Some of the Twins will have to play more than the usual five innings today, because the roster, already depleted by the World Baseball Classic, has been divided in half for today's split-squad games. I'm here in Fort Myers for a game with the Red Sox -- a game featuring most of the veterans, who are spared the long bus ride -- while La Velle Neal hit I-75 this morning to cover the Twins' other game, in Clearwater vs. the Phillies. That lineup features three catchers in the batting order, so they're definitely using all their players.
Here at Hammond Stadium, Joe Benson takes his turn as the leadoff hitter and center fielder, though any progress he makes in his quest to win the job from Aaron Hicks and Darin Mastroianni will be minimized, at least a little, by the fact that Ron Gardenhire and Terry Ryan are at the other game.
Kevin Correia pitches for the first time in a week today, having returned Monday night from his trip home to San Diego for the birth of his third son.
A reminder, too: Tomorrow night's game at JetBlue Park will be the first game of the spring televised by FSN. It's on their Plus channel, beginning at 6 p.m. Central.
Red Sox -- Jacoby Ellsbury CF, Dustin Pedroia 2B, Stophen Drew SS, Mike Napoli 1B, Ryan Lavarnway DH, Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, Daniel Nava LF, Ryan Sweeney RF, Drew Sutton 3B. Clay Buchholz P.
Twins -- Joe Benson CF, Jamey Carroll 2B, Josh Willingham LF, Ryan Doumit C, Trevor Plouffe 3B, Chris Parmelee DH, Jeff Clement 1B, Brandon Boggs RF, Ray Olmedo SS. Kevin Correia P, followed by some combination of Trevor May, B.J. Hermsen, P.J. Walters, Caleb Thielbar, Virgil Vasquez and Michael O'Connor.
The latter two pitchers are Triple-A free agents who reported to minor league camp this week, and are being brought over for depth, i.e., extra innings or if someone has a short outing. Vasquez pitched the past two seasons in Australia and last appeared in the majors with Pittsburgh in 2009. O'Connor has pitched for the Mets and Nationals, and spent last year with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.