3/24/2014 4:44 P.M. ET
Twins to honor Ryan at opener with SU2C patches
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins announced their plans for their home opener at Target Field on April 7 against the A's, with both clubs wearing Stand Up To Cancer patches as a show of support for general manager Terry Ryan and those impacted by cancer everywhere.
Ryan, 60, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in early February, and had surgery to remove a cancerous mass from his neck on Feb. 11. He's currently undergoing radiation treatment until late April. It's the second time the Twins have honored him this year, as all players and staff members wore Stand Up To Cancer shirts on the first day of official workouts on Feb. 22.
Both the Twins and the A's will sport special SU2C caps during batting practice on April 7. Following the game, the Twins batting practice caps will be autographed and auctioned off via twinsbaseball.com, with proceeds benefitting SU2C.
At the end of the second inning, all fans will also be invited to join players from both teams as they "Stand Up To Cancer." Placards will be distributed to fans as they enter Target Field and fans will be encouraged to personalize their placard with the name of someone they know who has been affected by cancer.
The day begins with free breakfast for fans located on the 7th Street side of Target Plaza from 6 to 9 a.m. CT. The gates then open at 1 p.m. for a 3:10 p.m. scheduled start.
Twins legends will be on hand at their respective gates, with Bert Blyleven representing fellow Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew at Gate 3, Tony Oliva at Gate 6, Kent Hrbek at Gate 15, Tom Kelly representing Rod Carew at Gate 29 and a Twins official representing Kirby Puckett at Gate 34.
There will also be several on-field performances, as Home Free, a local a cappella group that won Season 5 of NBC's "The Sing-Off" is scheduled to perform at 2:30 p.m., and the national anthem will be performed by local singer Thomasina Petrus. The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by Minneapolis-based actor Barkhad Abdi, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the film "Captain Phillips."
Decision looming for Twins on Kubel
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins have until Tuesday to decide whether to add Jason Kubel to the 25-man roster or offer him a $100,000 retention bonus, but the club is expected to announce Kubel will make the team.
Kubel, 31, has been swinging the bat better of late, going 5-for-8 over his last three games, entering Monday's game against the Rays, which was cancelled due to rain. Kubel is expected to be a regular at designated hitter, and said he also expects to see time in the outfield, although he's played just two games in the outfield this spring.
"I feel good," Kubel said. "I'm right where I want to be going into the last week of the season."
The Twins had a similar decision to make with reliever Matt Guerrier but Guerrier was granted his unconditional release on Monday after being told he wasn't going to make the Opening Day roster. It allows Guerrier a chance to latch on with another club on a Major League deal, but Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said the club remains open to re-signing Guerrier on a Minor League deal if he decides to return.
Infielder Jason Bartlett isn't owed a $100,000 retention bonus, because he was out of baseball last year, but he had an out-clause for Monday in his contract that was pushed back to the end of the week, according to Antony.
Bartlett remains in the mix for a spot on the roster as a backup infielder, but Eduardo Escobar is considered the favorite for that spot, considering he's had a better spring and is out of Minor League options.