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Kohn hoping to avoid worst with biceps injury

Righty left Wednesday's game; Stassi close to game ready; Morrison, Odorizzi to debut for Twins on Friday
Special to MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. -- Paul Molitor is hoping that his worst fears prove to be unfounded regarding the injury to right-handed pitcher Michael Kohn, who left Wednesday's game against Houston with a right biceps injury.

Molitor said that, based on Kohn's reaction, it was going to be a significant injury.

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JUPITER, Fla. -- Paul Molitor is hoping that his worst fears prove to be unfounded regarding the injury to right-handed pitcher Michael Kohn, who left Wednesday's game against Houston with a right biceps injury.

Molitor said that, based on Kohn's reaction, it was going to be a significant injury.

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"There was his reaction, and you worry about pulling that muscle off the bone or a rip right in the middle," Molitor said prior to Thursday's game with the Cardinals. "But they didn't find anything in that regard, yet. So we're trying to be somewhat optimistic that it's some kind of a bicep strain or something. He's going to be get further evaluated today, obviously."

Hampered by elbow and shoulder injuries -- including Tommy John surgery in 2016 -- Kohn hasn't had a full opportunity to show what he can do. The non-roster invitee hasn't pitched in a Major League game since making six relief appearances for Atlanta in 2015. He spent four seasons prior to that with the Angels, totaling 126 games, all out of the bullpen, including a career-high 63 games in 2013.

Kohn pitched with three different teams in the Minor Leagues last season.

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"You feel for everybody when they get hurt, but all the obstacles that he's had to face, [trying] to keep himself in position to earn a consistent job up here," Molitor said. "He comes to a new team and you have a couple of outings and the first time you're going to get extended, hopefully to 40 pitches, and have one pitch where you have to grab your arm and be in that much pain -- it's [tough]."

Additional injury updates
• Molitor said he was surprised to find out that catcher Mitch Garver tweaked his knee during a rundown in the first inning of Wednesday's game. Garver stayed in the game and played five innings.

"I think he's getting checked out today and we'll have a better report," Molitor said.

Video: MIN@HOU: Vargas throws home to start inning-ending DP

• Outfielder Ryan LaMarre finished Wednesday's game with a tight groin, but he asked to play on Thursday, according to Molitor.

"I told him to go back home, so we'll see where he's at," said Molitor, who added that he didn't anticipate the injury to be severe.

• Left-handed-hitting first baseman/catcher Brock Stassi is close to game ready, Molitor said. Signed to a Minor League deal in December, Stassi experienced back spasms that have limited his Grapefruit League appearances.

"We're encouraged -- they think he'll be ready to play maybe by Sunday," Molitor said.

Stassi played in 51 games as a rookie last season with the Phillies, hitting .167/.278/.295.

Morrison to make Twins debut Friday
Logan Morrison is expected to make his first appearance in a Twins uniform on Friday. Morrison signed a one-year contract with the Twins on Wednesday.

"The indications that we've gotten are that he's been working and wants to get into the game," Molitor said. "I've heard a lot of positive things. I don't think he's introverted, which is kind of fun. You're going to have a guy that I think will make it fun and be visible and audible. I hope his bat is very audible."

Video: Logan Morrison introduced with the Twins

Morrison has belted 122 home runs in eight Major League seasons, including a career-high 38 last season with the Rays. His 85 RBIs were also a career high.

"His swing and the adjustments that he's made [have made him] a better player." Molitor said. " ... He had a couple of years where he did OK. Obviously, he had a lot of expectations when he came out, but it seems like he figured something out last year. He's going to be a presence for us."

Molitor said he would be coming up with a better nickname for "LoMo."

"I'll have to think of something besides that," he said.

Position battle
Right-handed pitcher Tyler Kinley is looking for a spot in the Twins' bullpen. The Rule 5 Draft pick threw 1 1/3 innings on Thursday, relinquishing a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning when Cardinals pinch-hitter Jose Martinez doubled. The run was unearned, and the game finished tied at 3. Kinley got his fastball up to 97 mph, but he yielded three hits and walked two without striking out a batter.

In five Minor League seasons, Kinley has pitched in 162 games, all but three out of the bullpen, striking out 212 batters over 204 1/3 innings.

Up next
The Twins host Toronto for a 12:05 p.m. CT game on Friday at CenturyLink Sports Complex. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi will get the start for Minnesota. In addition, right-handers Jake Reed, Trevor Hildenberger and Felix Jorge are scheduled to make mound appearances, along with left-hander Gabriel Moya. The game will be broadcast live on Gameday Audio.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the Twins on Thursday.

Minnesota Twins, Mitch Garver, Michael Kohn, Ryan LaMarre, Logan Morrison, Jake Odorizzi, Max Stassi