4/22/2014 8:50 P.M. ET
Top prospect Buxton close to returning to action
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- Top prospect Byron Buxton, who sprained his left wrist in a Minor League Spring Training game on March 16, could play in his first extended spring training game on Thursday.
Buxton, ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect by MLB.com, is scheduled to take batting practice on the field for the first time on Wednesday at the club's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla. He originally injured his wrist trying to make a diving catch in the outfield.
"He's doing well," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "He's going hit on the field tomorrow and is maybe a day or two away from some extending [spring training] action."
Antony said there's still no timetable for Buxton to join Double-A New Britain. But he's getting closer, and hasn't suffered any setbacks since the injury.
"There hasn't been anything unexpected," Antony said. "Everything has gone according to plan. The good news is that once it was supposed to start feeling better, it did. So hopefully he's on his way soon."
Fuld joins Twins in familiar setting
ST. PETERSBURG -- Outfielder Sam Fuld admitted it was weird walking into the visitors' clubhouse for the first time at Tropicana Field on Tuesday, as he officially joined the Twins in time for their series against his former club.
Fuld, who played with the Rays from 2011-13, was claimed on waivers by the Twins from the A's on Sunday. Fuld, 32, was hitting .200/.273/.433 with a homer, two triples and a stolen base in seven games with Oakland before being designated for assignment on April 12.
"It feels strange and great," Fuld said. "It's kind of a crazy day, because it's my first day with the Twins, so I'm meeting lots of new teammates, but also seeing a lot of familiar faces, too. It's my first time I've played here as an opposing player. So it's strange but I'm enjoying it."
Fuld hasn't played since April 11, and wasn't in the starting lineup on Tuesday. He's expected to see time at all three outfield positions and could push Aaron Hicks for playing time in center field if Hicks continues to struggle.
"I don't know how it'll play out, but they're aware I can play all three outfield positions and I'm comfortable playing all three," Fuld said. "I'm comfortable coming off the bench, pinch-hitting, pinch-running, that kind of stuff. I've performed in various roles. I'm comfortable being a bench player and playing sporadically but also definitely comfortable playing on a more regular basis."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he likes what Fuld can bring to the team with his speed and defense.
"He can play all three outfield positions and play them well," Gardenhire said. "He slaps the ball around. He can steal bases. He can come off the bench or lead off a game. He's a contact guy. But I like the fact he's played with winning teams so he knows how to help you win baseball games. So we hope he'll bring some of that to us as we try to get better ourselves."
Mastroianni claimed off waivers by Blue Jays
ST. PETERSBURG -- Outfielder Darin Mastroianni, who was designated for assignment on Sunday, was claimed on waivers by the Blue Jays on Tuesday.
Mastroianni, 28, went 0-for-11 with the Twins upon having his contract purchased from Triple-A Rochester on April 10. He was outrighted on Sunday to make room for fellow outfielder Sam Fuld, who was claimed off waivers from the A's.
The Twins were hopeful that Mastroianni would be able to get through waivers, but he was ultimately claimed by the Blue Jays, which was his original organization. Mastroianni was acquired by the Twins in a waiver claim from Toronto in February 2012.
"It's disappointing," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "He's a good guy and a good insurance player, especially as a guy who can run and play all three outfield positions."
Mastroianni saw his 2013 season marred by a left ankle injury, having injured it in Spring Training on a foul tip before having surgery to repair a bone chip in his ankle in May. He then underwent a second surgery on Oct. 17 to remove the fixation hardware originally placed in his ankle.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he believes Mastroianni is past the ankle injury, and was also disappointed to see him claimed by Toronto.
"We like Mastro an awful lot," Gardenhire said. "He was struggling swinging right now, so we were hoping we could send him down for some consistent at-bats. He was coming back good from that ankle injury. But I'm happy for him. If somebody wants you, that's always good. And we wanted him, too, but it didn't work out."
Mastroianni fell victim to bad timing, as the Twins needed to create a roster spot for Fuld when they claimed him on Sunday.
The Twins had hoped that the paperwork for Jason Bartlett's retirement would go through in time to have an open spot on the roster, but Bartlett's retirement didn't become official until Monday because of the holiday weekend. So the Twins had to designate Mastroianni for assignment to clear a roster spot, even though he still has a year of Minor League options remaining.
Twins announce green efforts on Earth Day
ST. PETERSBURG -- In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, the Twins announced results of their ongoing green efforts as they continue to seek ways to improve the sustainability of Target Field.
"The Minnesota Twins organization believes our future success -- both on and off the field -- is built on a business model that embraces operational efficiency, environmental stewardship and social responsibility," said Twins president Dave St. Peter. "Through the following efforts, we have reduced our overall impact on the environment while we continue to seek ways to improve the sustainability of Target Field."
Through a custom-designed rain water recycle system provided by Minneapolis-based Pentair, the Twins have captured, purified and reused more than 3,133,892 total gallons of rainwater, drastically reducing the use of municipal water at Target Field. The majority of the recycled rainwater was used to wash down the seating bowl attached to the main concourse.
Through aggressive recycling and waste-to-energy programs, the Twins have also kept more than 3,761 tons of waste out of local landfills since 2011.
The Twins, along with Delaware North Company, have also partnered with Rock and Wrap It Up! Inc. to donate unused food from Target Field to local charities. Throughout the three-year partnership, the Twins have donated 108,993 cased meats, 15,289 hamburgers and 7,095 chicken breasts.
With the All-Star Game set to be played at Target Field on July 15, the Twins will incorporate several environmentally sensitive efforts, including public service announcements about "going green." All-Star Green Teams will also be on hand throughout All-Star Week events wearing branded organic cotton T-shirts and circulating throughout the ballpark collecting recyclable materials.
Less than two years after being named the Greenest Ballpark in America and earning LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Silver certification for new construction, the Twins were also the first professional sports franchise to also attain LEED Silver Certification for the operation and maintenance of their facility.
"As we move forward, the Twins are committed to maintaining our focus on environmental sustainability," St. Peter said. "While we can always improve, we're proud of our efforts in 2013 and are looking forward to doing even more in 2014."