3/22/2014 5:00 P.M. ET
Deduno OK with whatever role Twins give him
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Samuel Deduno, who appears likely to open the season in the bullpen instead of the starting rotation, said on Saturday that he's fine with whatever role the Twins decide is best for him.
Deduno has been solid this spring, posting a 2.19 ERA in five Grapefruit League appearances totaling 12 1/3 innings. He was considered the frontrunner for the fifth spot in the rotation, based on his impressive spring and 3.83 ERA in 18 starts last year. But Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said Deduno is likely to open the year as a long reliever.
Deduno said he hasn't heard anything from the Twins about moving to the bullpen, but said he can handle it, if that's what's asked of him.
"Nobody has told me anything, but any chance they give me to help the team -- in the bullpen or as a starter -- I can do it," Deduno said. "I feel pretty good. My arm is healthy, which is the biggest thing. I'm happy because I'm healthy and I can do whatever they need in the bullpen or starting."
Deduno, 30, has limited big league experience in the bullpen, as he made four relief appearances as a rookie in '10 with the Rockies, and two with the Padres in '11. He last saw extensive time as a reliever in the Minor Leagues in '11, when he made 28 relief appearances for Triple-A Tucson.
But the Twins feel he's better suited for the bullpen, as he's never thrown 150 innings in any season and ended last year on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain that required arthroscopic surgery. He's also never gone longer than seven innings in any of his 33 starts with the Twins over the last two seasons.
"His stuff is really good," Antony said. "When he's gotten into trouble is when he gets deep into the pitch counts and he's at 100 pitches in the fourth or fifth inning. That can be tough on the bullpen. But he has good stuff and could have value out of the rotation. He's also had some injury issues, so we have to factor that in. But he's thrown the ball really well and has really good stuff."
With Deduno expected to pitch in long relief, right-hander Anthony Swarzak is expected to see more time in the sixth and seventh innings, similar to the role held by Josh Roenicke last season.
Correia 'progressing as planned' in latest turn
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Kevin Correia made his second-to-last start of Spring Training against the Yankees on Saturday during Minnesota's 5-4 loss. He came away mostly pleased with the results.
Correia gave up four runs on six hits over six innings, while recording one strikeout. He gave up all four runs in the fourth, but was hurt by the Twins' sloppy defense that inning.
"Everything felt good today," said Correia, who threw 81 pitches. "I got to the pitch count we set out to. I got my work in today. Nothing out of the ordinary. I'm progressing as planned, and ready to go."
The way it's currently lined up, Correia is scheduled to make the second start of the season for the Twins on April 2, behind Opening Day starter Ricky Nolasco. It would also give Correia the start in the home opener against the A's on April 7, but the Twins haven't made an official announcement on that yet.
Correia is scheduled to make his final tuneup of Spring Training on Thursday against the Red Sox.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire thought Correia was OK on Saturday, though he left the ball up in the fourth inning.
"He was fine," Gardenhire said. "He had two strikes on I don't know how many batters in that fourth inning, but just couldn't make a [finishing] pitch on them. They put the ball in play, and they just kept finding spots out there. But he threw the ball good and got his work in."
Diamond out to make good impression
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Left-hander Scott Diamond remains in the mix for the final spot in the rotation, and said he's looking forward to trying to make an impression in his next outing on Tuesday against the Orioles.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson is slated to start that game against Baltimore, and is now considered the frontrunner for the fifth spot in the rotation. The Twins have not made an official announcement, however.
There were reports on Friday indicating that Gibson had already won the fifth spot, but they were shot down by both Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and assistant general manager Rob Antony.
Diamond said he hasn't heard anything from the Twins about the fifth spot, so he's just going to go about his business as usual on Tuesday.
"It's going to be interesting," Diamond said. "I guess with how that story came out [on Friday], obviously, there's some [idea] that Gibson is the fifth starter. So all I can do is focus on what I'm going to be doing. I'm going to go out and throw strikes. I don't know how much impact it'll have, but I hope it'll have some. I'm just going to go out and pitch."
Diamond, who is out of Minor League options, could be placed on waivers or sent to the bullpen if he doesn't crack the rotation. Diamond said he'll also treat his outing as an audition for other clubs, just in case the Twins try to outright him to Triple-A Rochester and expose him to waivers.
"At this point, I love the Twins -- but I'm also marketing myself for 29 other teams," Diamond said. "So we'll see."
• Twins general manager Terry Ryan, who made his first appearance at Hammond Stadium on Friday since being diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his neck in early February, watched Saturday's game from his office there. Ryan spent the morning meeting with Twins players and coaches before taking in the game.
Ryan is scheduled to fly back to Minnesota on Saturday night, as he has radiation treatment again on Monday. Ryan, who underwent surgery to remove a cancerous lump from his neck on Feb. 11, still has five more weeks of radiation treatment remaining.
• The Twins released Minor League reliever Dakota Watts on Saturday, the club announced. Watts, 26, posted a combined 2.72 ERA in 46 1/3 innings between Class A Advanced Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain last season. But he's never advanced past Double-A, and has a career 5.04 ERA in 89 1/3 innings at Fort Myers and a 4.00 ERA in 108 innings at New Britain.
• Gardenhire said on Saturday that he plans on opening the season with 12 pitchers -- instead of the 13 used most of last season because of the struggles of the starting rotation. It gives the Twins more options off the bench, as they can now carry four backup position players.