Shortstop Royce Lewis, the ninth-ranked prospect in the game by Baseball America, has been shelved with a mild oblique strain. Lewis was scheduled to enter today's game against Baltimore as a substitute.

Given how oblique injuries can be easily re-aggravated and linger, the Twins will be very cautious with their prized prospect.

"We're going to be conservative, as you would probably guess," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said, "Take our time with that. That's something we're going to work through and we're not overly concerned as we sit here right now. It is something to take note of as we go forward."

If Lewis needs several days to recover, he might be unable to appear in a major league spring training game. Minor league workouts begin March 7.

Also, after saying two days ago that he would be able to bat righthanded during spring training games, infielder Ehire Adrianza said on Saturday that he's going to give it a shot. Adrianza, who had surgery on his left shoulder during the offseason (his injury made it hard for him to follow-through when batting righthanded) he had been able to test the shoulder against lefthanded pitchers.

But he's recently been able to get a few swings in and is ready to give it a try. He wants to prove that he's healthy - but he's probably aware that Marwin Gonzalez is coming.

As for Gonzalez, who is expected to sign with the Twins after he passes a physical, Baldelli referred any questions to Derek Falvey or Thad Levine.

(back to regular programming)

So...let's jump right into it. 

The Twins open their exhibition season today. You know, the 33 fake games before the 162 real ones. The early spring games that are dominated by players wearing number 74. The hot prospects that dare fans to dream.

It all begins today, and the Twins have TWO games scheduled. You gotta love the early split squad showdowns!

I'm in Sarasota for the afternoon throwdown between the Twins and Orioles. Chase De Jong is on the mound for the Twins while Yelfrey Ramirez starts for Baltimore. Royce Lewis is on the trip and should enter during the middle innings.

There's a night game back at Hammond Stadium against the Rays. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli will work the first half of the game against Baltimore then head back to Fort Myers to face his former team and former boss Kevin Cash. The pair have close relationship, close enough that Baldelli is worried that his office will be booby-trapped when he returns.

"I would assume ... if Kevin Cash is in the stadium, there will be something going on," Baldelli said. "That's just a given. You can take that for any game you see him at until the end of time."

The most important part about Saturday is that Baldelli will get to see most of his players in action. He's read the scouting reports, listened to scouts and watched video of his new players. Starting today, he gets to take mental snapshots of his group, establish baselines for his younger players and see what this team can do.

It calls for a long day, given the day-night, two-town trip, But the process of evaluating his team begins today.

Twins vs Orioles


Ehire Adrianza, 3B
Ronald Torreyes, SS
Jake Cave, RF
Lucas Duda, DH
Tyler Austin, 1B
LaMonte Wade, LF
Zack Granite, CF
Nick Gordon, 2B
Tomas Telis, C

Chase DeJong, RHP

Other pitchers: Duffey, Moya, Nicolino, Guilmet, Harper


Cedric Mullins, CF
Joey Richard, RF
Renato Nunez, 3B
Chance Sisco, C
Yusniel Diaz, DH
Stevie Wilkerson, 1B
Eric Young, Jr., LF
Jace Peterson, 2B
Richie Martin, SS

RHP Yelfry Ramirez

5:05 p.m game vs Rays




Jorge Polanco, SS
Jonathan Schoop, 2B
Nelson Cruz, DH
Eddie Rosario, LF
C.J. Cron, 1B
Byron Buxton, CF
Willians Astudillo, C
Alex Kirilloff, RF
Adam Rosales, 3B

Kohl Stewart, RHP

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