Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Twins pregame: Baker placed on DL; Butera sent packing; Burroughs likely stays; Casilla update

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: March 31, 2012 - 11:59 AM

FORT MYERS, FLA. -- The Twins placed pitcher Scott Baker on the 15-day disabled list today, even though he is making progress in his recovery from right elbow tendonitis.

Baker allowed one run over four innings, using 60 pitches, in a start today against Boston's Class AAA squad. The DL move was made retroactive to March 27, so Baker would be eligible to return on April 12.

The Twins won't need a No. 5 starter until April 15, so Baker technically could have that start, but GM Terry Ryan made it clear today that if Liam Hendriks pitches well, he could stay in the rotation.

Meanwhile, Jason Marquis' daughter is making progress in her recovery from a bicycle accident. At some point, Marquis will report back to Fort Myers and throw in a minor-league game. Ryan said it's possible but improbable that Marquis will be ready to start the first time through the rotation.

Butera sent packing

Drew Butera, who has spent the past two full seasons in the majors, packed his locker this morning in the Twins clubhouse after being told he’d been optioned to Class AAA Rochester.

“They told me they were going with two catchers,” Butera said. “I’m just going to going down and work on some things, get some at-bats and get some playing time.”

The Twins contemplated keeping a third catcher to go with Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit, but it looks like catcher J.R. Towles also will be sent out before camp ends.

Butera batted .167 last year, but he’s had better at-bats this spring, and is batting .273. He knew his chances of remaining on the 25-man roster took a hit when the Twins signed Doumit in December.

“It’s part of the business,” Butera said. “I’ve been in it long enough where I know these things happen. ... Terry [Ryan] told me that when he called me when we signed Doumit. Signing him hurt my chances a little bit, but I had the chance to come in and compete for a job. So I wasn’t blindsided. I knew this might be an option.”

Ripple effects

The decision to keep two catchers means Sean Burroughs probably makes the team. Here’s a story about what he brings to the Twins.

In other moves, the Twins officially placed Kyle Waldrop on the disabled list with a strained right elbow and re-assigned infielder Michael Hollimon to minor-league camp. They now have 31 players in camp.

Casilla update

Alexi Casilla, who has bursitis in his right knee, said he’s confident he’ll be able to play by Sunday. He's going through a full workout this morning -- grounders, BP, the works. Trevor Plouffe is getting the start at second base today.

Today's action

Anthony Swarzak gets another start today, as the Twins face a split-squad Pirates team. Scott Baker is pitching against Boston’s Class AAA squad this morning. La Velle is on the scene from Red Sox camp.

Also, if you haven't yet, be sure to check out this video by the Star Tribune's Shari Gross. Guaranteed to make you smile.

PIRATES (8-17)
1. Jose Tabata, RF
2. Josh Harrison, SS
3. Yamaico Navarro, 2B
4. Matt Hague, 1B
5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
6. Miles Durham, LF
7. Robbie Grossman, CF
8. Michael McKenry, C
9. Kevin Correia, P

Starting pitcher: RH Kevin Correia

TWINS (17-13)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Trevor Plouffe, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Ryan Doumit, RF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Chris Parmelee, 1B
9. Brian Dozier, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Anthony Swarzak

Hammond Stadium. First pitch: 12:05 p.m. (Central). No TV. Twins Radio Network

Follow us on Twitter: @JoeCStrib @LaVelleNeal

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