2/22/2014 4:38 P.M. ET
Presley working to secure starting center-field job
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Alex Presley knows how important it is to make a good impression in his first Spring Training with the Twins, as he's competing for the starting job in center field with Aaron Hicks.
Presley, who was acquired in the trade that sent Justin Morneau to the Pirates late last season, said he's preparing himself to be the starter in center field, but isn't taking anything for granted. Hicks struggled last year as a rookie, but is still held in high regard by the organization. He had an impressive Spring Training last year, so he's still in the mix with Presley, who is out of Minor League options.
"I'm just trying to get better this spring and try to do what I need to do for the spring to be ready. I need to be ready to be the starter," Presley said. "But there are some improvements that need to be made. I'm looking to get better on certain things like stealing and stuff like that. I think we're moving in the right direction."
Presley, 28, played in 28 games with the Twins after the trade, hitting .283/.336/.363 with a homer, four doubles and a triple. But Presley, who has good speed, only stole one base in three tries and has just 20 stolen bases in 35 attempts in parts of four seasons in the big leagues.
"We got a good look at him last year," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The kid can hit. He's got a nice short swing and stays in on lefties. But one thing we talked about with him this winter was being more aggressive on the basepaths because he has speed."
The Twins are expected to have Hall of Famer Paul Molitor work with Presley on his baserunning this spring, as Molitor was added to the coaching staff this offseason. Presley said he's looking forward to learning from Molitor; improving his baserunning is one of his main goals this season.
"I imagine he'll have some good things to say, so I'll have my ears open," Presley said. "I'll listen to anything he tells me. He's definitely a welcome addition."
Twins don SU2C shirts to show support for Ryan
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- To show their support for general manager Terry Ryan, who recently underwent surgery to remove a cancerous growth from his neck, all 110 Twins players and staff members wore matching black Stand Up To Cancer T-shirts on Saturday for their first full-squad workout.
Ryan, 60, was diagnosed with squamous-cell carcinoma earlier this month after a lump was found in a lymph node in his neck. He underwent surgery on Feb. 11 at the Mayo Clinic and was released from the hospital three days later.
Ryan also received a positive report from doctors at the Mayo Clinic on Thursday, and is currently resting at home in Minnesota.
Twins director of baseball communications Dustin Morse came up with the idea for everyone to wear the SU2C shirts, and manager Ron Gardenhire thought it was a great gesture.
"It was good idea by Dustin, I thought, for Terry and anybody else who is going through this," Gardenhire said. "I've always said the Twins try to do the right things. ... Another circumstance presented itself, and Dustin rose to the occasion. He's our mighty media man. So I thought it was pretty cool."
Left-hander Brian Duensing, who is one of the longest-tenured Twins in the clubhouse, said he was proud to show support for Ryan and others who have been affected by cancer.
"We always think of ourselves as a family, and he's one of the members of our family," Duensing said. "He's run into a little bit of a tough time here, and we wanted to do something to support him. We thought this was a good way to do it."
Gardenhire satisfied with first full-squad workout
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins held their first full day of full-squad workouts on Saturday, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was pleased with what he saw.
The day started with infielders taking fielding practice on Tom Kelly Field while outfielders worked on catching fly balls at Hammond Stadium. The pitchers started the day with fielding practice before transitioning to live batting practice.
A total of 13 pitchers threw live batting practice, including Vance Worley, Kyle Gibson, Scott Diamond, Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia, Trevor May and Anthony Swarzak.
"It went good today," Gardenhire said. "We talked about the timing of everything. It went exactly as planned. The drills were good. The infield was good over there. Everybody was working. We had PFPs and bunt plays. We had a few snafus here and there, but that's why we do it. They got their swings in and caught some groundballs. We got everybody on the field with live BP, so it was good to see."
Gardenhire was also happy that everyone made it through the first full day without any injuries. Second baseman Brian Dozier, who was limited by a sore back before Friday's official report date, was able to participate in all of the workouts.
"Dozier was out there and did his thing, so it was pretty much the whole program," Gardenhire said. "But tomorrow will be a better day. All these infielders were doing it for the first time, so we'll see how many are sore. But everything seemed to go good."
• Catcher Josmil Pinto was held out of action for a second straight day with a stiff back on Saturday. Gardenhire said Pinto is day to day.
• Third baseman Miguel Sano, who sprained his ulnar collateral ligament in the offseason, was able to get through the first day of workouts without any issues. He took fielding practice and threw without any discomfort. The Twins are still expected to monitor Sano, who is wearing a protective sleeve on his throwing arm, but he hasn't had any problems throwing from third base so far in camp.
• Left-hander Edgar Ibarra, who was diagnosed with Hepatitis B last month, is expected to throw his first bullpen session on Sunday. The Twins were taking it easy with Ibarra early in camp, but he'll start ramping up his activities on Sunday.