ANAHEIM -- After missing two games with an upper respiratory illness, Twins catcher Joe Mauer returned to the lineup against the Angels on Sunday, serving as the club's designated hitter and third batter.
Mauer, who rested at the team hotel on Friday and Saturday, felt better on Sunday and decided he was ready to play after taking batting practice in the cages before the game.
"He's moving around and had a little breakfast," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He still doesn't feel great but took some swings in the cage. But the biggest problem is that he's light-headed and spinning a little bit."
Gardenhire added that Mauer will not be behind the plate on Monday in Minnesota's doubleheader against the White Sox, as Drew Butera and Rene Rivera will each catch one game.
"He's not going to catch one of those games," Gardenhire said. "I'll have Butera catch one and Rivera the other. Mauer will DH in maybe both or even play first base."
First baseman Justin Morneau, who hasn't played since Aug. 28 because of mild concussion symptoms, is not expected to play in either game on Monday, as he's expected to start swinging the bat again on Tuesday before the club decides when he's ready to return.
"He's not going to be able to play in that with the way it looks right now," Gardenhire said. "There's no guarantee on when [he'll return]. I don't have a date. It just comes in daily on how he's feeling."
Twins beef up roster with doubleheader on tap
ANAHEIM -- With a split doubleheader looming against the White Sox on Monday, the Twins announced a flurry of roster moves prior to Sunday's game against the Angels.
The Twins will select the contracts of infielder/outfielder Brian Dinkelman and right-hander Kyle Waldrop from Triple-A Rochester prior to Monday's doubleheader. And Minnesota will also select the contract of right-hander Liam Hendriks from Rochester prior to Tuesday's game, and he'll make his Major League debut that night against the White Sox.
The Twins, who had one roster spot open after trading Jim Thome to Cleveland, transferred Nick Blackburn to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Dinkelman and Waldrop on the 40-man roster. The club will announce a corresponding move to make room for Hendriks prior to Tuesday's game.
Waldrop, who posted a 3.87 ERA in 56 appearances with Rochester, will add much-needed bullpen depth for the Twins, as left-hander Brian Duensing exited after just 1 1/3 innings because of a strained right oblique on Saturday.
Dinkelman, who hit .286 in six games with the Twins earlier this year, also brings depth to the club because of his ability to play second base and both corner outfield spots.
Hendriks had an impressive season split between Double-A New Britain and Rochester. Hendriks, ranked as the club's No. 6 prospect according to MLB.com, combined to go 12-6 with a 3.36 ERA in 25 games.
The roster moves also mean that Blackburn's season is done. He was placed on the disabled list on Aug. 22 with an entrapped nerve in his forearm and has yet to start throwing. He finishes his season with a 7-10 record and a 4.49 ERA in 26 starts.
"He still feels sore in his arm," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He can't throw."
Gardenhire added that infielder Matt Tolbert will also likely be recalled before Tuesday's game against the White Sox, as Rochester's season ends on Monday.
But the club has yet to make a decision on whether outfielder Joe Benson and infielder Chris Parmelee -- who have both had impressive years with New Britain -- will be recalled once their season ends.
"We've definitely talked about it for sure because of all the injuries," Gardenhire said. "We're waiting on all the hurt guys to get healthy, but that's really hard to do.
"We can't keep waiting on people to come off the DL and be ready to play. We need healthy bodies. But the thing is that if you have these [injured] guys and a bunch of callups and then you have a 40-man roster in Minnesota for the last three weeks of the season, which isn't kosher either. So we're kinda stuck with all the health issues."
Plouffe's stellar play making Twins take notice
ANAHEIM -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire remains impressed by the way Trevor Plouffe has been playing and said he's setting himself up well for regular playing time next year.
Plouffe has been seeing regular action since Aug. 15 and has put up big numbers with a .316 batting average, .365 on-base percentage and .506 slugging percentage in 19 games entering Sunday. He also has two homers, seven doubles and seven RBIs over that span.
"He's playing himself somewhere in the lineup with the way he's been swinging the bat," Gardenhire said. "And now he's catching the ball at shortstop, second base and in the outfield. He's forcing a way to find a place for his bat in the lineup as long as he keeps catching the ball. Wherever that's at, we'll determine in Spring Training."
Plouffe is expected to be a candidate to compete for the starting shortstop position with Tsuyoshi Nishioka next year, but has also seen time at second base and both corner outfield positions with the Twins this year.