MINNEAPOLIS -- Infielder Jamey Carroll sat out for the first time this season on Thursday, as Trevor Plouffe started at third base and Alexi Casilla returned to second base after missing three games with a sore shoulder.
Carroll, 28, is batting .218 with a .312 on-base percentage so far this season. He's expected to see time at second base, shortstop and third base moving forward.
"The trainers came in and said he's never going to say he needs a day off, so you're going to have to make the decision one of these days to give him a break," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "And that was an easy decision for me. I've been trying to get a situation where we can do that. I've got enough infielders up here now where he can get a break. He's played pretty much every inning."
Plouffe, meanwhile, made his second start of the season at third base, as third baseman Danny Valencia was optioned to Triple-A on Wednesday. But Gardenhire said he'll use a rotation of players at third in Valencia's absence.
"I'm not going to sit here and say he's every day there," Gardenhire said. "We're going to mix all these guys around. I've got to use them all."