Results tagged ‘ Josh Willingham ’

Twins announce Opening Day lineup

BALTIMORE — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced his lineup for Opening Day against the Orioles tomorrow at Camden Yards.

There were no surprises, but Ryan Doumit will be starting in right field over Trevor Plouffe, as Plouffe is starting the year in a super utility role.

And Justin Morneau will start the year as designated hitter with rookie Chris Parmelee getting his first Opening Day start at first base.

Gardenhire also said his two main setup relievers will be left-hander Glen Perkins and right-hander Jared Burton. He also mentioned left-handers Brian Duensing and Matt Maloney as the two guys he’d look to first if he needs a reliever in the middle innings.

More to come in today’s notebook. But here’s the lineup:

Twins:
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Ryan Doumit, RF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Chris Parmelee, 1B
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

RHP Carl Pavano

Game 10: Twins lineup vs. split-squad Yankees

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins are rolling out their expected Opening Day lineup against the Yankees today at Hammond Stadium.

One Twins pitcher joked that it didn’t surprise him that manager Ron Gardenhire waited until the club played the Yankees to unveil his “A” lineup. So it’ll certainly be interesting to see if they can put some runs on the board, as the offense has mostly struggled so far this spring.

The game, which will be televised on FS North and MLB.TV at 12:05 p.m. CT, will also be a good test for right-hander Nick Blackburn, who is making his Grapefruit League debut.

Blackburn has looked good so far in two “B” games — throwing three scoreless innings against the Red Sox — so we’ll see how he does against a Yankees lineup that includes veterans such as Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Raul Ibanez.

UPDATE: That didn’t last long. The Twins announced that Denard Span is out with neck stiffness. Joe Benson replaced him and is batting eighth. Ben Revere moves up to leadoff. The updated lineup is below:

Twins (4-5)
1. Ben Revere, LF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Josh Willingham, RF
6. Ryan Doumit, DH
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Joe Benson, CF
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

RHP Nick Blackburn

Twins reserves: Drew Butera, Dan Rohlfing, Steve Pearce, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Trevor Plouffe, Wilkin Ramirez, Matt Carson

Twins pitchers: Brian Duensing, Jeff Manship, Jason Bulger, Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson, Brendan Wise, Aaron Thompson, Matt Capps

Yankees (4-4)
1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Nick Swisher, RF
4. Raul Ibanez, DH
5. Francisco Cervelli, C
6. Jorge Vaqzuez 3B,
7. Jayson Nix 2B,
8. Brandon Laird 1B,
9. Ramiro Pena, SS

RHP Phil Hughes

Game 9: Valencia powers Twins to victory

BRADENTON, Fla. — Danny Valencia helped the Twins get out of their offensive slump with a three-run homer to lead the Twins to a 4-2 win over the Pirates on Saturday at McKechnie Field.

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Twins, who improved to 4-5 in Grapefruit League play.

What went right: Valencia looked good at the plate, hitting an opposite-field double in the fifth inning off Jo-Jo Reyes before crushing a three-run shot off Reyes in the sixth.

The homer was set up by a two-out walk from Josh Willingham and a single from Justin Morneau. Morneau, who served as designated hitter, went 1-for-4 at the plate, including a deep fly ball to center field in the first. Willingham went 1-for-2 with a walk.

Right-hander Anthony Swarzak tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of right-hander Terry Doyle, who struggled. Jared Burton, Matt Maloney, Kyle Waldrop, Lester Oliveros and P.J. Walters each tossed a scoreless inning.

“They’re doing fine,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of the relievers in camp. “We’re just looking at different guys. We see some guys we like a little bit. We like their arms. We see the ball coming out, but still, they’ve only been out once or twice. I think, let’s give them a couple more times out and see where we’re at.”

What went wrong: Doyle didn’t have his best stuff, as he allowed two runs on seven hits — including three doubles — and a walk over 2 2/3 innings.

Doyle, a Rule 5 Draft pick who must remain on the active roster all season or be offered back to the White Sox, didn’t exactly help his case to make the club. It was also Twins manager Ron Gardenhire’s first time seeing him pitch.

And while Valencia certainly had a good day offensively, the rest of the Twins combined for just four hits — singles from Willingham, Morneau, Rene Rivera and Alexi Casilla.

Also, despite 14 hits, including a homer from Oswaldo Arcia and two doubles from Chris Parmelee, the Twins also lost 8-2 in a “B” game to the Pirates earlier in the day. Scott Baker pitched in two innings, but recorded just four outs, surrendering six runs (five earned) on six hits, including a two-run homer by Matt Hague.

