02/16/2013 3:10 PM ET
Expect Dozier at second, Florimon at short in spring
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said on Saturday that there are no favorites in the middle-infield competition that's set to include Jamey Carroll, Brian Dozier, Pedro Florimon and Eduardo Escobar.
Gardenhire, though, said Dozier, who played shortstop last season, will almost exclusively play at second base this spring while Florimon will stick at short.
Carroll and Escobar will see time at shortstop, second base and third base this spring, but are also in the mix for starting spots at both second and short with Trevor Plouffe a lock at third.
"I think we've got guys who can play," Gardenhire said. "We've got some good athletes and we'll figure that out. There are probably going to be a couple of combos that haven't seen a lot of each other. I'll do that as much as I can this spring. There are new people at new positions and that's one of the things we're going to have to work out. See how it all looks and see what works the best. But we've got time. One thing we've got is a lot of time here in Spring Training to get this done."
Gardenhire said he'll monitor the infielders during practice, but said he'll get a better read once Grapefruit League play begins on Feb. 23.
"That's the exciting part of it," Gardenhire said. "We get to go through a Spring Training, we get to the games, start watching them in game situations and mix and matching and seeing how they do. Hopefully, we'll put together a pretty good group out there."
Gardy addresses team as full-squad work starts
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins held their first full-squad workouts of Spring Training on Saturday with the day beginning with manager Ron Gardenhire addressing all 67 players in big league camp in a team meeting.
Gardenhire stressed turning the page on the struggles of the last two seasons and called on his players to take pride in playing for the Twins.
"It was basically, welcome here and expectations," Gardenhire said. "What you can and can't control, that type of stuff, and how we expect everybody to handle themselves. Look at my eyes, right underneath here, that used to be flat as a pancake."
After the meeting, the pitchers and position players broke up into different groups with the pitchers throwing bullpens and working on fielding practice with the hitters doing fielding practice and taking batting practice.
Live batting practice isn't set to start until Monday, when Twins pitchers will get a chance to throw against the position players in camp.
"Monday, it's all going to be, boom, stuff going everywhere, three fields going," Gardenhire said. "That's when it gets entertaining. You see live pitching, live BP. The day gets a little longer, but I get to see people getting after each other. That's the best."
Diamond disappointed in sharpness Saturday
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Left-hander Scott Diamond said he's been pleased with the progress he's been making in his rehab from having a bone chip removed from his elbow in December, but admitted that Saturday wasn't his best day.
Diamond threw from flat ground on Saturday and said the ball wasn't quite coming out as sharp as it did on Friday. Diamond, though, said he was able to work on strengthening exercises after throwing and is hoping for better results on Sunday when he begins throwing from 150 feet.
Diamond added that if everything continues to progress, he hopes to be throwing off a mound by middle or late next week.
"It's still my goal to be ready for Opening Day," Diamond said. "But today wasn't the best day for the ball coming out -- yesterday was better -- so I'm just trying to take it one day at a time and be patient with it."
Diamond said his arm strength is at about 80 percent and that he won't be able to really crank it up off a mound until about mid-March. So he'll be cutting it close to Opening Day, as the club opens the season on April 1 against the Tigers at Target Field.
So for now, Diamond will continue with his throwing program, which calls for him to throw almost every day in spring moving forward.
"I'll have occasional off-days, but we're trying to increase the volume," Diamond said. "We have to have some off-days just to balance it out, but by about two weeks I'll be throwing every day."