Twins show their support for Ryan
FORT MYERS, FLA. – It was a bold statement of support for someone the Twins care about.
Every Twins player and staffer Saturday wore Stand Up To Cancer T-shirts for General Manager Terry Ryan, who is recovering following cancer surgery nearly two weeks ago. Ryan is expected to make a full recovery but likely will miss all of spring training.
“For Terry and for everybody else that’s going through this,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I’ve always said the Twins try to do the right thing.”
Dustin Morse, Twins director of baseball communications, came up with the idea.
Ryan, 60, was diagnosed with squamous-cell carcinoma earlier this month and had surgery to remove it at the Mayo Clinic. He returned to Mayo last week for a checkup and was told his recovery is going well.
Hitting coach Tom Brunansky spoke to a large group of position players — mostly prospects and those still trying to establish themselves — about what he expects of them this season.
Brunansky didn’t mince words at times about the effort he wants to see in the cages, during batting practice and in games as they work to develop as hitters and improve an offense that was near the bottom of the league in several categories last season.
“There has to be accountability,” Brunansky said. “It’s not about you. It’s about all of us.”
Winfield and Hicks
The Major League Baseball Players Association arrived at Hammond Stadium on Saturday for their annual meeting with the Twins. Union head Tony Clark was joined by former players Bobby Bonilla, Bob Tewksbury, Jose Cruz Jr. and Dave Winfield — all of whom have positions within the union.
That meant Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks was able to meet Winfield for the second time. The two chatted for a few minutes before the meeting.
Hicks’ father, Joseph, wore No. 31 as a minor leaguer because Winfield was his favorite player and that’s the number the Hall of Famer from St. Paul wore with the Padres. Aaron Hicks wore that number as a Twins prospect and switched to No. 32 when he made the team last year — the number Winfield wore with the Twins in 1993 and ’94.
“He was a big influence on my dad,” Hicks said. “To get to meet him for the second time is pretty cool.”
• Catcher Josmil Pinto (sore back) was held out of Saturday’s workout.
• Lefthander Edgar Ibarra, who came down with hepatitis B about a month ago, he been cleared for activity and will throw in the bullpen Sunday.
2013 stats: Batted .268 with seven homers and 29 RBI between Class AAA Lehigh Valley and Class AAA Rochester.
Acquired: Signed as a free agent, July 3, 2013.
Role: Starting outfielder at Rochester.
Did you know? Mitchell was an fifth-round draft pick of the A’s in 2006 and never has reached the majors.
La VELLE E. NEAL III