02/18/12 2:24 PM EST
Pitchers, catchers arrive at Twins camp
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Several pitchers, including Glen Perkins, Scott Baker, Brian Duensing, Carl Pavano, Matt Capps and Jason Marquis, participated in light workouts. The Twins, however, don't hold their first official workout until Sunday morning.
That first workout begins at 8:30 a.m. ET, with catchers going over signs with manager Ron Gardenhire. Later in the morning, pitchers are scheduled to work out and throw bullpen sessions with the seven catchers invited to camp -- Joe Mauer, Drew Butera, Chris Herrmann, Danny Lehmann, Dan Rohlfing, J.R. Towles and Rene Rivera.
Mauer is expected to be behind the plate in full gear, which is a change from last year, when he didn't start catching until early March due to offseason surgery on his left knee.
"I've been catching a little bit," Mauer said. "It'll be good to get the gear back on, running around with the guys. I caught Baker a little bit the other day. I try to limit as much bending down as I can, but I'm feeling good and I'm ready to go."
Opening Day nod an honor for Pavano
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Carl Pavano said he's honored that he's scheduled to be the Twins' Opening Day starter for the second year in a row.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced the decision three weeks ago during the club's media luncheon at Target Field on Jan. 27. Minnesota opens the season in Baltimore on April 6.
"It's really exciting to be able to do it the second year, and I'm looking forward to it," Pavano said. "Obviously, to get the nod from your manager and your pitching coach for the first game of the year, it's an honor. There's only one 2012 [opener], so I get to lead it off, which is cool."
Pavano is set to become the 12th pitcher in Minnesota Twins history to start multiple Opening Days. The others are Johan Santana, Brad Radke, Kevin Tapani, Scott Erickson, Frank Viola, Jerry Koosman, Dave Goltz, Bert Blyleven, Jim Perry, Jim Kaat and Camilo Pascual.
Righty Baker determined to remain healthy
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Scott Baker said he's fully healthy coming into camp after dealing with a strained right elbow that sidelined him for much of the second half of last season.
Baker said the key was being able to come back at the end of the season to make two relief appearances to prove to himself he was healthy.
"As of right now, the elbow is a non-issue at this point in the offseason," Baker said. "It was a good and productive offseason. It was the reason why I chose to rehab for six weeks to throw two or three innings so it would allow me to have a normal offseason as far as the progression to get ready for Spring Training. So everything went great."
Baker, who posted a career-best 3.14 ERA in 134 2/3 innings, was placed on the disabled list twice in the second half of the season because of that right elbow strain. He tossed just 24 innings after the All-Star break, and he said he's working hard to improve on that number this year.
"I thought I got on a good roll last year, but the elbow just didn't do what I'd like it to do," Baker said. "But that happens, and I'm doing everything I can to stay healthy his year."
Capps adjusting to role of new dad
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins closer Matt Capps and his wife, Jennifer, welcomed a new addition to the family on Feb. 8, as she gave birth to a baby boy named Maxwell Martin Capps.
Maxwell, who weighed in at eight pounds, nine ounces, is the couple's first child. Capps said his wife is currently back at their Atlanta home with the baby.
"She's going to come down next week and stay for a week, and then go back up for most of the spring where his doctor and her doctor are," Capps said. "She wanted to have the baby in Atlanta because of all the family nearby. That's where we spent most of the winter. Normally we would spend all but about Christmas down here. This year we spent it all up there."
Capps said he's entering camp healthy, and joked that his only problem has been a lack of sleep since the baby was born.
"I feel good," said Capps, who battled forearm issues and posted a 4.25 ERA last year. "I started throwing a couple weeks early. I started lifting a couple weeks early. Barring the other circumstances in my life I would have been down here a week or two early. I've been able to do everything I needed to do in Atlanta. I feel like I'm right where I want to be and ready to get this thing started."