Results tagged ‘ Morneau ’

Busy day in Fort Myers: Day 5 of ST

By: Kelly Thesier/

The last day of pitchers and catchers workouts for the Twins started out this morning with a large group of Japanese media gathered inside the home clubhouse awaiting Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

Nishioka did not work out on Tuesday, but he spent some time greeting his new teammates, shaking hands with them as he walked around the entire clubhouse. The infielder then met with the Japanese media and finally the American media before heading out as he awaits the first full squad workout on Wednesday.

It was far from the only thing that drew attention on Tuesday. First baseman Justin Morneau was greeted with a light smattering of applause from fans when he started taking swings with his teammates on one of the back fields at the Lee County Sports Complex.

Morneau hit in a group with Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Jim Thome and wore a protective batting helmet while doing so. He then fielded ground balls, taking throws from third and practiced turning double plays. It’s some of the same activities that Morneau has been doing in Arizona but it was a big step to see him back on the field with his teammates for the first time in awhile.

Delmon Young has arrived in Fort Myers, meaning that all of the Twins players are now officially in camp and ready for Wednesday’s first full squad workout. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the club is healthy heading into the workout, although Scott Baker might be backed off a day or too before throwing live BP.

Francisco Liriano threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and all the reports are that everything went well.

Capps joins new teammates — Twins vs. Mariners 7/30

By: Kelly Thesier/

MINNEAPOLIS — Matt Capps has arrived at Target Field and he spent over 10 minutes right before batting practice speaking with the local media. By all accounts he seemed like a great guy and one who will fit in well in the Twins clubhouse.

Capps is wearing No. 55 and when asked about his entrance music, Capps said he’s never actually chosen it himself. But since he was pitching well with the Nationals’ choice of “The Final Countdown” by Europe, it’s likely that he’ll keep that here at Target Field as well.

Lots of roster moves here today, which I blogged about earlier. To make room for Capps, the Twins optioned right-hander Nick Blackburn to Triple-A Rochester. The move should allow Blackburn to pitch more and hopefully get himself back on track.

Nick Punto was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and the Twins recalled infielder Trevor Plouffe to take his spot on the roster.

Justin Morneau was at Target Field today and took some light swings off a tee for the first time since suffering a concussion on July 7. Morneau said things have been progressing, albeit slower than he’d like. He’s still trying to work through not having any lingering effects later in the day after he’s done some activity. So there is still no exact timetable for him to return as he said they’ll take it “day by day.”

Oh yeah, and there is a game tonight too as the Twins host the Mariners for the start of a three-game series here.

Here are the lineups:

Mariners (39-64)

Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Chone Figgins, 2B
Casey Kotchman, 1B
Russell Branyan, DH
Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Michael Saunders, LF
Josh Bard, C
Josh Wilson, 3B
Jack Wilson, SS
Pitching: RHP Doug Fister (3-6, 3.56 ERA) 



Denard Span, CF

Alexi Casilla, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Delmon Young, LF
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Danny Valencia, 3B

J.J. Hardy, SS

Pitching: RHP Scott Baker

(8-9, 5.00 ERA)

can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier 

Saturday tidbits: A collision and other updates

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire admitted to being a little shaken up following a scary collision at the plate in the fourth inning of Saturday’s game with the Rays.

For the second time in the game, outfielder Jacque Jones collided with Rays catcher Dioner Navarro at home plate while trying to score on a ball hit to center field. While the two managed to get away unscathed the first time, Navarro wasn’t so lucky in the second attempt.

Navarro was on the ground for quite a long time before being lifted onto a cart and taken off the field with an injury to his left knee. At the time, Navarro looked to be in great pain.

“It just makes you sick to your stomach,” Gardenhire said. “He’s a really good player and a really good kid.I was worried about Jacque too. He had nowhere to go, [with Navarro] blocking the plate and on top of the plate. But it’s just scary to see collisions.”

Navarro turned out to be OK. X-rays on his left knee were negative and he was diagnosed with a nerve contusion — which the Rays said shouldn’t be too worrisome. As for Jones, he said he banged up his left knee on the play but that he was OK as well.

Certainly not what anyone wants to see in a Spring Training contest.

— A couple of the Twins got some at-bats in Minor League contests on Saturday. J.J. Hardy went 0-for-2 with a walk in a game against the Orioles’ Class AAA Norfolk affiliate while playing four innings at shortstop and Jim Thome went 0-for-3 with an RBI in that game.
Justin Morneau went 3-for-4 in a game against the Orioles’ Class AA Bowie affiliate. The best news was that Gardenhire said all three players came away feeling good

— Still no update on Joe Nathan. He’ll likely play catch on Sunday and when we get word about how it goes, I’ll pass it along.

