CLEARWATER, FLA. – The Twins took one last lengthy bus ride Monday. On Tuesday, they begin moving more deliberately toward the regular season.

Beginning Tuesday, 11 of their final 12 Grapefruit League games will take place in Fort Myers, either at Hammond Stadium or at the Red Sox's JetBlue Park, giving manager Paul Molitor a chance to whittle down his final roster and the players time to settle in to a routine.

"We'll use the regulars more frequently," Molitor said, and more often play them all nine innings.

Most important: He plans to "bring some of these [decisions] to a conclusion, hopefully by the weekend — rotation, bullpen, starting roles," he said. "That will give me a week of games to kind of toy with different lineups, with the guys who I feel are going to be here."

That means cuts, and there figures to be a lot of them Tuesday, as the Twins begin to weed out 16 players from the 41 still in camp. They got a start Monday by sending Stephen Pryor, the righthander acquired from Seattle for Kendrys Morales in July, to Class AAA Rochester.

"He did fine. I couldn't get him enough work here," Molitor said of Pryor, who gave up one run in six innings this spring. The key for Pryor "is fastball command. … He's going to go down there and work on consistency."

Getting work in

Ervin Santana stayed back in Fort Myers on Monday to pitch in a minor league game against Class AAA Norfolk, the Orioles' top affiliate. Santana gave up one run over four innings on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts. He struggled with his slider, liked his changeup and tried to spot his fastball at the knees among his 65 pitches. He kept missing low with the fastball, running into four three-ball counts. But he's glad he missed low rather than high. "Those were good pitches, good angle," said Santana, in line to start the Twins' home opener April 13. "That was a good thing. Not high."

A spring concern

Australian lefthander Lewis Thorpe, generally ranked as one of the Twins' top 10 prospects, was removed from a Class A game over the weekend because of elbow pain, and General Manager Terry Ryan said he's trying to stay optimistic about the 19-year-old's condition. "I hope it's not as serious as it might be, but you never know," Ryan said.

Lewis had reported pain before, and the Twins were cautious about using him again. "We thought we had this thing under control. He threw the other day and threw well," Ryan said. "Now it's resurfaced again and that's not good."

But Ryan emphasized that Thorpe, who struck out 80 batters in 71⅔ innings for Cedar Rapids last season, has not undergone a magnetic resonance imaging test yet, and no decisions have been made about how to proceed.

Pinto still hopeful

Catcher Josmil Pinto still has time to make the Twins roster, Ryan said, despite what he called "mild concussion symptoms" that lingered Monday.

The Twins remain optimistic that Pinto, who was struck on the head three different times by Baltimore outfielder Adam Jones' follow-through Saturday, can return to action by the end of this week.

On deck

Ricky Nolasco hasn't yet had a scoreless start this spring, but he will try to change that against the Blue Jays as the Twins begin a stretch of four home games in five days.

Phil Miller and La Velle E. Neal III