FORT MYERS, FLA – Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson stopped by the Lee County Sports Complex and saw a muscled man walking off one of the back fields.
“Wow, you must have seen a picture of my arms,’’ Anderson yelled to third baseman Trevor Plouffe.
Plouffe replied: “Yeah, I hung it over the treadmill.’’
Plouffe is noticeably more muscular, having added 10 to 12 pounds during the offseason. He’s not the only one with a different body shape; righthander Vance Worley has lost about 20 pounds. Pitchers and catchers report Sunday, the rest of the squad reports next Friday, and the Twins will see who else worked out hard during the offseason.
Plouffe batted .254 last year with 14 home runs and now has Miguel Sano behind him, not far from his major league debut. Worley was the Opening Day starter a year ago but was demoted to the minors by May. Both players are motivated to turn things around in 2014.
Praise for Jeter
When Brian Dozier was a youngster, he would pretend to be his favorite baseball player.
“I remember growing up and playing catch in the yard with my brother,’’ the second baseman said. “He wanted to be Andy Pettitte and I was Derek Jeter. I always kind of wanted to do everything he did. In high school, I wore the same kind of wristbands as he did, that kind of thing. He’s always been my role model.’’
Jeter announced Wednesday that he’s retiring at the end of the season. Dozier praised Jeter in a message on Twitter and said he could talk all day about one of the greatest Yankees of them all.
“He’s arguably one of the best all-around players, on and off the field, being a captain, all the things he’s done in the postseason,’’ Dozier said. “It will be pretty cool to share the field with him and congratulate him for a long career.’’
The Yankees visit Target Field July 3 through 6.
Bill Smith, assistant to the president and general manager, acknowledged that work might be, “a few days behind,’’ but there have been no serious setbacks with $48 million renovation project at the Lee Country Sports Complex.
Workers are close to completing the overhaul of Hammond Stadium that will add about 1,200 seats. The most eye- opening aspect of the project is the addition of a berm in left field and seats in right field. Smith said the main building, which has been expanded, will be ready when minor leaguers report the first week in March.
Santana on their radar
The Twins remain interested in signing lefthander Johan Santana to a minor league deal while he comes back from shoulder surgery. A Twins coach was present a week ago when Santana threw off a mound for the first time since surgery.