Notes: Garver's injury status; Target Field tix

March 26th, 2021

At this point in Spring Training, every team is just trying to avoid injuries -- and fortunately for the Twins, they appear to have skirted a major issue after catcher Mitch Garver took a foul tip off his left index finger Thursday.

Garver exited in the third inning of Minnesota's 7-4 win over the Red Sox after sustaining the finger contusion on a play that was ruled a catcher's interference following a swing by Jett Bandy. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said after the game that scans on Garver's hand didn't show any problems, and the club hopes he'll be fine after one or two days away from action.

"If he was perfectly fine and got right up and said he was ready to go, he’s obviously staying in the game. But we just wanted to make sure we got him looked at and it looks like he’s going to come out of this OK," Baldelli said.

Garver, the 2019 AL Silver Slugger Award winner at his position, has hit the ball hard throughout Spring Training following a down year in '20 due in part to an oblique injury that led to a change in his swing mechanics. He's in line to split time behind the plate this season with No. 6 prospect Ryan Jeffers.

The Twins have otherwise been fortunate to avoid significant injuries to the projected members of their Opening Day roster throughout Spring Training. They had brief setbacks with Caleb Thielbar (back strain) and Jorge Polanco (left adductor tightness), but the roster seems to be no worse for the wear with Opening Day less than a week away -- including a healthy Byron Buxton and Josh Donaldson.

Twins announce nine Target Field sellouts
It's no surprise that regular-season Twins tickets are going quickly.

Not long after tickets went on sale to the general public Thursday, the Twins announced that they had sold out of their allotment for nine games, including the entire three-game opening weekend series against the Mariners at Target Field on April 8, 10 and 11. The next six weekend home games are also sold out.

A limited number of tickets remain for the other eight home games in the current sales window, including a four-game series against the Red Sox from April 12-15 and a four-game set against the Rangers from May 3-6.

The Twins are only making tickets available through May 6 for now and will continue to adapt to the continued evolution of the COVID-19 situation around the country. According to guidelines set by the Minnesota Department of Health and the office of Governor Tim Walz, the Twins will open the season with a limited capacity of 10,000 fans.

Sutton steps away from managerial role
Class A Fort Myers manager Aaron Sutton announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he will be stepping away from baseball to focus on a new family business venture. He'll be replaced in the role by Brian Meyer, who was expected to serve as a coach on Sutton's staff during the 2021 season.

Sutton did not manage a game as a member of the Twins' organization. He joined the ranks before the 2020 campaign but didn't make it to the dugout due to the cancellation of the Minor League season. He'd previously spent 13 years as a collegiate coach, including eight years of head coaching experience between Montana State University and Treasure Valley Community College.

Meyer also joined the organization last season and was supposed to be the hitting coach in Fort Myers in 2020. He also spent 13 seasons in the college ranks, spanning stints with Butler, Tulane, Wright State and Otterbein University.

Romine granted release
The Twins granted veteran utility man Andrew Romine his release following Thursday’s game. As a XX(B) free agent, Romine had the option to request his release if the Twins didn’t plan to carry him on their 26-man roster to open the season.

Romine appeared in 19 games this spring and went 5-for-27 (.185) with a double and a triple while appearing at shortstop, third base, second base and center field. Baldelli indicated that there’s a chance that the 35-year-old Romine could choose to return to the Twins in the coming days.

“We would love to have him here,” Baldelli said. “But because of his status, he’s earned this out in camp and the ability to make the best decision for him at this point. We’ll learn more in the next day or two about what he chooses to do as his next step.”

Up next
Kenta Maeda plans to dial things back a notch to three or four innings when he takes the mound against the Braves at 5:05 p.m. CT on Friday for his final Spring Training appearance ahead of his Opening Day start in Milwaukee on April 1. He ramped all the way up to 75 pitches in 5 1/3 innings in his last outing and finally allowed a run, though his Spring Training stats are still stellar with 18 strikeouts and one walk in 14 1/3 frames. Fans can watch the game live on MLB.TV or listen live.