02/25/2013 5:01 PM ET
Mauer, Morneau set for rare road trip to Dunedin
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins catcher Joe Mauer and first baseman Justin Morneau are set to make the nearly 150-mile trip to Dunedin, Fla., on Tuesday, when the Twins play the Blue Jays.
It's a rare road trip for both players, but the Twins want them both to get plenty of action in early Grapefruit League play because they both depart Sunday for the World Baseball Classic. Mauer is set to play for Team USA for the first time in his career, while Morneau will suit up for Team Canada for the third time.
Mauer and Morneau both missed the Grapefruit League opener in Sarasota on Saturday, but played at Hammond Stadium on Sunday and Monday. Morneau played first base in both games, while Mauer caught the first game and served as designated hitter on Tuesday.
Mauer said the key for him is to try to see as many of the new Twins pitchers in camp before he leaves for Arizona, where Team USA will train at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.
"I've caught a different guy in the bullpen every single day," Mauer said. "It's good to get down here with these guys, get to know them. Once you get out in the games, that's when you really get a good idea about guys."
Morneau went 1-for-2 with a three-run double on Monday and played five innings at first base after playing six innings at first on Sunday. He said it's rare for him to play so many games early in spring, but he wants to be ready for the Classic.
"Normally I don't think I'd even be playing back-to-back games this early, but it's important to get ready for playoff-type baseball for your country," Morneau said. "We're trying to get as many at-bats here before I leave, so I'm ready to play nine innings."
Worley has everything working in debut
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Vance Worley became the first Twins starter this spring to toss two scoreless frames when he did it against the Pirates on Monday at Hammond Stadium.
Worley, in his spring debut with the Twins after being acquired in the trade that sent Ben Revere to Philadelphia, gave up just two hits and started out the game by striking out Alex Presley looking.
"I had command of everything I threw out there," Worley said. "But I didn't throw any changeups or split-fingers out there. I threw only two-seam, four-seam fastballs, cutters and curveballs. I had pretty good command on both sides of the plate, so I'll take it."
Worley said his changeup is still a work in progress and that he developed his cutter with the help of Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay. He said he grips his cutter like Halladay, but that it actually moves like left-hander Cole Hamels' cutter.
He said the biggest thing he took away from working alongside Halladay was the importance of getting ahead of hitters, and that was the case against the Pirates. Worley threw first-pitch strikes to seven of the eight batters he faced.
Worley added that he doesn't care too much about Spring Training results, but that it's always nice to do well.
"Moreso now I don't mind it as much because it's more about getting things ready to go," Worley said. "But it's always in the back of my mind, 'Compete, compete, compete,' so if I get beat on something that's not good, it's going to tick me off. So I probably won't throw something that'll get me beat."
Beresford first Twins player to depart for Classic
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Infielder James Beresford was the first Twins player to depart for the World Baseball Classic, as he left camp on Sunday to fly to Taiwan to join Team Australia.
The Twins have 13 players on World Baseball Classic rosters, which ties them for the most in baseball with the Brewers.
But Joe Mauer (USA), Glen Perkins (USA), Justin Morneau (Canada) and Drew Butera (Italy) are the only four currently on Minnesota's 40-man roster who are set to play in the Classic.
Other Twins players scheduled to play in the Classic are Andrew Albers (Canada), Samuel Deduno (Dominican Republic), Chris Colabello (Italy), Shairon Martis (Netherlands), Tom Stuifbergen (Netherlands), Jose Berrios (Puerto Rico) and Eddie Rosario (Puerto Rico).
Twins general manager Terry Ryan said he's fine with the large number of players in the organization playing in the World Baseball Classic, but admitted it's tougher for Mauer and Butera because it limits their time with Twins pitchers.
"It doesn't throw anything off," Ryan said. "It's just a little awkward, and you have to invite more people to camp. But it's not throwing anything off other than Mauer and Butera not getting enough time with these pitchers. But they'll catch up."