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.

Mauer second among AL catchers in All-star voting

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: June 1, 2011 - 4:40 PM

DETROIT -- According to MLB, Joe Mauer ranks second behind the Yankees' Russell Martin among AL catchers with 593,949 All-Star votes.

Martin has 843,549 votes. No other Twin was listed among the top 5 at his position.

Meanwhile, Twins PR man Dustin Morse tweeted this today (@Twins_morsecode): “I talked with #Twins catcher Joe Mauer today, he tells me the plan is for him to catch a few innings in an extended game tomorrow.”

This would be Mauer's first time catching in a game anywhere since April 12.

I got an e-mail from a reader named Jeff today who asked me to explain “the mysteries of extended spring training.” He said he reads three newspapers per day but still can’t explain what extended spring training means. It’s a great question, one that we probably shouldn’t take for granted in our writing.

After spring training, when the major league clubs and minor-league clubs break camp, a batch of players are left behind. Most of those are recent draft picks or international signings who are gearing up for the half-season minor league squads that begin play after the June draft.

They hold games most days, but there are flexible rules. When a player such as Mauer or Tsuyoshi Nishioka are down there rehabbing, they can lead off every inning so they can quickly rack up the at-bats they need to get their timing back.

Update: Jason Kubel (sprained foot), Kevin Slowey (strained abdomen), Glen Perkins (strained olbique), Joe Nathan (strained flexor muscle), and Francisco Liriano (left shoulder inflammation) are all "progressing," the Twins say. Tsuyoshi Nishioka (broken left fibula) played seven innings in an extended spring game today and will play seven more Thursday.

TWINS (17-36)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Justin Morneau, 1B
4. Michael Cuddyer, 2B
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Jason Repko, RF
9. Drew Butera, C

Starting pitcher: RH Scott Baker (2-3, 3.65 ERA)

TIGERS (28-26)

1. Don Kelly, LF
2. Ramon Santiago, 2B
3. Brennan Boesch, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Andy Dirks, CF
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Brandon Inge, 3B

Starting pitcher: RH Rick Porcello (4-2, 3.08 ERA)

Comerica Park. First pitch: 6:05 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network


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