02/29/12 2:20 PM EST
Healthy Mauer looking forward to game action
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
But Mauer, who was limited to 82 games last season with various injuries, said he still hasn't been informed if he'll make his first start behind the plate on Saturday or in a split-squad game on Sunday.
"I'm feeling like it's what, Day 12 or Day 11? Feeling like it's like that," Mauer said. "It's going to happen. You know, you're going to do anything you want to do to get ready for the year. You've just got to get out there and catch bullpens and get on the field and play, so everything's going pretty good. There's always soreness, trying to get your body back into shape, so that's what I'm dealing with right now."
Mauer has been catching bullpens every day and has also seen some time at first base during infield drills. He's also been taking batting practice, and started participating in live batting sessions against Twins pitchers on Friday.
He said he's still not sure if he'll start any games at first base during Spring Training, but added he's ready for anything.
"There's a lot of work to be done," Mauer said. "You know, obviously it's not just playing catcher, catchers get beat up in spring, but going over there to take ground balls at first and trying to prepare myself for the season as best as I can."
Hughes progressing from shoulder injury
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Luke Hughes is making good progress in his recovery from a strained right shoulder, suffered early this month in his native Australia, as he threw for the first time on Wednesday and hit soft toss.
Hughes, who is out of Minor League options and competing for a role as a backup infielder, said he's encouraged by how far he's come over the last few days.
He said he doesn't feel any discomfort in his shoulder, but is playing it safe because he doesn't want to suffer any setbacks.
"Today I threw at 60 feet, which was fine," Hughes said. "It went good. So hopefully tomorrow I'll throw it a bit farther. Every day I'll throw a little bit farther and I think I can progress a little bit quicker. I hope to be back fully swinging it the next few days and hopefully see some live pitching after that."
Hughes added he hopes to take batting practice on Thursday and be able to play in his first Spring Training game next week.
But Hughes said he doesn't feel like he's that far behind his teammates, because he played in 19 games with the Perth Heat of the Australian Baseball League to get ready for the season.
"I finished up like four weeks ago in Australia after I got hurt so I got some time there and like 60 or 70 at-bats, which was good," said Hughes, who hit .344 with the Heat. "So I don't feel too far behind. So as long as everything continues to go this way, I'll be happy."
Gardenhire announces lineup for Thursday 'B' game
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced his starting lineup and pitchers for Thursday's "B" game against the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium.
The Twins will use nine pitchers in the game, as starting pitchers Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn will be followed by Liam Hendriks, Jeff Manship, Jason Bulger, Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson, Brendan Wise and Deolis Guerra.
The starting position players are catcher J.R. Towles, first baseman Aaron Bates, second baseman Pedro Florimon, third baseman Ray Chang, shortstop Brian Dozier, left fielder Ben Revere, center fielder Joe Benson, right fielder Rene Tosoni and designated hitter Brian Dinkelman.
The Red Sox plan to use pitchers Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard, Clayton Mortensen, Jesse Carlson, Tony Pena, Alex Wilson, Will Inman and Justin Thomas.
The game starts at 1 p.m. ET at Hammond Stadium, and parking and entry to the stadium are free to the public.