Morales makes first start at first base with Twins

Morales makes first start at first base with Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kendrys Morales made his first start of the season at first base on Saturday against the White Sox with Joe Mauer getting a break and starting at designated hitter.

Morales had started his first 11 games of the year at designated hitter before making his first start at first base since Sept. 15 of last season.

"He's fine," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's played a lot of first base. He can pick it. He's always been able to move around. He was excited. He had a smile from ear to ear when I told him he was going to play first base."

Morales started at DH 121 times last season with 31 starts at first base. He's expected to be mixed in at first base here and there moving forward, and Morales said he's ready for whatever Gardenhire wants from him.

"I've been taking ground balls every day," Morales said. "It can be a little hard to DH every day and then play first base once a week or every 10 days. But I'm ready. I know Mauer is the first baseman, but I'm ready."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Alex Smith is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.