2/16/2014 1:52 P.M. ET
Suzuki looks to replace Mauer behind plate
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- New addition Kurt Suzuki was one of eight Twins catchers who officially reported to the club's Spring Training complex on Sunday.
Suzuki, who signed a one-year deal worth $2.75 million plus incentives in December, is projected to be the club's primary catcher this season with Joe Mauer moving to first base because of his concussion sustained while catching in August. Josmil Pinto, Chris Herrmann and Eric Fryer are expected to compete to be Suzuki's backup.
"I was looking for an opportunity, and this was the best place for me, and I think it gives me an opportunity to win, too," Suzuki said. "The last few years haven't gone the right way, but playing against Minnesota throughout my career, I remember every September they were in contention for the AL Central."
Suzuki, who has a combined seven years of big league experience with the A's and the Nationals, said he was most looking forward to getting to know the pitchers and their tendencies during Spring Training. Bullpen sessions were set to begin Monday.
"The quicker we can do that the better," Suzuki said. "I think it'll be fun, though. I'm excited about it. We have some pretty good arms."
In return, Deduno to follow his own example
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Samuel Deduno, who had arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder in September, said Sunday that he was healthy and ready to go for Spring Training.
Deduno estimated he had already thrown six bullpen sessions at the club's Spring Training complex with no issues.
"I feel pretty good," Deduno said. "I'm ready to go. No problems at all."
Deduno, 30, is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation after posting a 3.83 ERA in 18 starts with the Twins last season. He is considered a frontrunner for the fifth spot along with right-hander Vance Worley and left-hander Scott Diamond. All three pitchers are out of Minor League options.
Deduno said he was excited to compete for that spot this spring, adding that the key would be replicating his success from last season.
"I just have to keep working hard and keep doing what I was doing," Deduno said.
Hughes eager to start at pitcher-friendly park
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was just the first day of pitchers and catchers reporting for the Twins, but right-hander Phil Hughes said he had no trouble fitting in with his teammates so far.
Hughes, who was signed to a three-year, $24 million deal in December, had a chance to meet nearly all his new teammates at TwinsFest in January and is excited for a fresh start.
Hughes is coming off a tough season with the Yankees, as he posted a 5.19 ERA in 29 starts and a relief appearance last year. But as a fly ball pitcher, Hughes is looking forward to a more pitcher-friendly park in Target Field after seven seasons at homer-friendly Yankee Stadium.
"I'm not trying to do too much or reinvent myself," Hughes said. "I'm just trying to get back to what I know I can do best and go from there."
Hughes has already thrown three bullpens heading into Spring Training and is slated to throw his first official one with the Twins on Monday.
• The Twins did not have issues with any of their 37 pitchers or catchers reporting on time to Lee County Sports Complex on Sunday. Right-hander Ricky Nolasco made the trek to Fort Myers later in the evening, as he drove from his home in the Miami area.
• Several pitchers, including Brian Duensing, Glen Perkins, Hughes and Vance Worley, participated in light workouts Sunday, though official workouts would not begin for Twins pitchers and catchers until Monday morning. The Twins were set to open up the first day of camp with a catchers meeting at 8:30 a.m. ET before pitchers started bullpen sessions later in the morning.
• Shortstop Pedro Florimon showed up to camp as a new father, as his daughter, Elody Casey Florimon, was born Feb. 1 in the Twin Cities.