their final off-day of the season on Thursday.
"Even when I've tried to talk to him and tell him he needs a day here, he'll argue his way back into the lineup," Gardenhire said. "But I didn't give him the choice today. I wanted to give him back-to-back days, especially against Sabathia."
Gardy goes small to try to get CC off his game
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire went with his small-ball lineup against the Yankees on Wednesday in an effort to throw CC Sabathia off his game.
Gardenhire started Alexi Casilla at second base, with Jamey Carroll getting the start at third base in place of Trevor Plouffe.
"Alexi Casilla is 10-for-18 [against Sabathia] and Jamey Carroll is swinging really good," Gardenhire said before the game. "So I just put Jamey over there. Plouffe has had some struggles lately, missing some balls and popping them up. He played both games in the doubleheader [Sunday] without any breaks [since], so he looked pretty worn out last night."
Sabathia has plenty of experience pitching against the Twins dating back to his time with the Indians. The lefty came in with a career 3.00 ERA in 31 starts against Minnesota, but he's been known to get flustered when the Twins bunt on him.
"Hopefully it's a chance to irritate Sabathia a little bit with little guys," Gardenhire said. "Maybe some bunts to move him off the mound and straighten his hat out. I can say that because I know the guy really well."
Gardy would like to see more of Parmelee next year
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins would like to find room for Chris Parmelee as an everyday player next season, but manager Ron Gardenhire said they won't know where Parmelee will play until later in the offseason.
Gardenhire said he has no problem with Parmelee playing first base, right field or left field next year.
But the Twins currently have a logjam at those positions, with Justin Morneau at first base and Josh Willingham, Denard Span and Ben Revere in the outfield.
So it only seems natural that the Twins will be active on the trade market this coming offseason, but Gardenhire said a move will only be made if it makes sense for the team, and not just to get Parmelee in the lineup.
"We're going to have to figure that out, on who's going to be here and who's not, and how we're going to get pitching," Gardenhire said. "But [let's] not launch this guy so that this guy can play every day. Everything we do will be to make this team more competitive, to create a better roster around the core guys we have. But I would like to see Parmelee get more at-bats next year."