Neal: Plouffe, Deduno and rain in Florida

  • Blog Post by: La Velle E. Neal III
  • March 20, 2013 - 6:52 PM

UPDATE: And it's official. The game has been cancelled.

It has the makings of the wet one down here today, as rain is in the forecast for much of the afternoon. What's not known is when the rain will stop or how much of tonight's game against Tampa will be affected.

The radar doesn't look good, as it shows storms moving in off the Gulf Coast.

The Twins and other clubs in Florida will sweat this one out. At this stage of spring training, rain delays can really mess up pitchers who need to build their arms for Opening Day. They can throw bullpens in the covered batting cages in the event of rain, but it's not the same.

Trevor Plouffe needs the minor league games to go on as scheduled so he can complete his recovery from a strained right calf. Plouffe was 1-for-4 on Tuesday against a Red Sox farm club and is scheduled to play today and tomorrow before joining the Twins on Friday.

Hopefully, that Friday game will be the day manager Ron Gardenhire posts the lineup he intends to open the season with. Indications are that the order will go Hicks, Dozier, Mauer, Willingham, Morneau, Doumit, Parmelee, Plouffe, Florimon. Gardy could come up with something else between now and Opening Day. But the last week to week and a half of camp is when spring training games are treated more like regular season games.

Was over at the minor league side this morning when Tom Stuifbergen, fresh off his stint at the World Baseball Classic, popped in to say hello to staff. I would imagine that Sam "I Am" Deduno will arrive Thursday so he can prepare to fight for a spot on the Opening Day staff. His impressive work at the WBC was duly noted by the Twins, who will throw him into the mix for a spot in the rotation.

The tarp is coming off here at Hammond Stadium and are cutting the grass. We'll see how long that tarp stays off because the forecast doesn't look good.

If there is baseball, Mike Pelfrey will face Matt Moore, not a bad matchup.

UPDATE: The forecast calls for rain starting around 4 p.m. eastern time. We just don't know when it will stop.

UPDATED UPDATE: No rain. The Rays are on their way, as there's a growing chance that the most of the rain will stay north.

MORE UPDATES: The radar doesn't look good.

Rafael Perez threw off a mound today as he comes back from shoulder surgery. Twins GM Terry Ryan said everyone might have been a little too ambitious with him coming back so soon. Perez will start the season on the DL as he builds up arm strength.

Anthony Swarzak threw for 10 minutes to hitters on Wednesday. He will also start the season on the DL.

Trevor Plouffe was 1-for-3 with a double today and played five innings in the field during a minor league spring game. He'll play one more game tomorrow then join the Twins on Friday. 



1. Desmond Jennings, CF
2. Matt Joyce, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Ben Zobrist, RF
5. Luke Scott, DH
6. Yunel Escobar, SS
7. James Loney, 1B
8. Jose Lobaton, C
9. Kelly Johnson, 2B

Pitching: Matt Moore, LHP


1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Brian Dozier, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, DH
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Jamey Carroll, 3B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Mike Pelfrey, RHP

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