JUPITER, FLA. -- Walking around concourse just now at Roger Dean Stadium, still a half-hour before first pitch, it's already obvious how many more Cardinal fans show up for games than Marlin fans, here in the complex that the teams share. I suppose that's not exactly a surprise, but there will be a much more electric atmosphere for the game today than for the Twins' win over Miami last Friday.
A couple of items from Ron Gardenhire's pregame meeting:
-- Minor-league camp opens today at the Twins' complex in Fort Myers, and that usually means a round of cuts are coming. Teams around the Grapefruit League have begun reducing their rosters, but Gardenhire said the Twins are likely to wait until the end of the week, until the minor leaguers finish their drills and begin playing games. The Twins are missing 13 players who are competing in the World Baseball Classic, and they have split-squad games coming up on Thursday, so they don't want to leave themselves without enough players.
Once cuts begin, expect Oswaldo Arcia to be among the first, because he'll benefit from getting plenty of at-bats every day instead of just being a late-inning replacement for the big-leaguers. Gardenhire said he's been disappointed that Arcia hasn't been able to play, due to a pulled muscle in his left side, because "he's my favorite player" for the way he can hit.
Actually, Gardenhire said, Arcia is now tied with Eddie Rosario as his favorite -- that's how great an impression the Puerto Rican infielder made the past three weeks. "And we're going to get a look at [Miguel] Sano" later this month, too, he said.
-- Kevin Correia has returned to Fort Myers following the Friday birth of his third son, who does not yet have a name. Correia was to throw in the bullpen today, Gardenhire said, and will likely start Wednesday's exhibition against Puerto Rico's WBC team, or one of the Thursday split-squad games.
-- Infielder Deibinson Romero remains in limbo, his arrival from the Dominican Republic delayed by red tape. General manager Terry Ryan said the Twins have no idea when Romero will be cleared to travel. "It's a shame," Ryan said. "He was trying to make our club."
Here are today's lineups:
Twins -- Hicks CF, Dozier 2B, Plouffe 3B, Parmelee RF, Benson LF, Ramirez DH, Herrmann C, Dinkelman 1B, Florimon SS. De Vries P, followed by some combination of Pressly, Theilbar, Walters, Tonkin, Perdomo, Meyer and Hernandez.
Cardinals -- Jay CF, Descalso 2B, Holliday LF, Craig DH, Freese 3B, Taveras RF, Wigginton 1B, Cedeno SS, Cruz C. Lynn P.