2/21/2014 3:04 P.M. ET
Gardy concerned with likely home-plate rule change
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Count Twins manager Ron Gardenhire as one of those who has his doubts about the effectiveness of the proposed rule change to prevent collisions at home plate.
The MLB Players Association has yet to formally approve the rule change, but it's likely heading that way. Gardenhire said he'll know more when he meets with the union on Sunday, but the new rule will now put the onus on umpires to make difficult decisions.
"My biggest fear through all this is that they're putting more on the shoulders of the umpires to make judgment decisions," Gardenhire said. "It's going to lead to issues, because it's a tough situation for umpires to be in. They have to make the decision whether the runner slid, should've slid or didn't have a chance to slide. They're going to put that on their shoulders because it's not definitive whichever way they go."
Gardenhire said he's still teaching his catchers the proper technique to protect the plate until he's told otherwise. But he said he's more worried about the baserunners than the catchers under the proposed rule.
"There's going to be times when a guy comes in there with no place to go and slides and he gets hurt and then you're going to have issues, because he can't protect himself as a runner trying to score and a catcher whacks him," Gardenhire said. "I'm more worried about my runners going in there than my catchers. They're going to have change what they do to score, which is scary because that's how you get hurt."
Twins catcher Chris Herrmann, who is fighting for a spot on the roster as a backup catcher behind Kurt Suzuki, said he's in favor of the rule change, however, especially after getting run over twice this offseason in the Dominican Winter League.
Herrmann injured his shoulder and ribs in the second collision and saw his winter ball season cut short as a result. Herrmann said he's fully healthy now, but would embrace the new rule change if implemented.
"I only caught 15 games and got ran over twice and the second time really banged me up and hurt my shoulder, my ribs and my whole right side, so it's crazy," Herrmann said. "I think it would protect the catchers a lot more and our health and safety. We're so vulnerable in that situation. We're just trying to catch a ball and then they're running us over."
Dozier, Pinto, Pelfrey moving past minor injuries
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins have avoided any major injuries so far in Spring Training, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire gave an update on a few minor injuries on Friday.
Catcher Josmil Pinto was held out of action on Friday with a stiff back after working with bench coach and former big league catcher Terry Steinbach on blocking balls in the dirt on Thursday. But the injury isn't serious, as he was still listed to catch on Saturday.
"We kept him out of drills," Gardenhire said. "They did the blocking with the rubber balls and that was a little much. It wore him out with rubber balls. ... So he missed a day today, and we'll see how he is tomorrow. He's just a little sore."
Second baseman Brian Dozier has also been limited early in camp with a sore back, but is expected to be ready for the first full day of workouts on Saturday. He's still been taking ground balls, but he hasn't been running.
"We'll be guarded, but he feels a lot better," Gardenhire said. "We don't want him to fall back into it. We'll have him take it nice and easy with all the drills."
Right-hander Mike Pelfrey is also feeling better after dealing with an ear infection that caused dizziness and is on track to throw his next live bullpen session.
"It was some kind of ear thing where he got it all taken care of and checked out yesterday," Gardenhire said. "He said he got dizzy and all those things. I told him I got dizzy watching you pitch last year, so we're even."
Parmelee learns from the best with tips from Carew
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With seven batting titles and 3,053 career hits during his 19-year career, Rod Carew isn't a bad guy to listen to for hitting advice.
So when Carew offered pointers to Twins outfielder Chris Parmelee for more than 10 minutes on a practice field on Friday, Parmelee made sure to listen.
"We just talked about some stuff mechanics-wise," Parmelee said. "If I can do half as good as him, I'd have an excellent career. But we were just talking over some mechanical stuff and some things from last year. Just a few things to buff up on and straighten out."
Parmelee, 25, knows this is an important Spring Training for him, as he's trying to make the club as an outfielder now that Joe Mauer is the club's full-time first baseman. But Parmelee, who hit .228 with eight homers and 24 RBIs in 101 games last year, said he's doing his best not to put any extra pressure on himself this spring.
"I feel pretty confident," Parmelee said. "You just have to go out there and not press and just do your thing. That's what it's all about. I just to go out there and have fun and win some ballgames and carry it over into the season."
• Friday was the official report date for position players, but all 64 players in camp arrived before Friday. Position players took part in infield drills and batting practice, but the first full workout isn't until Saturday. The Twins will use three different practice fields for live batting practice on Saturday.
• Six of the Twins' Spring Training away games will be televised by MLB Network in addition to Fox Sports North airing all of their home games at Hammond Stadium. The games televised by MLB Network are March 8 at Toronto, March 14 at New York Yankees, March 15 at New York Mets, March 17 at Baltimore, March 19 at St. Louis and March 23 at Philadelphia.
• The Twins are tentatively scheduled to host an intrasquad game on Thursday before Grapefruit League play starts on Feb. 28 against the Red Sox. Minnesota is still looking to add more intrasquad and 'B' games to their schedule with so many starting pitchers in camp.