Welcome to Spring Training

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Spring Training is officially here, as pitchers and catchers reported to the Lee County Sports Complex today.

The Twins didn’t have any issues with any of the pitchers or catchers reporting on time, but injured right-handers Nick Blackburn (wrist surgery) and Lester Oliveros (Tommy John surgery) were both sent to Minor League camp instead because they aren’t ready to pitch.

Several Twins pitchers participated in light workouts, including Brian Duensing, Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Liam Hendriks, Casey Fien, Tyler Robertson and Vance Worley. But official workouts don’t begin for Twins pitchers and catchers until Wednesday morning.

A handful of Twins position players were also at camp to get extra work in such as Trevor Plouffe, Chris Parmelee, Aaron Hicks, Brian Dozier, Joe Benson and Darin Mastroianni.

I plan on being more active on the blog this spring, especially once Grapefruit League play begins, just like last Spring Training. Here’s an example of what I did last year once the games started with a short recap and some photos.

I’m also on Instagram (rhettbollinger) and will be taking plenty of photos throughout the season. Here’s one of Hammond Stadium from today.

Here are some other Twins notes and I’ll have a full notebook over on Twinsbaseball.com later today:

— Left-hander Scott Diamond might not be ready for Opening Day, as he’s still rebuilding arm strength after getting a bone chip removed from his elbow in December. He said his goal is to start on Opening Day but that he doesn’t want to push it because it’s such a long season.

— Right-hander Anthony Swarzak was apologetic when talking about the wrestling incident with teammates on Jan. 25 that caused him two fracture two ribs. He said he’ll be out another three weeks or so but expects to be ready for the start of the season.

— Reliever Jared Burton said there will be no restrictions on him this year unlike last year when the club was cautious with him because he was coming off shoulder surgery. He also said he was very happy about the two-year deal he signed this offseason to remain in Minnesota.

— Several Twins players said they feel like the vibe in the clubhouse is better this year than last season and that they feel like they have something to prove after the struggles of the last two seasons. But it’s just the first day of Spring Training so it’s easy for the players to be optimistic.

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