Rainstorms throughout the Fort Myers area this morning forced the Twins workouts inside the indoor batting cages this morning. Both pitchers and hitters got their work done in the cages, although it wasn’t without a little havoc. Manager Ron Gardenhire said the club had to pin up the netting in one of the cages because 6-foot-11 Jon Rauch was too tall and his arm was hitting the netting during his delivery.
Still despite the cramped space and less than ideal conditions, the Twins were able to get enough done on Tuesday.
“We got plenty of work, just inside, not on the grass,” Gardenhire said. “ Guys got out there, ran around, whatever, all
that stuff. But we had to do most of our work inside, the fields got
pretty ugly, which is never a bad thing. You get your work in,
sometimes give them a little break on their legs, a little less
throwing on a day like this is fine. Just don’t want too many of them.
We just moved today’s program back to tomorrow. Perfect.”
Here are a few more news nuggets from Tuesday:
— All of the injury concerns seem to be doing OK. Brian Duensing and Jose Mijares were both able to throw after getting hit during live batting practice in recent days.
— Gardenhire passed along his lineup for Thursday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Red Sox at City of Palms Park
It’s as follows: Denard Span CF, Alexi Casilla 2B, Jason Kubel DH, Michael Cuddyer RF, Jacque Jones LF, Brendan Harris 3B, Brock Peterson 1B, Drew Butera C, Matt Tolbert SS
Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau will play in Friday’s home opener at Hammond Stadium. Orlando Hudson and J.J. Hardy will likely make their Twins spring debuts in that contest as well.
— Gardenhire is also scheduled to receive his Chuck Tanner Manager of the Year Award during Sunday’s split squad game in Bradenton against the Pirates. The award was given out this offseason but Gardenhire was unable to attend due to traveling across the country with his mother.
One person who gave Gardenhire grief for not attending was Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who was roasted at the event in Pittsburgh. Leyland also had a bit of advice to pass along to Gardenhire recently.
Having heard Gardy’s comment about Joe Mauer’s contract in that the Twins were deciding whether to give the catcher Minneapolis or St. Paul, Leyland said he had the answer.
“Give him both,” the Tigers skipper said.
According to Tigers manager Jim Leyland, that would be the Twins’ M&M Boys –Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.
Leyland was asked on Saturday about his decision to have Joel Zumaya walk the two hitters back-to-back with two outs in the 11th inning of what eventually was an 11-9 win in 16 innings for Detroit.
it’s the best 1-2 tandem in baseball. I believe that, I really do,” Leyland said of Mauer and Morneau. “They’re so good, and they’re so professional and they’re so smart. They
know what to do, and they never panic. And I said I’m just not going to
let them beat me.
“If we get beat, we get beat, but I’m not going to let
them beat me. And I’m not going to do it the rest of the year, if I can
help it. They’re just too good.”
While Zumaya’s control had not been the best of late, Leyland said he was willing to take the risk of the next batter, Michael Cuddyer, drawing a bases-loaded walk rather than seeing either Mauer or Morneau come up with the winning hit.
“I have as
much respect for those two guys during the course of the game,” Leyland said. “They
remind me a little bit, and Gene Lamont talked a lot about them, of
[Craig] Biggio and [Jeff] Bagwell. The tandem of those guys and how professional they
were, they set the tone for the whole team the way they go about their
business with dignity, the way they work
“Obviously, they’re talented.
They’re special. I can’t think of a better 1-2 punch in baseball. One
guy’s going to put the ball in play all the time for sure, and get
hits. And the other guy, you might strike him out once in a while, but
he’s a big-time RBI guy. This team, to me, has never really gotten the
credit. Somehow they seem to get lost in media attention for whatever