It’s now less than 24 hours before the Twins first game of the spring and like the players, I’m ready to see some real action on the field. While it’s always exciting to get down to Florida and to see the players report, the games are always what bring about the most intrigue in spring.
Manager Ron Gardenhire likely put it best during some of his post-workout comments on Tuesday.
“I think the guys are ready too,” Gardenhire said of the games starting. “They’re excited. They’re tired of facing each other. That gets old. Hitters facing the pitchers, that’s not a lot of fun. It’s a little more fun when you face the other guys.”
Glen Perkins will get the start in the Twins Graperfruit League opener against the Red Sox on Wednesday night at Hammond Stadium. Among the pitchers also expected to throw in the contest are Joe Nathan, Jesse Crain, Luis Ayala, and Bobby Keppel. Mike Redmond will catch the first game and the infield will be Justin Morneau at first, Alexi Casilla at second, Nick Punto at shortstop and Brian Buscher at third. I haven’t yet heard who will be starting in the outfield.
Here are a few nuggets that came out of camp on Tuesday:
- Other than Boof Bonser’s shoulder problems, the only other injury so far in camp belongs to infielder Steve Tolleson who has a strained oblique. Gardenhire said that Tolleson is expected to miss some time on the field but that he’ll be re-evaluated in 3-4 days.
- Joe Mauer certainly seems excited by the progress he’s made over the last week. Along with playing catch and working on some light agility drills, Mauer is now beginning to take swings in the cage as well. It’s still unclear what Mauer’s timetable is for rejoining the team out on the field but for now, it’s just nice to see him encouraged by the steps he’s taken since Spring Training began.
- Former Twins pitcher Brad Radke stopped by the team’s clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon. Radke, who resides in Largo, Fla. which is near Clearwater, was greeted with a hug and handshake from many of the veteran Twins players who were clearly excited to see him. There were also quite a few congratulations offered to Radke in regards to his selection to the Twins Hall of Fame. The normally modest pitcher seemed a little sheepish about the honor, but he said that he’s looking forward to being in Minnesota for the induction ceremony this summer.
Restaurant of the Day: The Mucky Duck
Every Spring Training all of the Twins beat writers take a trip to Captiva Island to visit this restaurant for dinner. The goal is always to make it out there in time to see the sun set from the beach on which the restaurant sits. It’s hard to beat that view and the food is pretty good as well. Just know it’s a little bit of a drive to get out to the restaurant — particularly when there is vacation traffic out on both Sanibel Island and Captiva — but if you get the chance, it’s really worth the time.
Obviously, you want to try to refrain from jumping to too many conclusions based on what a manager writes down on the line up card for the first spring training game, but at this point in the season, what else, really, are you going to talk about? Anyway… it will be interesting to see what Gardy does with the outfield today. I’d guess Span, Gomez, Cuddyer from left to right. But the real interesting thing will be to see where he plays Young, when he’s in the lineup.