FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Many of the Twins' prominent players have yet to play in a game this spring, including Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young. When asked for updates on those injured players Sunday, manager Ron Gardenhire didn't have any better estimate as to when any of them might see game action.Mauer didn't catch a bullpen session on Sunday, and it's still unclear when he might be ready. Gardenhire has said that he's not concerned exactly when that might happen with Mauer, who has been continuing to take part in the club's daily workouts despite not catching. Morneau has also continued to take batting practice and do fielding drills with his teammates, but has yet to be cleared to play in games. As for Young's turf toe, it has not improved, Gardenhire said. Young is battling a little bit of tendinitis in his left big toe and Gardenhire said it's something that the outfielder is going to have to work through. Gardenhire was then asked if how long before it's critical to get some of these injured players back on the field since the club has a little more than 3 1/2 weeks remaining until Opening Day. "Not too many people can step out and have a couple weeks of Spring Training and go right into a regular season ready to go," Gardenhire said. "Mauer did it [in 2009]. There are exceptions here, but that's not the norm. You need a Spring Training. You need time, you need at-bats. We'll get there. We still have plenty of time here. But it can't go into the end of the month and then all of a sudden you have a week to go and you say, 'OK, we can do this.' It's not going to happen. "Is there a cutoff day? Probably. We haven't decided on that yet or figured that out yet. Right now, we are waiting until we can get them all out on the field and in games. It's not there yet."
Nishioka earns Gardy's praise on big play
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Earlier this week, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that he would likely stick with Tsuyoshi Nishioka in the No. 2 spot in the lineup. On Sunday, Nishioka showed why Gardenhire wanted to do that.With shortstop Alexi Casilla on first base and one out in the bottom of the third inning, Gardenhire called for a hit-and-run play with Nishioka at the plate. And the newly anointed second baseman executed by pulling the ball through the hole on the right side of the infield. "I like to hit and run, things like that, and the contact of the bat," Gardenhire said. "[Nishioka]'s bat stays in the zone a long time, normally gets the barrel on the ball pretty good, so that's a sign of a very good hitter." It wasn't just Nishioka who executed well on the play, either. Casilla made it to third, and then headed home when the Orioles lazily relayed the ball to the infield.
2010 Spring Training - Minnesota Twins
News & Features
- Worth noting
- Working on slider, Pelfrey happy to enter year healthy
- De Vries' arm fine, slated to start next Saturday
- Morneau swings on practice field, ready for opener
- Ryan reflects on spring, eager for season to begin
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
Casilla day to day with tweaked left ankle
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins' list of injured players has been a long one since Spring Training started, and it grew on Sunday, when Alexi Casilla tweaked his left ankle in the club's 3-0 win over the Orioles.Manager Ron Gardenhire said that Casilla would likely miss one or two days with the ankle injury, which he believed that the shortstop suffered while running the bases. Casilla wasn't the only injury news of the day. Right-hander Anthony Slama has not thrown in a game since Monday and has been battling a little bit of tenderness in his elbow. Gardenhire said that Slama has been "feeling better, but he's still not ready [to pitch]."
Duensing impresses on windy day for Twins
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The wind was blowing out directly to center field at Hammond Stadium on Sunday afternoon for the start of the Twins' contest against the Orioles.But the wind didn't seem to bother starter Brian Duensing, who pitched three scoreless innings while scattering two hits and striking out one against the Orioles. Duensing said he primarily has been throwing his fastball and changeup in his first two starts. The left-hander said he's thrown just one curveball over the span and plans to use his next outing on Friday against the Red Sox to work on breaking balls. Manager Ron Gardenhire was pleased with what he saw from Duensing -- particularly the way the left-hander controlled the pace of the game. "He's getting the ball, throwing strikes and moving the game along," Gardenhire said of Duensing, who he confirmed will be in the rotation earlier this week. "I think we also saw when [Scott] Diamond went in the game that the game stopped and he was moving really slow. There is a difference. That's a young pitcher needing to learn about the pace of the game to keep everyone in it." Diamond, the Twins' Rule 5 Draft pick who is battling for a bullpen spot, pitched two innings and gave up two hits and walked two batters. But it was the methodical way that Diamond went about things on the mound that bothered Gardenhire. "We had two very slow innings," Gadenhire said. "It's been addressed. [Pitching coach Rick Anderson] has talked to him. He has a great arm. He's a very good pitcher, but the pace of the game can't stop. ... It's something he needs to learn, and he will -- he'll learn."
Former Twins pitcher Jim Kaat arrived at camp on Sunday and was in uniform as a special instructor during the Twins' workouts. ... First-base coach Jerry White left Sunday's game against the Orioles with a bruised left shin. White went to the ground after an errant pickoff throw by Orioles right-hander Wynn Pelzer struck him in the leg during the seventh inning, but the club said he was fine and just icing his shin after the game. "We're going to get him an Oscar Award," Ron Gardenhire said. "By the time I got there, I could not stop laughing. ... It's a serious thing when you get hit, but Jerry tends to overplay it a little bit. He's OK."