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Updated: August 4th, 2013 5:23pm
Notebook: Rochester is next stop in Darin Mastroianni's rehab stint

Notebook: Rochester is next stop in Darin Mastroianni's rehab stint

by Brandon Warne
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony addressed the media Sunday afternoon prior to the series finale versus the Houston Astros. One thing which came to light during Sunday's pre-game festivities was that as of Monday, the Twins' entire starting outfield from opening day will be in Rochester (Josh Willingham-Aaron Hicks-Chris Parmelee).

Injury Updates

• Outfielder Darin Mastroianni (foot) is slated to join the Rochester Red Wings on Tuesday on the road as the club takes on the Durham Bulls (Triple-A Tampa Bay). At that point, every single outfielder on the Opening Day roster with the exception of Wilkin Ramirez -- rehabbing at Double-A -- will be on the Rochester roster.

Mastroianni is off to a fast start in his rehab stint, as he's hitting .357/.444/.500 in his first five games between the GCL Twins and the Fort Myers Miracle (High-A).

• First-round pick starter Kohl Stewart (foot) is expected to return to game action in the next 10-12 days per Antony. "I think the estimated date for him to come back is Aug. 16," Antony said.

Stewart stepped on a shell on a Fort Myers beach on an off day, and sustained a cut to the bottom of his foot. Antony said that Stewart was playing catch from 90 feet to keep his arm strong, but he wasn't throwing bullpens in an attempt to keep him from altering his motion.

• Fourth-round pick starter Stephen Gonsalves was promoted from the GCL Twins to Elizabethton, but promptly strained a hamstring while running in the outfield. It's not a serious issue, but he will be on the shelf for a few days, per Antony.

• Shortstop Pedro Florimon (wrist) was out of the lineup for the second straight day.

"He's still a little sore," Gardenhire said. "He'll get checked out by the doctors today."

Florimon was available for late-inning defensive purposes, as well as to pinch run in Sunday's game.

* Non-roster starter Nick Blackburn has been experiencing some tendinitis in his right knee at Triple-A, to the extent that he had a cortisone shot in recent days.

"It hasn't really improved a lot over the last three to four days," Antony said. "He played catch at 60 feet the other day, and that's about the extent of what he's doing."

Blackburn has made six starts across three levels in the Twins farm system this year, going 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 4.4 strikeouts per 9 innings. He's making $5.5 million in what'll be the last year of a four-year, $14 million deal signed in March 2010.

Briefly

• According Maury Brown, founder of BizofBaseball.com, the Twins have experienced the fifth-largest attendance regression in the major leagues from 2012 to 2013. Only the Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, and Chicago Cubs have larger average crowd decreases than the Twins (-3,441).

• The Arizona Diamondbacks designated left-handed reliever Tony Sipp for assignment Sunday. In 48 appearances with the Snakes, Sipp had compiled a 3.86 ERA and had fanned 10.2 batters per 9 innings. The 30-year-old Sipp pitched for the Indians for four years before being dealt to Arizona in the Trevor Bauer/Shin-Soo Choo megadeal.

The Twins don't need much help in the relief corps, but it's not everyday that a left-hander who strikes out a batter an inning comes around, let alone one the Twins have plenty of familiarity with (34 appearances in his career). Keep an eye on that one.

• Gardenhire said that Sunday was just a mental day for Trevor Plouffe, who has been struggling of late. Since returning from the All Star break, Plouffe is just 6 for 51 (.118/.182/.137) with just one extra-base hit.

"Yeah, exactly," Gardenhire said. "Jamey (Carroll) needs to play, and you could see him a little flustered last night. He hit more downstairs and in the back room than he did on the field."

• Gardenhire was very complimentary of Doug Bernier's defensive capabilities at short, especially in light of him making nice plays going to each direction as a fill-in for the scratched Florimon Saturday night.

"He can pick it," Gardenhire said. "He can move around out there. He pays attention. Good arm strength. He can throw from a lot of angles. With Carroll out there, we should be able to catch the ball pretty decent. I probably jinxed it."

• Gardenhire gave a brief statement on the impending BioGenesis suspensions that are expected to be handed out in the next few days.

"I don't have any opinions on it, because it's not my job," Gardenhire said. "Let Major League Baseball do their thing. This isn't the greatest moment in baseball. We'll just have to see what happens, and move past it. Hopefully it won't come towards Minnesota."

Brandon Warne covers the Minnesota Twins for 1500ESPN.com. He has also contributed as a baseball analyst for Fangraphs.com and BaseballProspectus.com
Email Brandon | @Brandon_Warne
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