Gardy ready to turn it around
FORT MYERS, FLA. - The first day of full squad workouts is also speech day, and the heads of the various departments address the players. Manager Ron Gardenhire finishes up, hoping to set the right tone for camp and the regular season.
After 195 losses over the previous two seasons, it wasn't hard for Gardenhire to come up with good material. He addressed the team about expectations and how to turn things around.
''It was a pretty good speech,'' Twins lefthander Brian Duensing said. ''It was kind of like all the other ones, but you can hear it in his voice that he's kind of fed up -- the same with [General Manager] Terry Ryan -- kind of fed up with the way things have been going the past couple years and it's time to switch it around.''
When asked if he added any new wrinkles to this speech, Gardenhire replied: ''I've got a couple. You lose 96 games, you get wrinkles.''
Likes the future
Gardenhire enjoys watching prospects in camp. So he should be very pleased this year given that the Twins' farm system has been ranked among the top 10 in baseball, with ESPN's Keith Law ranking them as high as second.
Outfielders Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia were the first names Gardenhire mentioned Saturday as he talked about some of the young players. But he also hopes to get a look at second baseman Eddie Rosario, who has been brought to camp as a way to help him prepare for the World Baseball Classic next month.
''I'm excited,'' Gardenhire said. ''We've got Rosario over here right now. He's a nice little player, he's a really good little player as a matter of fact. He can hit. So we're going to have him for a short time here in camp, and it will be fun to see his progression at second base.''
Most Twins pitchers are throwing off a mound every other day. Not Scott Diamond, who had a bone chip removed in December.
He remains on the side, building up enough arm strength to, hopefully, pitch off a mound by the end of next week. Even then, it's going to be a close call whether he will have enough time to build up arm strength and be available to pitch on Opening Day.
Rafael Perez, who agreed to a minor league deal Thursday, reported to camp Saturday in time for the workout.
Paul Molitor and Rod Carew arrived at camp to help out as special instructors.
Acquired: from Pittsburgh on June 27, 2012
2012 stats: 11-6 with a 5.17 ERA in 21 starts between the Twins and Pirates organizations.
Role: Can start or relieve. Can be dominant at times with a good fastball and curve.
Other stuff: Martis will leave camp in a couple of weeks to join the Netherlands for the World Baseball Classic. Martis no-hit Panama in the 2006 WBC but sat out the 2009 WBC.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III