“Baker was not very good at all,” Gardenhire said. “He got beat around pretty good. He threw the ball. We’ll see how he does from there. Maybe that “B” game format, he might need a little more preparation than that riding the bus and all that trying to pitch. He didn’t react well to that.”

What they said: “We had two good ballgames today,” Gardenhire said. “We had 13 or 14 hits in the first one, then out here today we came up with some big hits too. A better day.”

What’s next: Right-hander Nick Blackburn is set to make his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday against the split-squad Yankees at 12:05 p.m. CT at Hammond Stadium. Blackburn has tossed three scoreless innings in two “B” games against the Red Sox this spring. Brian Duensing, Liam Hendriks, Jeff Manship, Tyler Robertson, Brendan Wise and Deolis Guerra are also scheduled to pitch for the Twins. Right-hander Phil Hughes is slated to start for the Yankees.

Game 5: Twins lineup vs. Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Right-hander Scott Baker makes his first start in Grapefruit League play today against the Rays at Charlotte Sports Park.

Baker tossed one inning in a “B” game against the Red Sox on Thursday, allowing one run on a homer by Ryan Lavarnway. He’s set to go two innings today, and is expected to be followed by left-hander Scott Baker.

Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span and Josh Willingham didn’t make the trip today, but we’ll get a chance to see how Alexi Casilla and Jamey Carroll work together in the middle infield.

The game will also be televised on Fox Sports North and on MLB.TV at 12:05 p.m. CT. It will also be on radio on the Twins Radio Network and streaming on MLB.com.

Twins lineup:
1. Ben Revere, LF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Ryan Doumit, C
4. Chris Parmelee, 1B
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Brian Dinkelman, RF
7. Steve Pearce, DH
8. Joe Benson, CF
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

RHP Scott Baker

Twins reserves: Chris Hermann, J.R. Towles, Brian Dozier, Pedro Florimon, Michael Hollimon, Oswaldo Arcia, Wilkin Ramirez, Matt Carson, Darin Mastroianni

Twins pitchers: Brian Duensing, Glen Perkins, Matt Capps, Phil Dumatrait, Matt Maloney, Daryl Thompson and Jeff Gray.

Rays lineup:
1. Desmond Jennings, DH
2. Sean Rodriguez, SS
3. Carlos Pena, 1B
4. Brandon Guyer, RF
5. Jeff Salazar, CF
6. Chris Gimenez, C
7. Will Rhymes, 2B
8. Matt Mangini, 3B
9. Jesus Feliciano

RHP Jeff Niemann

Game 4: Twins sloppy in 10-2 loss to Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins didn’t exactly look sharp in a 10-2 loss to the Red Sox in their first and only night game of the spring at Hammond Stadium.

Right-hander Jason Marquis struggled in his Grapefruit League debut, allowing four runs on three hits and three walks over just 1 2/3 innings.

What went right: Joe Mauer continued to look good at the plate and went 2-for-3 with an RBI single in the fifth inning. Tsuyoshi Nishioka also added an RBI single and went 1-for-3.

New additions Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit combined to reach base five times. Willingham was hit by a pitch, singled to left and walked, while Doumit walked and singled to center. Denard Span also went 1-for-2 with a walk.

Right-hander Liam Hendriks threw two scoreless innings with three strikeouts — all looking. His lone mistake was a double by David Ortiz that went off the wall in left field. Right-hander Carlos Gutierrez bounced back after a rough outing in last week’s “B” Game, throwing a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. Brendan Wise and Tyler Robertson each threw a scoreless frame.

What went wrong: Well, where should we start?

Marquis didn’t impress in his debut, as he had trouble finding the strikezone and threw three wild pitches, including one that allowed a run to score. He also wasn’t helped by the defense, as Ryan Doumit — making his first-ever start in left field — booted a ball for an error, and Justin Morneau made a throwing error after a nice play at first base.

Right-hander Jeff Manship came in and got of the second-inning mess left by Marquis, but then served up a solo homer to Ortiz in the third inning.

And right-hander Deolis Guerra allowed five runs in the seventh inning, including a three-run homer to Dan Butler. He allowed four hits and walked one.

What they said: “10-2 tends to take the wick out of you on Fireworks Day as they say,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire joked after the game when asked if there were any positives to find in the game.

What’s next: Right-hander Scott Baker is set to make his first Grapefruit League start tomorrow against the Rays at 12:05 p.m. CT at Charlotte Sports Park. Ryan Doumit is also slated to make his first start at catcher after seeing time at designated hitter and in left field so far this spring. Right-hander Jeff Niemann is scheduled to start for the Rays. The game will be aired live on Fox Sports North and the Twins Radio Network.

