Pinto could return to lineup on Wednesday

Pinto could return to lineup on Wednesday

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Twins catcher Josmil Pinto, who has been held out of action with a right quad strain, could make his Grapefruit League debut as the designated hitter against the Rays on Wednesday, manager Paul Molitor said Tuesday.

Pinto, who remains the only position player yet to play in a game this spring, has been working out at the club's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla.

Pinto has progressed to taking batting practice and catching bullpen sessions, so Molitor said as long as he doesn't suffer any setbacks, Pinto could play as early as Wednesday.

"I asked about the potential of him starting at DH tomorrow, but we'll see how his workout goes," Molitor said. "He's still getting a little fatigued at the end of his work, which isn't a good sign. You don't want to push him and have him go backwards."

Pinto, 25, is considered the front-runner for the backup catcher job behind starter Kurt Suzuki. Chris Herrmann and Eric Fryer are also competing for that spot, but they have struggled offensively in the early going.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.