CLEVELAND -- Justin Morneau was originally penciled in at first base against the Indians on Sunday, but asked Twins manager Ron Gardenhire if he could start at designated hitter instead.
Morneau, who is dealing with general soreness, according to Gardenhire, was granted his wish, as Chris Parmelee moved from right field to first base, and Oswaldo Arcia shifted from designated hitter to right field.
"He said he would rather DH today because he was feeling a little stiff," Gardenhire said. "But it was good because I would rather have Arcia out there playing [in the outfield] than at DH. And it moves Parmelee to first base. So it worked out."
It marked the first start of the year at designated hitter for Morneau, who started 25 of the club's first 26 games at first base, with his lone day off coming on April 27 against the Rangers. It's been a welcome change from last year, when Morneau was coming off several offseason surgeries and began the year as the designated hitter, starting a career-high 34 games there.
Morneau also joined an exclusive club Friday, when he recorded his 800th career RBI to join Harmon Killebrew, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett and Tony Oliva as the only five players in Minnesota Twins history with at least 800 RBIs.
Middle infield rests in midst of tough stretch
CLEVELAND -- The Twins rested both of their starting middle infielders on Sunday, as second baseman Brian Dozier and shortstop Pedro Florimon were held out of the starting lineup.
Jamey Carroll got the start at second base and batted leadoff, while Eduardo Escobar started at shortstop and hit ninth in the series finale against Cleveland.
"We just mix it around a little bit and try different things," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We have Esco out there at shortstop. I have a lot of confidence in those guys. But I just wanna give everyone a chance to play. We have a few ballgames here in a way, so everyone needs to play. And Jamey has played well the last couple times out."
As Gardenhire pointed out, the Twins are in the midst of a 13-day stretch without an off-day, so he said he'll be mixing in his backups more often. The Twins are next off on May 16.
De Vries, Deduno make progress with rehabs
CLEVELAND -- Right-handers Cole De Vries and Samuel Deduno are getting closer to a return, as De Vries started his rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Fort Myers on Sunday, and Deduno was activated from the Minor League disabled list at Triple-A Rochester.
De Vries, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm, began his rehab assignment, which can last as long as 30 days. But De Vries is expected to be healthy by then, as he was slated to start for Fort Myers in a late afternoon game and throw about 75 pitches, according to Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony.
Deduno isn't on the 40-man roster and was simply activated from the Minor League DL after pitching in extended spring training. He's been dealing with a groin strain that surfaced while pitching in the final of the World Baseball Classic in March.
Deduno started for Triple-A Rochester in a Sunday afternoon game and gave up one unearned run over five innings. He walked four and struck out four, throwing 89 pitches.
To make room for Deduno on Rochester's roster, outfielder Brandon Boggs was released. Boggs, 30, hit just .184 with two homers in 21 games with the Red Wings.