FORT MYERS, FLA. -- La Velle is on his way to Tampa, where the Twins will play a split squad game against the Yankees. I’m back in the Fort for Twins/Phillies.
Michael Cuddyer will be taking batting practice with the team today, another step for him in his recovery from his wart-removal surgery, and Joe Mauer (left knee surgery) plans to catch another bullpen session.
Scott Baker starts the game in Tampa, and Francisco Liriano will be trying to find his groove here against the Phillies, who are bringing a laughably thin lineup to Hammond Stadium. The Phillies had a split-squad day Saturday, but that’s a poor excuse, and this is a TV game in Philadelphia.
Roy Oswalt needed to pitch today, so the Phillies had him pitch in a B-game, and the Twins will face Michael Stutes.
Liriano gave up six runs (five earned) on five hits in 1 2/3 innings on Wednesday against the Orioles. He was also shaky in a B-game start against the Rays on March 4. He's been working on his mechanics, so we'll see how that's going.
By the way, Fox Sports North will air its first Twins telecast of the spring on Monday, when Kevin Slowey and Nick Blackburn are set to pitch, in that order, against the Marlins.
1. Josh Barfield, 3B
2. Wilson Valdez, CF
3. Ben Francisco, RF
4. John Mayberry Jr., 1B
5. Delwyn Young, LF
6. Jeff Larish, DH
7. Erik Kratz, C
8. Michael Martinez, 2B
9. Freddy Galvis, SS
Starting pitcher: Michael Stutes.
1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Trevor Plouffe, SS
3. Delmon Young, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Chase Lambin, RF
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Matt Tolbert, 2B
Listed pitchers: Francisco Liriano, Kyle Gibson, Joe Nathan, Jose Mijares, Phil Dumatrait.
Hammond Stadium. First pitch: 12:05 p.m. (Central). Twins Radio Network.
Twins vs. Yankees: 1. Denard Span CF, 2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka SS, 3. Jason Kubel DH, 4. Jeff Bailey, 1B, 5. Luke Hughes, 3B, 6. Brian Dinkelman, 7. Jason Repko RF, 8. Rene Rivera C, 9. Alexi Casilla, SS. Pitchers: Scott Baker, Matt Capps, Glen Perkins, Kyle Waldrop, David Bromberg, Deolis Guerra, Anthony Swarzak.