MINNEAPOLIS -- WNBA players Candice Wiggins and Maya Moore, who play for the hometown Minnesota Lynx, threw out ceremonial first pitches prior to the Twins' game against the Brewers on Saturday.
It was an especially touching moment for Wiggins, as her father, Alan, played seven seasons in the Majors, including the 1984 season with the Padres, in which he set a club record with 70 stolen bases and hit .364 in the World Series that was ultimately won by the Tigers in five games. But Wiggins never saw him play in person, as he died of AIDS in 1991, when she was four years old.
"My whole life has been about trying to fulfill his legacy, so this is really huge for me," said Wiggins, who was attending her first Major League game. "I can sense that this is what he was doing back in the '80s, warming up for a game. He worked his whole life from poverty to the big leagues, so this is just awesome for me today."
Moore, meanwhile, said she had been to a few baseball games before, as she grew up in Missouri and remembered rooting for Mark McGwire during his historic home-run chase in 1998. But it was her first time at Target Field, and she was excited about meeting Twins players and throwing out the first pitch.
"This place is beautiful," Moore said. "It's exciting. I've never been on this level of a Major League stadium. I've been in the stands, but never on the field like this. So it's pretty cool."
Morneau, other injured Twins progressing
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau had the cast removed from his wrist on Friday, and will begin to work on rehabbing it soon.
"He said it felt pretty good," Twins head trainer Rick McWane said. "He's going to start some gripping exercises, some range of motion, and start getting the strength back in his forearm."
Morneau had his left wrist immobilized for 10 days in June, with the hope that it would help heal both his sprained left wrist and the pinched nerve in his neck. Once he decided to have neck surgery this week, the cast was put back on his wrist to give it more time to heal.
McWane also gave updates on the Twins' other injured players before Saturday's game.
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
Right-hander Kevin Slowey (strained oblique) and left fielder Delmon Young (right ankle sprain) will travel on Sunday to Triple-A Rochester. Slowey is scheduled to pitch on Tuesday for the Red Wings and throw 60 pitches. Young will begin a rehab assignment next week.
Outfielder Jason Kubel (left foot sprain), who is on a rehab assignment with Fort Myers, made progress on Saturday, as he felt better running and took batting practice.
"He still has difficulty making cuts," McWane said. "He's not scheduled to play in a game, and we will re-evaluate daily."
Mauer almost gets start at first base
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he nearly started Joe Mauer at first base for the first time in his big league career on Saturday against the Brewers, but ultimately decided to have him serve as the designated hitter.
Gardenhire said he almost held first baseman Luke Hughes out of action, after he ran into the wall in foul territory in Friday's 6-2 win, but that he ended up being healthy enough to play.
Mauer has been taking ground balls at first base during batting practice since Monday, and this was the biggest indication yet from Gardenhire that he could see action at first in the near future.
"We're going to do it no matter what," Gardenhire said. "He's going to get out there pretty soon. He's pretty much ready to go out there whenever we say, 'Go out there and do it.' We thought about it today because Luke Hughes has a little bit of a beat up knee from running into the wall."
Mauer said he didn't have a timetable for when he'll see his first action at first base since playing there in one game with Class A Fort Myers in 2003.
"It's probably just one of those things where I'll just go out there and do it," Mauer said. "Ideally, you'd like to get out there in a few Spring Training games. But that's not the situation we're in, right now."
Mauer has also begun to turn things around at the plate recently, as he extended his hit streak to seven games on Saturday. He is hitting .375 (9-for-24) during that stretch.
"Obviously, I had a good night last night. But that's one night," Mauer said. "I'm still trying to get back to where I need to get to."
Drew Butera, who serves as Carl Pavano's personal catcher, started behind the plate instead of Mauer on Saturday.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.