Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer to start Wednesday
Twins to field closest thing to Opening Day lineup this spring
JUPITER, Fla. -- With the Twins playing their third consecutive road game hours away from Hammond Stadium, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Jim Thome all played in another Minor League game Tuesday at the Twins' Spring Training complex.
Morneau saw action at first base and went 3-for-5. Cuddyer played five innings in right field, going 2-for-5 with a double, and Thome went 1-for-3 with three RBIs, one on a sacrifice fly.
All three players are expected to play in Grapefruit League action this week. In fact, the Twins could field a batting order close to their projected Opening Day lineup Wednesday night against the Orioles, with catcher Joe Mauer, Morneau and Cuddyer all slated to start.
2010 Spring Training - Minnesota Twins
News & Features
- Worth noting
- Working on slider, Pelfrey happy to enter year healthy
- De Vries' arm fine, slated to start next Saturday
- Morneau swings on practice field, ready for opener
- Ryan reflects on spring, eager for season to begin
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
All three had a late start to the spring because of injuries, and Cuddyer will be making his Grapefruit League debut on Wednesday after experiencing discomfort in his left foot stemming from having a wart removed on March 1.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he was excited about the possibility of putting his best lineup out there for the first time in nearly nine months -- Morneau missed the second half of last season with a concussion. He said the lineup will be "beautiful" and that he's not worried about the late start for Mauer, Morneau or Cuddyer.
"They'll be fine," Gardenhire said. "They have to be. They don't have a choice."
Relievers toss scoreless frames vs. Marlins
JUPITER, Fla. -- Two relievers competing for a spot in the Twins' bullpen saw action on Tuesday, with right-hander Jim Hoey and left-hander Dusty Hughes each throwing a scoreless inning in the Twins' 3-0 loss to the Marlins.
Hoey allowed one hit in the seventh inning and lowered his spring ERA to 5.19 in 8 2/3 innings.
"He threw the ball good," said Twins manager Ron Gardenire. "He got behind a couple times and misfired, but he flung it pretty good. The ball has a good angle, and the ball came out of his hand pretty good."
Hughes, meanwhile, kept his scoreless streak alive at 10 innings -- but it wasn't easy. He walked two consecutive hitters to load the bases with two outs before getting Osvaldo Martinez to ground out to end the frame.
"You have to get in [a jam] to get out of it," Gardenhire said. "There's a good side and a bad side to it. The good news is he got out of it, but the bad news is that it took too long."
Top prospect Hicks makes Grapefruit debut
JUPITER, Fla. -- Center fielder Aaron Hicks, the Twins' top prospect according to MLB.com's rankings, made his Grapefruit League debut in Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Marlins when he traveled with the club to Roger Dean Stadium.
Hicks, Minnesota's first-round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, replaced Denard Span in center field in the bottom of the sixth inning and went 0-for-1 with a groundout to shortstop. He made an error in center field that led to a run for the Marlins in the sixth inning.
"I wish I could've got him a couple at-bats, but that's the way it is," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "But it was nice to see him out there."