FORT MYERS - A couple of things about today's Twins lineup as they face the Pirates at Hammond Stadium ...

Willians Astudillo is considered a catcher, but if you look at his defensive deployment last season, it paints somewhat of a different picture.

He caught in 39 games at Class AAA Rochester but played 42 games at other positions. Once promoted to the Twins, he caught in 16 games, appeared at other positions in 14 games. Despite being listed as a catcher, he's played there in 309 games of his 638-game minor league career.

If he's going to be on the major league club (and I expect him to head north with the team), he must be able hold his own behind the plate, especially calling games. I've heard the Twins have been working with Astudillo on his game management in camp. 

Follow today's play-by-play here.

As you see, he's behind the plate today with Michael Pineda as the Twins face the Pirates. Having a third catcher who can play some at third and the outfield - and hit a little - can be a handy tool to have on a bench.

The other thing to watch is Nelson Cruz in right field today. I don't expect him to play much in the outfield this year - and you shouldn't root for that, either - but the Twins have interleague series at Philadelphia and the Mets in early April, and the Twins will need some innings from him out there.

That's all for now. We expect another round of cuts after today's game, so stay tuned. Some of them could be interesting.


Pablo Reyes, SS
JB Shuck, CF
Jose Osuna, RF
Kevin Newman, 2B
Patrick Kivlehan, 3B
Jacob Stallings, C
Lolo Sanchez, LF
Joe Musgrove, RHP


Max Kepler, DH
Jorge Polanco, SS
Nelson Cruz, RF
Eddie Rosario, LF
C.J. Cron, 1B
Marwin Gonzalez, 3B
Jonathan Schoop, 2B
Willians Astudillo, C
Byron Buxton, CF

Michael Pineda, RHP

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