Twins vs. Pirates 3/18

By: Kelly Thesier/

The Twins made one cut this morning, optioning right-handed pitcher Rob Delaney to Triple-A Rochester.

Justin Morneau is back in the lineup as expected. Jim Thome also makes his return to Grapefruit League contests after going 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in four plate appearances in a Minor League contest yesterday against Boston’s Class A Greenville affiliate.

Thome wasn’t the only one who played in that Minor League game as Jon Rauch also threw a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out three.

Pirates (4-9)
Ronny Cedeno, SS

Delwyn Young, 2B

Garrett Jones, RF
Jeff Clement, 1B

Lastings Milledge, LF
Brandon Moss, DH

Pedro Alvarez, 3B

John Raynor, CF
Jason Jaramillo, C

Pitching: RHP Ross Ohlendor

Others scheduled to pitch:Chris Jakubauskas, Javier Lopez, Jack Taschner, Brian Bass, Jean Machi

Twins (5-8)

Ben Revere, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jim Thome, DH

Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jacque Jones, LF
Brendan Harris, 3B
Matt Tolbert, SS
Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano

Others scheduled to pitch: Jose Mijares, Clay Condrey, Anthony Swarzak, Kyle Waldrop

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

Twins at Rays 3/17

By: Kelly Thesier/

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The Twins and Rays are set to meet today for the first time this spring, and it’s one of three games between the two clubs in five days.

I spoke with Justin Morneau this morning and the first baseman said he’s been dealing with what he called a “very minor tweak,” which has made him a little sore in the ribcage area. He said he hopes to play on Thursday when the Twins host the Pirates at Hammond Stadium. Morneau said it’s something he would normally play through but the club wanted him to rest and let it heal since it’s only Spring Training.

Also, an interesting note is that former Twin Johan Santana will face his old team when the club travels to Port St. Lucie to play the Mets on Friday. It will mark the first time that Santana has faced the Twins since he was traded in Feb. 2008.

Twins (5-7)

Denard Span, CF

Nick Punto, 3B
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, RF

Delmon Young, LF
Wilson Ramos, C
Luke Hughes, 2B
Brock Peterson, 1B
Alexi Casilla, SS
Pitching: LHP Glen Perkins

Others scheduled to pitch: Jeff Manship, Jesse Crain, Anthony Swarzak, Kyle Waldrop, Alex Burnett, Anthony Slama, Rob Delaney

Rays (10-3)
Sean Rodriguez, CF

Gabe Kapler, RF

Evan Longoria, 3B
Hank Blalock, DH

Kelly Shoppach, C
Justin Ruggiano, LF

Reid Brignac, 2B

Ryan Shealy, 1B
Elliot Johnson, SS

Pitching: RHP James Shields

Others scheduled to pitch: Rafael Soriano, Grant Balfour, Lance Cormier, Joaquin Benoit

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

Tuesday’s postgame tidbits

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire gave a few postgame updates after Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Orioles. Among them were updates on the health of Justin Morneau and J.J. Hardy

— Morneau did not play on Tuesday and Gardenhire said that he likely won’t play again until at least Thursday when the team is home. The first baseman has been dealing with some general soreness, including some in his ribcage and back, the skipper said. This is the time of year when Gardenhire said it’s not worth having Morneau play so they are having him take it easy, like they said they would do earlier this spring.

Minnesota Twins

“I told him, if there’s any issue, where you get
sore at all through your torso or legs — we’re just going to [pull
back],” Gardenhire said. “He’s always played through it, and we’re just going to back off
a few days here, and just take it easy. Do your light workouts and just
take it easy. He’s got plenty of time to get plenty of at-bats.”

Gardenhire said Morneau hasn’t hit in a couple days but they view that as a good thing since they wanted him to cut down on his number of swings this spring.

— Hardy was not in the lineup again as he’s still feeling something in his right quadriceps. Hardy left Saturday’s game in Clearwater with what the team called tightness in the quad.

“We’re not going to push that
issue,” Gardenhire said. “There’s just really no need. After that off day the 22nd, we’re
going to have a lot of games, plus those two at Target Field for guys
to get plenty of at-bats and get deep into the games.”

As for giving all the guys a few days off and some long bus trips off, Gardenhire joked that he expects all of them to be feeling better soon — as in feeling better after Friday’s three-plus hour bus ride to Port St. Lucie to play the Mets.

