World Baseball Classic forces lineup creativity

JUPITER, Fla. -- With World Baseball Classic squads gathering over the next few days, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has turned to creativity with his lineup.

First-base options, for example, will shrink when Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau depart either Saturday night or Sunday morning.

That leaves Chris Parmalee and Jeff Clement to split time at the position. Outfielders Brian Dinkelman and Chris Herrmann have started taking ground balls at first.

Gardenhire said that players headed to the Classic like infielder Chris Colabello (Italy) will get additional looks when they return. The team will not hold a player's participation against him.

"I would have done it if I ever had the opportunity, but I wasn't good enough," Gardenhire said. "Don't do something that you're going to think about after you're done and say 'I wish I had done that.' [If] you have an opportunity thrown out there and you feel strongly about it, do that."