Before we get to some game highlights, some news:
The Twins are preparing to spend as much as $4 million to land one of the top Latin American prospects this year.
Wander Javier, a shortstop from the Dominican Republic with some power potential, is in the Twins' crosshairs, according to sources with knowledge of the interest. The international signing period doesn't begin until July 2, when teams can ink players who have turned 16 by then. If the bonus does rise to $4 million, it would set a club record for the largest bonus awarded to an international prospect, surpassing the $3.15 million the Twins signed Miguel Sano for in 2009.
Signing Javier for that much would require some maneuvering. The Twins have the fifth-largest international signing bonus pool this year, but it is only $3,948,500 - $51,500 shy of the $4 million it's expected to cost to land Javier. The Twins would have to pay a 100 percent tax on the $51,500 overage but since it's less than five percent over their cap they won't face further penalties.
So the Twins could simply accept the penalty to sign Javier and move on. But they also could trade for allocation money and avoid the tax. They also might decide to trade for much more than $51,500 so they can sign more players.
I was told that the Twins are looking at all options on this one. And the word aggressive was used to describe their approach to this. The Twins haven't stepped out into the deep international waters since they singed Miguel Sano in 2009. Sano has yet to play in the majors, but has tantalizing power.
It doesn't sound like Javier has that type of power , but you can watch him for yourself here.
Keep in mind that we are four months - four - from international signing season. And all kinds of things could happen. But the Twins are definitely in on this one.
Some quick game notes
Hard to get fired up about the first spring outing. Phil Hughes' cut fastball looked like a slider. With improved arm strength, that should work itself out.
For others like Michael Tonkin, his pitch selection was an issue. Tonkin threw 24 pitches, 21 were fastballs. He's been asked to mix in a breaking ball before.
``Early down here I would like to see them build arm strength,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said, ``but it's got to be a pitch that he's getting more comfortable throwing.''
Funny scene in the second inning. Mike Napoli, the No. 6 hitter, was batting. Ryan Hanigan, the Red Sox No. 8 hitter, was in the on deck circle. Either Hanigan was too early or Xander Bogaerts, the No. 7 hitter forgot where he batted in the order. Bogaerts eventually emerged from the dugout, bumped fists with Hanigan then replaced Hanigan in the on deck circle.
Brian Dozier was in the original starting lineup on Saturday, but was seen in street clothes an carrying three bottles of water and three bottles of an energy drink.
Dozier is sick, meaning the Twins aren't quite done with the bug that swept the clubhouse during the first week of workouts that forced five players to be sent home to recover. He could miss Sunday's game against Baltimore.
Catcher Josmil Pinto played catch and hit in the cage on Saturday as he tries to recover from a strained right quadriceps suffered during a running drill.''
``It feels better,'' he said. But Pinto hasn't been cleared to take part in drills or catch in the bullpen yet. Until then, Pinto will remain the only position player to not have appeared in a spring training game. And he needs to get on the field and impress the coaching staff enough to bring him north at the end of camp.
Mike Pelfrey's entered the game in the third inning and got Mookie Betts, his first batter, to pop out to right field. Eric Farris camped under the ball - and dropped it for an error. Betts, of course, eventually scored. And Pelfrey ended up as the losing pitcher.
But it was a victory, of sorts, for Pelfrey because it was his first outing since May 23 when he pitched for Class AAA Rochester. He soon had season-ending surgery to remove scar tissue from his elbow that was pressuring the ulnar nerve.
In two innings, Pelfrey gave up that unearned run on three hits.
``It was good to see Mike out there,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ``He's put in a lot of work to get back to where he is. Command wasn't great but he got through a couple, which was good.''
Righthander Alex Meyer, who missed four days last week to attend his grandfather's funeral, will make his spring debut on Monday in a B game in Bradenton against Pittsburgh.
Righthander Trevor May, who missed two days last week because of the flu, will make his spring debut on Wednesday when the Twins play host to Tampa Bay.
The Twins turned a 4-6-3 double play - Doug Bernier to Danny Santana to Max Kepler - in the second, third and fourth innings.