Herrmann tries out new mask after foul-tip injury
Molitor ready for Monday's home opener
CHICAGO -- Twins catcher Chris Herrmann is trying out a new catcher's mask after he suffered a cut above his nose when a foul tip struck his mask on Thursday.
Herrmann wore a red, hockey-style mask instead of his usual, more traditional one during the Twins' 5-4 loss to the White Sox on Saturday. He said the new mask is supposed to be safer.
"I had no problem with it," Herrmann said. "I switched over to a different mask so I wouldn't have to worry about getting hit in the face again and busting my nose."
Herrmann still sported a red cut on the bridge of his nose on Sunday. After he was injured, he exited Thursday's game against the Tigers after two innings. He passed a concussion test and returned to the field on Saturday.
"It has more. It covers your entire head," Herrmann said about the new helmet. "It's a little bit heavier, so it'll take the blow of a baseball, a foul ball hitting you more than the traditional mask would. Overall, they're a lot safer. There's been a lot of tests on them. I might just stick with that helmet for the rest of the year and see how I like it."
Herrmann said the ball didn't deflect off his new mask on Saturday. He avoided any issues -- and hit his first career triple and drove in the Twins' first run in their four-run second inning.
"I think I had everything but a triple, so it was nice to finally leg one out," Herrmann said. "I didn't know if I was going to make it because the infield dirt was kind of soft. As soon as I hit second base, I started to slow down. I'm glad I was fast enough to get to third."
• Setup man Casey Fien (right shoulder stiffness) was unavailable to pitch Sunday for the third consecutive day. Twins manager Paul Molitor said Fien appeared to be improving. Fien said he felt stiffness after slipping on wet ground during a warmup pitch on Thursday in Detroit. The Twins hope to avoid putting him on the disabled list.
• Molitor changed his lineup Sunday to load it with right-handed batters against White Sox left-hander Chris Sale and give players more opportunities. Eduardo Nunez got his first start. He was in left field and batted eighth. Trevor Plouffe moved to first base while Joe Mauer was the designated hitter. Eduardo Escobar started at third. Escobar joined the team on Sunday after returning to Minnesota to see his newborn son.
• Molitor was looking forward to his first home opener on Monday against the Royals. "My hometown and home ballpark, it'll be an emotional day, but it'll be a good day," he said. "Everyone is excited to get back home after a long spring and being on the road."