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La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Will Twins pitchers be up to coach's strike-throwing challenge?

Happy Presidents Day from Fort Myers, where the Twins are about to begin their second morning of full squad workouts.

Ryan Vogelsong, Ryan Pressly, J.T. Chargois, Ervin Santana, Adalberto Mejia, Randy Rosario and Fernando Romero are among the pitchers scheduled to throw live batting practice today. Pitching coach Neil Allen opened camp by issuing a strike-throwing challenge to his pitchers that he wants to see carried into batting practice sessions. In short, pitchers have to prove they can throw quality strikes with the fastball before they are allowed to work on their breaking stuff.

So this will be a good opportunity to see which pitchers are excelling in this early in camp.

As we have noted in the print edition, the Twins have added pitch framing drills for catchers. And coach Jeff Pickler has added different outfield drills to help with agility. If you ask me, the Twins should just let Torii Hunter and Michael Cuddyer handle outfield drills and have Pickler do something else. But I'm influenced by the 2000's.

As talented as Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler are, there are still some things each of them can work on to become even better outfielders. Hunter and Cuddyer are trying to get that out of them while they are special coaches in camp.

Here's a link to my story about the mood at camp on Sunday. Phil Miller provides some notes about Mauerness at camp.

Twins' first full workout gets started before an open-house crowd

    FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins’ first full workout of the spring coincides with an open house at Hammond Stadium, so there’s quite a crowd here to watch Twins players go through fielding drills, batting practice and bullpen sessions this morning.

    It’s also 80 degrees, which doesn’t hurt, either.

    Paul Molitor addressed his team for about 20 minutes this morning, trying to set a positive tone as the Twins attempt to recover from their 59-win crash of 2016.  He’s got 62 players to sort through over the next six weeks — Opening Day is in 37 days, April 3 at Target Field — including a dozen players who are completely new to the organization.

    Lefthander Mason Melotakis will take part in fielding drills and conditioning, but he won’t throw for a few more days. The pitching prospect reported to camp with a right oblique strain, and the pain returned when he tried to throw on flat ground Saturday, so the Twins shut him down to give him more time.

    Meanwhile, Glen Perkins reported no discomfort from his brief but encouraging throwing session.

    Sunday’s workout is the first of five straight before the Grapefruit League season opens Friday night. This one is normally the longest workout — it probably will last until 1 p.m. or so, Eastern Time — because each different drill is preceded by a discussion of what it is and what they’re trying to accomplish.

    There are a few more Twins stories to read this morning, too. I wrote about the unusually large crowd of starting pitchers that Molitor will try to manage this spring (and I really don’t know how he’s going to find innings for them all). Patrick Reusse handicapped the battle to become the backup catcher, and Brian Dozier told La Velle E. Neal III that he hopes the trade rumors are over.