In a different twist from past Twins camps, the entire team gathered on the main field to go over relays, rundowns and pop-ups Monday.
“My thought process was to get everybody on the same field,” manager Paul Molitor said. “Almost as important to be an observer as it was to be a [participant], especially for some of the young guys.”
Things appeared to run smoothly. Torii Hunter drew laughs when he yelled at the pitchers, “You ain’t getting me on one throw.” The only noticeable flub came when a pop-up in front of home plate fell between catcher Josmil Pinto, third baseman Trevor Plouffe and two others.
“We had a catcher try to outprioritize a corner infielder, which it should be in reverse,” Molitor said. “The cutoffs and relays weren’t quite as smooth as I had hoped. Some of those were because we didn’t have all the bodies due to the flu thing. We had to slow that down a little bit.”
About that bug
The flu bug has worsened in the Twins clubhouse, as the team sent home five players when they reported feeling ill Monday.
Kurt Suzuki, Trevor May, Jordan Schafer, Byron Buxton and Oswaldo Arcia made brief appearances at the ballpark before leaving. A bug is going around the clubhouse, which is rare for spring training, and the Twins are trying to keep the sick players away in order to keep whatever is going around from spreading.
It doesn’t appear to be working. Plouffe returned to workouts after he missed two days. “I was quarantined from my wife for two days,” he said.
Molitor is using Plouffe’s recovery as a base when speculating when the others will return. May, Schafer and Buxton missed their second day on Monday, so Molitor hopes they will be able to work out on Tuesday. Suzuki and Arcia were going through Day 1 of their issues on Monday.
Glen Perkins remains close to the Gophers baseball program. He donated to the construction of its stadium, works with the team at offseason camps and uses Twitter to keep up with the team during the season.
Gophers coach John Anderson was scheduled to stop by Perkins’ home in Fort Myers for dinner on Monday.
But the pressure will be on Wednesday when the Twins closer will pitch against his college team during an exhibition game at Hammond Stadium.
“I think there is going to be more pressure on me than what would be normal for a first spring training game,” Perkins said.
Getting knocked around in such a game could have lasting consequences.
“I’m going to do my best to have a 1-2-3 inning,” said Perkins, who turned 32 on Monday. “I’m going to do my best to not give them a story.”
Righthander Jose Berrios will be one of several Twins pitchers to appear in the game. Prospects Buxton, Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario are expected to play.
2014 stats: 11-9, 2.68 at Class A Fort Myers (13 starts), Class AA New Britain (12 starts) and Class AAA Rochester (one start).
Acquired: Drafted in the eighth round in 2011 out of Loyola Marymount.
Role: Starting rotation at Rochester.
Did you know? At 6-6, he is one of the taller pitchers in camp. And both of his parents played basketball in college.
La Velle E. Neal III