ANAHEIM -- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who underwent surgery to remove a herniated disk fragment in his neck on June 29, saw his scheduled workouts rained out on Monday and Tuesday, according to manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Morneau was expected to hit and take grounders on the field but was forced to take batting practice inside at Target Field instead, pushing his timetable for his return back a few days.
"He still wants to get on the field, take ground balls on the field, so it's not a setback, it's just not going anywhere," Gardenhire said. "You want to be on the field, taking ground balls, throwing all those things."
Gardenhire added he's hopeful Morneau can hit outdoors on Wednesday and go from there, as he's nearing a rehab assignment, whether it's in Fort Myers, Fla., in simulated games or with Triple-A Rochester. "Hopefully, he'll hit on field tomorrow and the next day," Gardenhire said. "And we'll see if he's doing OK by time we get home, or if they come up with a plan where he can go and play."
With Casilla out, Plouffe takes turn at second
ANAHEIM -- Trevor Plouffe made his third career start at second base on Tuesday against the Angels, as Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's hoping Plouffe can adjust to the new position with Alexi Casilla out for two to three weeks with a strained right hamstring.
Plouffe, who entered Tuesday with five homers with the Twins and 15 with Triple-A Rochester, can certainly swing the bat, but Gardenhire wants to make sure he can handle second base defensively.
"It's a challenging team to play against, the middle guys are going to have to be active," Gardenhire said. "One thing we can't do is let the pressure get to him. We know he can hit, now he's gotta get the other part of it, too."
Gardenhire also said it was good to see Plouffe in the lineup because he played baseball at Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, Calif., which is about 45 miles north of Anaheim.
"There's some incentive here, he grew up here, this is his home, he played a high school state championship that he pitched in [in 2003]," Gardenhire said. "So some incentive for him to come out here, a little motivation and put him in the field and see what happens. Plouffey's up here to hit, that's what he's been doing in the Minor Leagues, so put him in there."
Blyleven gets first-pitch honors in Anaheim
ANAHEIM -- Twins broadcaster Bert Blyleven, who pitched with the Angels from 1989-92, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday's game at Angel Stadium.
Blyleven, who also threw out the first pitch before Wednesday's game at the Ballpark in Arlington, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 24.
Blyleven was also making a homecoming of sorts, as he grew up in nearby Garden Grove, Calif., and pitched the final three seasons of his career with the Angels.