Injury update: Infielder Luke Hughes (strained right shoulder) served as designated hitter for a second straight day. He hopes to make his first start in the field sometime this week. … Infielder Ray Chang, who left Sunday’s game after taking a knee to the jaw, took infield on Monday without any issues. He said he suffered from some jaw spasms last night, but felt OK this morning. … First-base coach Jerry White is staying in the hospital overnight for precautionary reasons to get checked out for stomach and chest tightness.

Game 4: Twins lineup vs. Red Sox in night game

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins host the Red Sox tonight in the first and only night game at Hammond Stadium this spring.

It’s also the first game televised in the Twin Cities, as it will be broadcast live on Fox Sports North Plus. Here’s the link to where to find that channel. And for those who subscribe to MLB.TV, you can watch the game there as well. It’s also on the radio on the Twins Radio Network and streaming on MLB.com.

It will be worth following, as Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span, Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit return to the lineup tonight after taking the day off yesterday.

But Doumit is in a unfamiliar place, considering he’s making his first ever start in left field. He’s played 60 games in right field as a Major Leaguer and five games there as a Minor Leaguer, but never in left.

Luke Hughes (strained right shoulder) is also back in the lineup as DH after going 0-for-3 there yesterday with a deep line drive to center against the Red Sox at JetBlue Park. He’s hoping to make his first start in the field later this week.

It’s also a good chance to see Brian Dozier — the club’s Minor League Player of the Year — in action at shortstop. Former Twins Nick Punto and Jason Repko are also in the lineup for the Red Sox.

Other notes:

– Ray Chang was back taking infield after taking a knee to the jaw in yesterday’s game against the Red Sox. He said he dealt with some spasms with his jaw last night but felt OK today.

– First-base coach Jerry White is in the hospital overnight to get checked out for stomach and chest tightness.

– Former Twins first baseman Don Mincher passed away last night.

Twins (2-1)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Josh Willingham, RF
6. Ryan Doumit, LF
7. Luke Hughes, DH
8. Brian Dozier, SS
9. Michael Hollimon, 3B

Twins reserves: Drew Butera, Rene Rivera, Brian Dinkelman, Trevor Plouffe, Ben Revere, Rene Tosoni and Aaron Bates.

Twins pitchers: Jason Marquis, Jeff Manship, Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson, Brendan Wise, Deolis Guerra, Liam Hendriks

Red Sox (1-0)

1. Jose Iglesias, SS
2. Ryan Sweeney, RF
3. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
4. David Ortiz, 1B
5. Darnell McDonald, DH
6. Josh Kroeger, LF,
7. Kelly Shoppach, C
8. Nick Punto, 2B
9. Jason Repko, CF

RHP Clay Buchholz

Games 2/3: Split-squad lineups for the Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins have their first split-squad action of Spring Training today with half the club going to Port Charlotte to face the Rays and the other half staying in Fort Myers to play the Red Sox.

Among position players, only Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span, Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit are staying back today. And the pitchers who threw yesterday — Carl Pavano, Brian Duensing, Matt Capps, Glen Perkins, Alex Burnett, Matt Maloney and Anthony Swarzak — will stay back for light throwing sessions.

I’m at JetBlue Park today to cover the Twins against the Red Sox, as Ron Gardenhire is at the game to watch left-hander Francisco Liriano in his first outing of the spring. Luke Hughes (right shoulder strain) is also set to make his debut as designated hitter after being cleared by team doctors.

And I have to say that JetBlue Park is a pretty amazing place. The playing field is essentially a replica of Fenway Park right down to the dimensions, the Green Monster and Pesky Pole. I’ve been to most of the new Spring Training parks such as Camelback Ranch and Salt River Fields in Arizona, but this one might just be the coolest one I’ve seen yet.

I took a few pictures on the way in, so I’ll post them here. But I’m hoping to get some better shots once the weather gets better. So be on the lookout for more photos on the blog later today.

Twins lineup vs. Red Sox:

1. Ben Revere, LF
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS
3. Rene Tosoni, RF
4. Aaron Bates, 1B
5. Luke Hughes, DH
6. Sean Burroughs, 3B
7. Ray Chang, 2B
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Darin Mastroianni, CF

LHP Francisco Liriano

Twins reserves: Chris Herrmann, Danny Lehmann, Michael Hollimon, Wilkin Ramirez, Danny Rams

Twins pitchers: Jared Burton, Esmerling Vasquez, Phil Dumatrait, Daryl Thompson, Jason Bulger, Kyle Waldrop and Liam Hendriks.

Twins lineup vs. Rays:

1. Alexi Casilla, 2B
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Trevor Plouffe, LF
4. Chris Parmelee, 1B
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Brian Dinkelman, RF
7. Steve Pearce, DH
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Joe Benson, CF

RHP Terry Doyle

Twins reserves: Dan Rohlfing, J.R. Towles, Brian Dozier, Pedro Florimon, Oswaldo Arcia, Matt Carson

Twins pitchers: Scott Diamond, Luis Perdomo, Aaron Thompson, Lester Oliveros, P.J. Walters, Casey Fien.

