Plouffe out with illness as Twins open full-squad workouts

Plouffe out with illness as Twins open full-squad workouts

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins held their first day of full-squad workouts on Saturday with one small hitch -- third baseman Trevor Plouffe was held out of action due to illness.

The Twins began the day with their customary rapid-fire infield drills dubbed "Good Morning America" and saw live batting practice between pitchers and hitters for the first time this spring. Plouffe, however, was absent from the drills but is expected to return soon.

Twins manager Paul Molitor was happy with the way the day went, but noticed there are a few areas they can improve upon during drills.

"There were a couple hiccups," Molitor said. "Guys kind of get a little confused at first, which is understandable. Some of the new things we're implementing fundamentally, not huge changes but enough to where we've got to kind of smooth those things out over the next couple days. I don't have any lack of confidence that that will happen."

Molitor bounced around from field to field throughout the day but didn't get much of a chance to watch the pitchers throw live batting practice. Molitor was more interested in instructing bunt defense and baserunning drills on the first day, with so many hitters simply tracking the ball and not swinging during batting practice.

Other news and notes from Twins camp:

• Molitor said he's decided who will start the club's Spring Training opener on Wednesday against the University of Minnesota but isn't ready to announce it. He did say he doesn't expect many veterans to play until the club's Grapefruit League opener against the Red Sox on Thursday.

• Catcher Kurt Suzuki took a changeup from right-hander Ryan Pressly off his shin, but was able to remain behind the plate and continued workouts without any issues.

• Molitor met with representatives from Major League Baseball for 70 minutes on Friday to go over the new pace-of-play rules this season and the collision rules from last year. MLB had information on each pitcher's average time between pitches, and the Twins ranked near the top in terms of not wasting time between throws.

"That's a good thing," Molitor said. "We have less guys to try to address as far as that's concerned. It was educational."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.