03/17/2013 5:05 PM ET
Mauer, Perkins return to Twins camp after Classic
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Joe Mauer arrived back at Twins camp on Sunday after playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, but he didn't make the 90-mile trip to Ed Smith Stadium for Minnesota's game against the Orioles.
Mauer, though, said he expects to be back in the lineup on Monday against the Marlins and said he enjoyed representing his country even though Team USA was knocked out of the Classic with a loss to Puerto Rico on Friday.
"It didn't end up the way we liked, but it was a great experience," Mauer said. "But it's nice to be back here with the guys."
Mauer compared the atmosphere at the games to the playoffs and said he has no regrets about playing in the tournament. He was also one of Team USA's better hitters, as he batted .429/.538/.619 with two doubles and two RBIs in six games.
"I feel pretty good," Mauer said. "Obviously, there is some work to do be done, so I'm glad we have a couple more weeks before we get going. But I was able to square some balls up and was seeing a lot of pitches. So it was good.'
Twins closer Glen Perkins also arrived back at the Lee County Sports Complex after pitching for Team USA in relief. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he expects to get Perkins into a game soon, as he last pitched on March 10 against Team Canada.
Perkins gave up a hit to his teammate, Justin Morneau, that game with Mauer behind the plate in Team USA's victory.
"It was a little different, but it was pretty neat," Mauer said. "A lot of guys commented on that and said it must've been a little awkward. But it probably ended up turning out all right. Justin got a little base hit. Perk had him down 1-2, but I was telling Perk if that ball's down, it would've been a strikeout. So I think there will be a lot of talk about that at-bat in this clubhouse for a while."
Worley could be in line to start Opening Day
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Twins have yet to name an Opening Day starter, but if right-hander Vance Worley stays on his current schedule, he'd be the club's starting pitcher for the opener on April 1 against the Tigers at Target Field.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he'll wait until after Tuesday's off-day to make an announcement, but Worley is on track to start on Friday and March 27, which would be in line with him starting on Opening Day on April 1.
Worley said he hasn't been told about making that start but acknowledged it would be an honor to take the mound for the Twins in the regular-season opener.
"If it falls that way, yeah, absolutely," Worley said. "I'll take the ball and see what I can do with it, and hopefully bring us a 'W.'"
Worley started against the Orioles on Sunday, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk over four innings. His Grapefruit League ERA is at 6.00, but he says he's happy with the way his pitches are coming along this spring.
"Everything is coming out of my hand the way I want it to, velocity-wise, and my breaking balls are coming out the way I need them to," Worley said.
Twins send seven players to Minor League camp
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Twins reassigned seven players to Minor League camp on Sunday, including first baseman Chris Colabello, who also played for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic.
Catcher Eric Fryer, third baseman Mark Sobolewski, outfielders Brian Dinkelman and Clete Thomas and right-handers Deolis Guerra and Shairon Martis were also reassigned to Minor League camp.
Colabello hit .294 with two doubles, two walks and three RBIs in nine Grapefruit League games. He also hit .333 while leading Team Italy with two homers and seven RBIs in the World Baseball Classic.
Colabello, who played seven seasons in the independent Can-Am League before playing at Double-A New Britain last season, is scheduled to start the season at Triple-A Rochester.
"He did fine," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He played great for Team Italy and really well for us. First base is a place where we don't have a ton of depth. We have [Justin] Morneau and then ad-libbing from there. So he's put himself in a good situation where if he's down there swinging the bat good, he could go right into the big leagues after all that time in independent ball. So it's a good story."
Guerra, meanwhile, is out with a blood clot in his right shoulder. He was released from the hospital on Sunday after having a first rib resection on Friday. He's expected to miss the first half of the season.
"He has to go through therapy and all that stuff, but ultimately he'll be back on the mound," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "Everything went well."
Martis also isn't with the club, as he's pitching for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.
The Twins now have 42 players in camp: 22 pitchers (five non-roster), four catchers (one non-roster), nine infielders (three non-roster) and seven outfielders (two non-roster).
Diamond, Swarzak expected to start season on DL
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Scott Diamond and Anthony Swarzak are both making good progress in their rehab from injuries, but both pitchers are expected to start the season on the disabled list.
Diamond, who had a bone chip removed from his left elbow in December, is scheduled to make his first start of the spring on Monday in a Minor League game. The left-hander is slated to throw two innings in a Class A game at the Lee County Sports Complex.
Diamond needs to keep building his pitch count and isn't expected to be ready to rejoin the rotation until mid-April.
Swarzak, who broke two ribs in a horseplay incident in late January, is throwing bullpens without any issues but also needs to be stretched out in his role as a long reliever, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.
"It's going to be hard," Gardenhire said. "You're talking about a guy that's in a long-man situation. You have no time to get him stretched out to where he can go four or five innings. So we'll have to wait and see. It depends on when he gets on a mound, but I don't think we have enough time to do that. So I'd imagine he'd go on the DL and go from there."