“Personally I think once we get past Port St. Lucie, guys are going to get well real quick,” Gardenhire said with a laugh. “Then they’ll probably come down with the flu bug about the time we go back to Jupiter. I’m just guessing. There is that cold season and it’s normally around Port St. Lucie and Jupiter [trips]. They are afraid that they might catch a cold over there and they don’t want to take a chance.”

Twins vs. Orioles 3/16

By: Kelly Thesier/

After a few days off, Joe Mauer returns to the Twins lineup today. Mauer had been battling a sore right shoulder after taking a foul tip off it in Thursday’s game against the Orioles. Mauer said that his shoulder was feeling better in recent days but the Twins didn’t want to push it and didn’t want him to make any extra long roadtrips like Monday’s trek across the state to Jupiter, Fla..

Justin Morneau is being given another day off as is Jim Thome. Manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday that both players were dealing with some “general soreness” after taking a long bus trip to Clearwater. Gardenhire really does seem intent on not pushing anything this spring and giving his players plenty of rest.

I spoke with Nick Blackburn this morning who gave me an update on his knee. He said it felt better while playing catch today and doesn’t expect it to be much of an issue. I’ll have an updated story on the site a little later.

Orioles (4-8)
Robert Andino, SS

Justin Turner, 2B

Nolan Reimold, DH
Luke Scott, LF

Lou Montanez, RF
Scott Moore, 1B

Josh Bell, 3B

Chad Moeller, C
Jeff Salazar, CF

Pitching: RHP David Hernandez

Others scheduled to pitch: Koji Uehara, Dennis Sarfate

Twins (5-6)

Ben Revere, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH

Brendan Harris, SS
Danny Valencia, 3B
Jacque Jones, LF
Juan Portes, RF
Pitching: RHP Scott Baker

Others scheduled to pitch: Mike Maroth, Clay Condrey, Jesse Crain, Pat Neshek, Jose Mijares

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

Emptying the notebook — Saturday edition

I guess I also could have titled this entry the late edition of the notebook. Sometimes that happens after those long drives down I-75.

The drive back from Clearwater today also featured a sight that I hadn’t seen along the highway before, a brush fire. As I was coming down the highway near Sarasota, a huge black cloud of smoke billowed high into the clouds. From what I read later, it was a fire that covered nearly three acres of ground and eventually shut down a stretch of I-75. Fortunately I made it through before that happened, but it made for quite an interesting scene with smoke bellowing over the highway as I drove past.

To fill you in on more baseball news, here are a few things that were also noteworthy on Saturday.

–After the victory over the Phillies, manager Ron Gardenhire said that first baseman Justin Morneau would be back in the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays. Morneau was able to work out back at Hammond Stadium on Saturday after battling a case of the flu.

— Right-hander Nick Blackburn made his start in a Minor League contest back in Fort Myers on Saturday so that he wouldn’t have to test his left knee at the plate as the club played National League rules against the Phillies. Blackburn instead started for Double-A New Britain as they faced Triple-A Rochester and he allowed one run on four hits over his three innings. Blackburn threw 45 pitches and walked two while striking out one.

Corey Koskie retires and Saturday lineups vs. Philly

After working this spring to make his comeback in the Major Leagues, former Twins third baseman Corey Koskie announced Saturday morning that he was retiring from baseball.

Koskie, who was out of baseball for the last 2 1/2 years due to post-concussion syndrome, had signed a Minor League contract with the Cubs and played for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. Koskie felt he proved he can still play in the league, but he didn’t want to risk another injury and wanted to spend more time with his family, including his three young sons, ages 8, 6, and 3.

“I just decided that it’s not worth it,” Koskie said on a conference call with the Minnesota media. “It would be a tough day for me if I ended up getting another concussion and had to quit because of that. But I just decided the risk/reward is not worth it.”

David Winfree, who is suffering from the same flu as Justin Morneau, made the trip to Clearwater on Saturday. Manager Ron Gardenhire hadn’t gotten an update on how Morneau was feeling, but he expected the first baseman to go to the ballpark on Saturday and complete a light workout.

Phillies starter Chan Ho Park was scratched and right-hander Kyle Kendrick will start in his place. And yes the pitchers are batting in the National League park today so R.A. Dickey, Jesse Crain and Craig Breslow will be among those getting their swings in during the contest.

Here are the lineups

Denard Span, LF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Brian Buscher, 1B
Luke Hughes, 3B
Carlos Gomez, CF
Jose Morales, C
Brendan Harris, SS
R.A. Dickey, P

Miguel Cairo, SS
Geoff Jenkins, RF
Chase Utley, 2B
Ryan Howard, 1B
John Mayberry J., CF
Matt Stairs, LF
Pedro Feliz, 3B
Chris Coste, C
Kyle Kendrick, P