04/06/12 12:57 PM ET
Baker lasts 11 pitches in rehab outing
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Baker, who is on the disabled list with right elbow tendinitis, gave up a single, a double and then induced a popup before he was removed from the game after just 11 pitches. Baker was scheduled to throw 75 pitches for the Miracle in Port Charlotte, Fla.
"Baker just didn't feel right tonight," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said in a statement released by the team. "He couldn't seem to get loose on the mound, and instead of pushing the envelope, we decided we would go get him out of the game. We will evaluate him again tomorrow."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire indicated earlier in the day that Baker likely needed multiple rehab starts before he was to be ready to rejoin the Twins.
"He's behind," Gardenhire said. "We're not going to push him. He's got to throw the ball. He didn't throw the ball when we were down there. We have to get reports the ball is coming out of his hand. He was throwing 84-88 mph, and he's got to throw the ball. He was kind of on cruise control trying not to hurt himself, but now he has to let it fly."
Gardenhire sounded more optimistic about a quick return for right-hander Jason Marquis, who was optioned to Double-A New Britain upon returning from New York where he was tending to his 7-year-old daughter, Reese, who was seriously injured in a bicycle accident.
Marquis was away for two weeks, and threw 54 pitches in a Minor League game on Tuesday. He's scheduled to start again on Saturday, and might need just one more start after that before he's ready to rejoin the rotation.
"We liked the way Marquis came back the other day," Gardenhire said. "He obviously did some work at home with his tough situation. He actually still had life on the ball after we took him at 54 pitches. We like that a lot. He'll go quick."
Gardenhire picks Opening Day lineup
BALTIMORE -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced his Opening Day lineup on Thursday, a day before his club is set to play the Orioles in the regular-season opener at Camden Yards.
Center fielder Denard Span will lead it off for the Twins, and will be followed by Jamey Carroll (SS), Joe Mauer (C), Justin Morneau (DH), Josh Willingham (LF), Ryan Doumit (RF), Danny Valencia (3B), Chris Parmelee (1B) and Alexi Casilla (2B). Right-hander Carl Pavano will start for the Twins opposite Orioles right-hander Jake Arrieta.
There are no surprises in the lineup, but Doumit is getting the start over Trevor Plouffe in right field, as Plouffe will start the year as a super-utility player. Plouffe is expected to see time in both the outfield and infield moving forward.
Gardenhire, though, said he likes his offense and thinks it's much closer to the 2010 lineup that scored 781 runs than the one that scored just 619 runs last season.
"I think when Parmelee is batting eighth, we better be able to [score runs]," Gardenhire said. "We have some guys up and down who can swing the bat. I want to see them all out there together."
Gardenhire added that he's happy to see Morneau healthy and ready to start the season, even though he'll open the year as the club's designated hitter. Morneau finished the spring with a .254 batting average and .775 OPS, with three homers and five doubles in 20 games. He ended Grapefruit League play on a nine-game hitting streak, batting .433 (13-for-30) over that stretch.
"I feel really good about him," Gardenhire said. "As far as the way he's gone about things and the way he's handled himself the last two weeks, it's been outstanding. He's back to normal."
Bullpen roles still being defined
BALTIMORE -- With several new faces in the bullpen, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said it will be a juggling act to figure out the roles of his relievers to start the year.
But the skipper said he plans on having left-hander Glen Perkins and right-hander Jared Burton serve as the top setup relievers for closer Matt Capps. Left-handers Brian Duensing and Matt Maloney will also be counted in key situations leading up to Perkins and Burton.
"We've got them listed, but we'll see how it all works out as we go along," Gardenhire said. "We know Perkins, we'll use in the eighth. And then Burton and Maloney somewhere in that area in the seventh, along with Duensing."
Right-hander Anthony Swarzak was stretched out during Spring Training and will serve as a long reliever. Right-handers Alex Burnett and Jeff Gray are also in the bullpen, as the club decided to go with eight relievers with starters Scott Baker and Jason Marquis unavailable to start the season.