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 postgame: Parmelee's set, rotation's set; Gardenhire refutes Torii's 2004 ALDS claim

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: March 31, 2012 - 3:44 PM

FORT MYERS, FLA. -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he definitely wants Chris Parmelee on the team and officially mapped out the rotation plans to start the season after today's 15-3 victory over the Pirates.

As expected, the Twins will use four pitchers the first time through the rotation in this order: Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Liam Hendriks and Nick Blackburn.

Scott Baker will start on the DL, but the Twins hope he can pitch next Thursday's season opener for Class A Fort Myers, which comes exactly 10 days before the Twins need a No. 5 starter for the first time, on April 15.

Anthony Swarzak will start in the bullpen, Gardenhire said.

As for the 2004 ALDS

Asked for his response to Torii Hunter's comment on the 2004 ALDS, Gardenhire said:

"You know what, I’m not going to throw anybody under the bus or anything like that, but I’ve never had a player -- no matter when it was -- tell me, ‘No, I don’t want to hit. No, I refuse to bat.’ Never happened. Other than a pitcher. I said a player.

"I don’t really know where that came from. I really believe that the thought process through the whole situation was we only had a couple guys. You had Kubel, who was one of our best hitters down the stretch as a young kid. And we had two left-handers in a row get hits – Morneau and Koskie – get hits. And we talked about with Kubes … Lew Ford. But believe me, I wasn’t going to pinch-hit Lew Ford for Jason Kubel with Kubel’s swing.

"He had a bad at-bat; a lot of people do.... This kid can hit. I’ll take my chances with him.

"Lew Ford may have fallen down in the back room trying to get loose and I couldn’t find him, but he didn’t. He may not have been able to find the dugout, but I’ve never said I can’t hit."


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