FORT MYERS, Fla. — Officially, Twins workouts begin at 9 a.m. each morning. But these days, hardly anyone waits until 9 to get started.
The four indoor batting cages were completely full an hour ahead of time today. Across the way, the faster players on the roster were taking bunting practice with Tony Oliva. There were a handful of infielders taking grounders on Tom Kelly Field, and pitchers with non-throwing workouts were already at work in the bullpen.
Paul Molitor said he expected more pre-workout workouts this year, and his players have clearly taken his cue.
“The more hitting, the better,” Kennys Vargas said as he finished the first of three sessions he’ll take in a batting cage today.
So far, everything is going smoothly for the Twins. No injuries, everyone staying on schedule, and Molitor seems satisfied with what he’s seeing. He called the full team together in the stadium today to work on defensive drills — relays, rundowns, throwing to the correct bases, etc.
After today’s session, the players will meet with Tony Clark, head of the players association. He’ll go over the new collective bargaining agreement that was negotiated this offseason.
In today’s paper, I wrote about Kyle Gibson and Ryan O’Rourke’s new, unorthodox training methods, which they hope will keep them healthy this year. La Velle wrote about Molitor’s admission that the Twins mishandled Jorge Polanco last season by not playing him at shortstop while he was in Triple-A.