SARASOTA, FLA. -- The Twins' clubhouse was an awkward place to be this morning, when seven non-roster players were assigned to minor-league camp. Slowly packing up their equipment were Brian Dinkelman, Chris Colabello, Clete Thomas, Eric Fryer and Mark Sobolewski. Also sent down were Deolis Guerra and Shairon Martis, who haven't pitched for awhile, Guerra due to injury, Martis because he's with the Netherlands team in the World Baseball Classic.
It made for a somber room, with several players coming over to shake hands with some of the departees. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau both came over to say goodbye to Colabello, their WBC opponent last week.
That brings the Twins roster to 42 players -- 20 position players and 22 pitchers. The latter number figures to be trimmed back soon.
One of them, lefthander Scott Diamond, said he is definitely going to open the season on the disabled list, but he believes he'll be in the rotation by mid-April. He makes his first spring start tomorrow in a minor-league game -- 30 pitches, probably two innings -- and then goes on a regular five-day schedule, increasing his workload by 15 pitches each time.
Joe Mauer is back in Twins camp, but he was crossed off the traveling squad today, because "I need a day to get situated again," he said. "I've basically been living out of a suitcase for two weeks."
Same goes for Glen Perkins, who like Mauer was disappointed that Team USA isn't headed to the WBC semifinals tomorrow, but is ready to get back to his regular preparation for the regular season.
Those two were spared the 90-minute bus ride up here to the home of the Orioles, a place that I don't even recognize. Ed Smith Stadium was one of the dumpiest, most rundown spring ballparks the last time I was here in 2009, but the renovated version, built to entice the Orioles to move here once the Reds left for Arizona, is unbelievable. Just a gorgeous new park, with lots of details that match Camden Yards.
Here are today's lineups for the noon CT game with Baltimore:
Twins -- Aaron Hicks CF, Jamey Carroll 2B, Ryan Doumit C, Justin Morneau 1B, Wilkin Ramirez DH, Chris Parmelee RF, Joe Benson LF, Eduardo Escobar 3B, Pedro Florimon SS. Vance Worley P, followed by Jared Burton, Ryan Pressly, Casey Fien, Josh Roenicke and/or Tim Wood.
Orioles -- Brian Robers 2B, Manny Machado 3B, Nate McLouth CF, Matt Wieters C, Chris Davis 1B, J.J. Hardy SS, Conor Jackson DH, Chris Dickerson RF, Lew Ford LF. Steve Johnson P.