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.

Gardenhire names Nishioka his second baseman

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: March 5, 2011 - 12:05 PM

PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Tsuyoshi Nishioka will be the team's second baseman moving forward, with Alexi Casilla at shortstop.

Gardenhire said he met with Nishioka and his interpreter, and during that meeting, Nishioka made it clear that he'd be more comfortable at second base. Gardenhire also likes Casilla more at shortstop than second base.

"I just wanted to see [Nishioka] out there moving around, and I wanted to see his arm strength," Gardenhire said. "It’s not like I said, 'He can’t throw from [shortstop].'

"I talked to Nishioka and got him to admit that he’s more comfortable at second, and that pretty much told me what I needed. More than any of the drills, I wanted him to say something to me, and I knew it would take time. He always says, 'Whatever you want me to do.'"

From earlier:

When I arrived in the Twins clubhouse this morning, Joe Mauer was on his way back from the gym, having already put in a workout.

This was no surprise. People working at the complex have told me Mauer is often the first Twin to arrive each morning, and the last to leave.

Mauer has yet to do any catching in camp, as he continues to rehab his surgically repaired left knee. He was on the list to catch Scott Baker’s bullpen session this morning, which would have been a notable development, but alas, it was a false alarm.

Mauer is getting closer to doing that, perhaps as early as Sunday, Gardy said yesterday, so stay tuned.

Delmon Young was already in the batting cage when I arrived this morning. He looks even stronger this spring and is absolutely crushing the ball. But Delmon did not want to talk about his turf toe injury. Yesterday, Gardy said there’d been a setback and he wasn’t sure when Young would play.

TWINS (4-2)

1. Ben Revere, LF
2. Matt Tolbert, SS
3. Jason Kubel, DH
4. Danny Valencia, 3B
5. Chris Parmalee, 1B
6. Jason Repko, CF
7. Brian Dinkelman, RF
8. Trevor Plouffe, 2B
9. Drew Butera, C

Listed pitchers: Nick Blackburn, Matt Capps, Jeff Manship, Pat Neshek, Phil Dumatrait, Dusty Hughes, Kyle Waldrop, Alex Burnett

RAYS (1-5-1)

1. John Jaso, C
2. Johnny Damon, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Manny Ramirez, DH
5. Dan Johnson, 1B
6. B.J. Upton, CF
7. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
8. Desmond Jennings, RF
9. Ray Olmedo, SS

Starting pitcher: Andy Sonnanstine

Charlotte Sports Park: 12:05 p.m. (Central). No TV. Twins Radio Network

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