MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's not worried about Joe Mauer's recent slide, as the catcher entered Friday's game hitting just .129 with one extra-base hit in 31 at-bats in May.
The struggles have come since being hit above the left knee by a foul tip on April 29, but Gardenhire said Mauer's knee is just fine. He was back behind the plate on Friday for the first time since Monday.
And Gardenhire also said he doesn't believe that Toronto's aggressive shifts in the infield have any effect on Mauer, as he went 0-for-3 in Thursday's 6-2 loss.
"I don't think so," Gardenhire said. "Joe goes up there with a pretty good plan of what he's going to do. I don't think he goes up there and tries to change the way he's hitting. He's always going to try to get the barrel to the ball and wherever it goes, it goes. He just rolled over a couple pitches last night."
Gardenhire, though, said that Ryan Doumit appeared to be affected by the infield shift by the Blue Jays, as he tried to bunt multiple times and ended up going 0-for-4.
"I think you saw a really big shift on him for the first time and he was trying to drop bunts down, but that's out of his element," Gardenhire said. "It's good to be able to do that every once in a while to move them back around, but it got him out of his element."
Morneau expected to swing this weekend
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins designated hitter Justin Morneau is expected to start swinging the bat sometime this weekend, according to manager Ron Gardenhire.
Morneau, who is on the disabled list retroactive to May 1 with a sore left wrist, had a cortisone shot in his wrist. Dr. Thomas Graham, an orthopedist with the Cleveland Clinic, gave him the shot on Tuesday.
"He's supposed to be [swinging] tomorrow or if he's not feeling OK, we could back it up a day," Gardenhire said. "The pace, I don't know if we have a formula here. We're going to let him tell us when he'll be ready. He's going to grab a bat in his hand and once he feels good enough, he'll start taking some swings. And when that happens, I'll tell you."
There's still no official timetable for Morneau's return, but he could make his return during the club's eight-game road trip that starts Wednesday in Detroit.
"I don't think he's been out long enough to say he'll need a rehab assignment," Gardenhire said. "If he starts swinging and he feels good, I'd rather him start up here than somewhere else."
Vikings take BP before Friday's game
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins had some special visitors take batting practice before Friday's game, as Vikings players Christian Ponder, Sage Rosenfels, Kyle Rudolph and John Sullivan took some swings at Target Field.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire liked what he saw, as Rosenfels and Rudolph both hit upper-deck home runs.
"They were big, very big," Gardenhire joked. "I'd like to have them right here in case we need to charge the mound. They were actually very entertaining. It was fun to see them out there."
Ponder said he enjoyed taking batting practice and had a chance to talk with Twins players such as Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.
"I'm just a big sports fan in general and I love baseball and I know all the teams around here support us so it's important for us to get out and support them," Ponder said. "I've been to a few ballgames -- Twins games -- already and it was fun."