Day 4 of pitchers and catchers working out

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Two more Twins showed up to camp today, as Josh Willingham and Sean Burroughs made their first appearances at the Lee County Sports Complex.

With Willingham and Burroughs in camp, only first baseman Justin Morneau and outfielder Oswaldo Arcia have yet to show before tomorrow’s official report date. Full workouts officially begin for position players on Friday.

Willingham said he’s excited to start working out with his new teammates, and needs Spring Training to help him adjust from the move from left field to right field.

And Burroughs’ road back to the Majors last year has been well-documented after battling substance abuse the previous few years. Here’s the full story on Burroughs on Twinsbaseball.com.

In other news, Luke Hughes received a positive update, as a second opinion by Dr. Lewis Yocum on an MRI exam taken on Hughes’ strained right shoulder found only inflammation. He had a cortisone shot today, and is expected to rest for a few days before returning to baseball activity next week.

Some other tidbits from today:

- Denard Span got through a second day of working out — taking BP, shagging fly balls and running the bases — without any problems.

- Twins GM Terry Ryan had lots of positive things to say about former Reds right-hander Jared Burton. Burton used to be Cincinnati’s eighth-inning guy before battling through various injuries over the last few seasons. But assistant GM Wayne Krivsky, who originally acquired Burton back when he was GM of the Reds, said that Burton ended last season healthy and productive.

- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire brought up former Pirates prospect Steve Pearce as a guy to watch for this spring. Pearce, who can play first base and outfield, has plenty of raw power and owns a career .835 OPS in Triple-A.

- Gardenhire said he plans on using Ryan Doumit as his primary DH this season with Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau also expected to get occasional starts there.

And here some photos from today:

Day 3 of pitchers and catchers working out

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The big news today was Denard Span making his first appearance at camp, and getting through a full day of workouts.

The center fielder took batting practice, ran the bases and shagged balls in the outfield without any issues.

He said he’s still bothered by the occasional bad day, but thinks he’s over the concussion-like symptoms that stemmed from his concussion suffered on June 3 in a home-plate collision. So be on the lookout for a full Denard Span story on the site later today.

And with Span at camp, only four Twins players — Justin Morneau, Josh Willingham, Oswaldo Arcia and Sean Burroughs — have yet to report prior to Thursday’s official report date. I’ve also heard that Willingham is expected to get into town tonight and report tomorrow.

Speaking of Morneau, Twins general manager Terry Ryan said he needs to be medically cleared by Major League Baseball because he ended last season on the disabled list with concussion-like symptoms. But it’s expected to be more than a formality than anything else because Morneau is feeling good and hasn’t felt those symptoms since December.

Other than that, it was a relatively quiet day at Twins camp. But are a few other notes from today:

- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wouldn’t confirm that he’ll carry three catchers to start the season, but hinted strongly that’s the way he’s leaning. Drew Butera remains the favorite but should be pushed by former Astros top prospect J.R. Towles.

- The Twins are still waiting on Dr. Lewis Yocum to look at the MRI exam results taken on Luke Hughes’ sprained right shoulder. They could hear back by tomorrow.

- Shortstop Brian Dozier still has his cut left thumb wrapped up, but is able to swing the bat.

- Gardenhire talked about the stability he expects from Jamie Carroll at shortstop this season. He said he was never in favor of sending Jason Bartlett to the Rays in ’07 in the trade that brought Delmon Young to Minnesota. Also, he added that he wasn’t happy with the decision to not bring back Nick Punto last offseason. But he was happy to see him win the World Series with the Cardinals, and texted him shortly after the Fall Classic to congratulate him.

And here are today’s photos:

And a short video of Span taking batting practice:

Gauging Twins’ interest in Willingham

DALLAS — The Twins’ top priority remains signing Michael Cuddyer, but the club does have interest in free-agent outfielder Josh Willingham as a backup plan, a source confirmed on Monday.

There is nothing imminent between the Twins and Willingham, but the the Twins and Willingham’s agent, Matt Sosnick, are tentatively scheduled to meet face-to-face on Thursday if the club doesn’t reach a deal with Cuddyer, according to the source.

Willingham, 32, hit .246/.332/.477 last season with a career-high 29 homers and 98 RBIs in 136 games with the A’s.

It was reported earlier this morning that nine teams, including the Twins, Indians, Red Sox, Reds and Pirates have called on Willingham.

I’ll have more once we meet with Twins general manager Terry Ryan at 4:30 p.m. today.

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