9/6/2013 7:57 P.M. ET
Twins get used to Target Field without Morneau
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- It was a strange scene in the clubhouse at Target Field on Friday, as it marked the first time the Twins played at home since trading long-time first baseman Justin Morneau to the Pirates on Saturday.
Morneau had vacated the corner locker across from Joe Mauer, and veteran left fielder Josh Willingham had moved in.
"It's weird," said Mauer, who had been teammates with Morneau since 2004. "Just weird in the clubhouse -- cleaning out his locker. I've talked to him a number of times since it happened. I'm happy for him. He's back in that atmosphere that all of us players want to be in with the playoffs and chasing the postseason. He's doing better."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire also admitted that it's been strange not seeing Morneau around at Target Field, but added that he's been impressed with outfielder Alex Presley, who was acquired in the trade. In his first four games with the Twins, Presley hit .389 (7-for-18) with a double, a homer and five RBIs.
"It's different," Gardenhire said about not having Morneau in the clubhouse. "He'd been there a long time, ever since this place opened."
Mauer still has symptoms, but hopes to return soon
MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Mauer took batting practice on the field before Friday's game against the Blue Jays, but said he's not ready to make his return, as he's still feeling concussion-like symptoms.
Mauer, who suffered a concussion on a foul tip while catching on Aug. 19 and was placed on the disabled list the next day, has been working out at Target Field for the last week. The original hope was that he would be ready to rejoin the Twins on Friday.
"We don't really have a timetable -- hopefully sooner than later," Mauer said. "It's been a process. I'm just trying to get back out there as soon as I can. It was a good day today."
Mauer also ruled out the possibility of shutting it down for the season; he wants to play as soon as he's cleared by doctors.
"I'm not programmed that way," Mauer said. "I want to go out there as soon as I can. I love this game. Hopefully, I can be out there soon."
Twins general manager Terry Ryan echoed Mauer's statement, as he said he believes Mauer will return this year and added that Mauer will remain at catcher upon returning.
"I don't think there's any doubt that's going to happen," Ryan said. "He hasn't had any setbacks. He's making progress every day. We certainly have our sights set on some point here in the month of September."
• Gardenhire said he expects more September callups to join the club once Triple-A Rochester's season ends. They're currently in the playoffs against Triple-A Pawtucket. Infielder Eduardo Escobar and first baseman/outfielder Chris Parmelee are likely to be recalled.
"Another infielder would be nice," Gardenhire said. "To have another backup infielder, we should be able to get that, and somebody else to help at first base, and whoever else they decide that deserves it down there at the end."
• Infielder Doug Bernier is dealing with a sore right elbow but is available off the bench, according Gardenhire. Bernier's injury is not considered serious.
• The Twins named outfielder Byron Buxton as their Minor League Player of the Month for August, while left-hander Taylor Rogers was named Pitcher of the Month. Buxton, ranked the No. 1 overall prospect by MLB.com, hit .402 with 21 runs and 16 stolen bases in 26 games. Rogers posted a 0.88 ERA in six starts with Class A Advanced Fort Myers.