MINNEAPOLIS -- With a doubleheader against the Dodgers on Thursday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire gave Chris Colabello a break in Game 1, as he started on the bench for the first time since April 2.
Colabello had an impressive April, hitting .295/.343/.484 while setting a club record with 27 RBIs in 24 games. But he went just 1-for-17 to end the month, and Gardenhire said it'll be up to Colabello to make adjustments as the season goes along.
"There are going to be a lot of adjustments from other teams and what they've seen from him," Gardenhire said. "There's a lot of old information from last year, but now that we're a month in, they'll start using the new information this year. It all starts coming together where you have enough info from the first three weeks to a month of this season where you can forget about last season."
Gardenhire, though, said he believes Colabello can build off April, as he's improved as a hitter since 2013, when he hit .194 with seven homers and 17 RBIs as a rookie. Colabello has made a few mechanical adjustments, and he also stands closer to the plate this year. But teams have more scouting reports on Colabello this season, and Gardenhire believes teams will try to use that to their advantage going forward.
"Advanced scouts are going to be looking and tell you, 'This is what this guy did,'" Gardenhire said. "They didn't really have a plan because he was killing everything early in the season. But once you start making outs, they'll see that. So he'll have to adjust. He was out of the zone a little bit too much last night. But he's doing just fine, and he'll be just fine. He's a different hitter than last year. I believe that."
With Colabello out of the lineup, Sam Fuld got the start in right field while Josmil Pinto served as designated hitter in the first game of the twin bill.
Gardy expecting more balance from Twins
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins finished April with a 12-12 record to post a .500 record in the first month of the season for the first time since 2010, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's not quite satisfied with .500.
The offense carried the Twins in April, as they averaged 5.45 runs per game to rank second in the Majors behind the Angels. But starting pitching was again a problem, as Twins starters combined to post a 6.08 ERA that ranked as the second-worst mark in the Majors, ahead of only the D-backs.
"I don't know if you're ever satisfied going .500," Gardenhire said. "I'm satisfied we're scoring runs. We have an attitude in there where I don't think we're ever out of a game. I like that a lot. But I think we can improve and our starting pitching can be better. But I think we've improved in a lot of areas such as quality at-bats and things like that and walks and everything. But .500 is never your goal. I know where we've been, it could be, based on the last couple years."
Gardenhire said he believes the starting pitching will get better as the season goes along, and he wants to see what the Twins can do if they can keep their offense going as well. Walks have been a key for Minnesota so far this season, as the club set a franchise record with 123 walks in April.
"I think we stole some games, but also gave a few away too," Gardenhire said. "So we have ways to improve, and it mostly comes with starting pitching. We have to get those guys on a roll and get more consistent. Once we do that, I'll be excited to see what we do with that."
Twins officially recall Johnson from Triple-A
MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-hander Kris Johnson was officially recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Thursday to serve as the Twins' designated 26th man on the roster and start Game 2 of the doubleheader against the Dodgers.
With Johnson serving as the 26th man, the Twins didn't have to make a corresponding roster move. Johnson arrived at Target Field on Wednesday in advance of his first start with the Twins.
Johnson, 29, pitched well at Triple-A, posting a 2.86 ERA with 20 strikeouts and eight walks in 22 innings.
"He was throwing very well," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He was the recommended guy. He also threw the ball well for us in Spring Training."