Twins gather for first full-squad workout of training camp, but not too closely

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Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune
·3 min read
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A year ago, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli greeted his team in its spring training clubhouse's friendly confines with two words — World Series — spoken deliberately by a man who carefully chooses his words.

On Tuesday, he used a microphone on spring training's first morning to address physically distanced players and staff on the stadium field outdoors with a subtler message: Take care of today, today and take care of tomorrow, tomorrow.

"That's how you ultimately accomplish all of your goals," he told reporters in a video teleconference afterward.

He spoke to his players, looking around at them as they prepared to achieve that goal he noticeably mentioned this time last year.

"There's nothing our group does not have," said Baldelli, who managed the Twins to the playoffs his first two seasons and is 0-5 there. "We're missing nothing, so it's up to us now. We have the offensive side of the game, the defensive side of the ball, the arms, up and down, wonderful staff. We have experienced leadership. Really, we have everything. So we need to go out there and prove ourselves, one day at a time.

"Go out there and get the job done today. That's where we left it."

Who's more athletic?White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson has called his team "way more athletic" than the Twins, his team's American League Central rival, and added "that's just true facts."

Oh yeah?

"I don't think our players need any more motivation than they already have," Baldelli said. "Our guys pay attention to everything that goes on around the league. We have a group that really prefer to get on the field and win ballgames. That's the best kind of bulletin board you're going to find."

Twins outfielder Jake Cave called outfielders Byron Buxton and Max Kepler, third baseman Josh Donaldson, shortstop Andrelton Simmons all "pretty athletic" and deemed first baseman Miguel Sano "enormous and athletic."

"So we'll see," Cave said in a teleconference with reporters. "It'll be a good battle."

Straight talkDonaldson on Monday tweeted a thank you to Seattle Mariners President and CEO Kevin Mather, who resigned Monday because of controversial comments made earlier this month to a Rotary Club. Included was an admission of how the team manipulated players' major league service time to keep them under contract longer.

"I'm actually happy he came out and said that," Donaldson said. "It gives fans an understanding why some of our positions are what they are. Players are portrayed as bad guys in a lot of situations like that, to know, hey, if we don't fight for certain things, they get taken away. That's our goal in our union."

A new lookCave is sporting a bushy, graying spring training beard that Baldelli said teammates and others think makes Cave look older.

"I like to say distinguished," Cave said. "But you know, whatever, whatever they say. Haters going to hate."

Baldelli said "you might get a different opinion based on who you asked. Really I would avoid asking Jake himself because he has a tough time being objective about anything really pertaining to himself or his beard and his hair or his general look."

Etc.• Tuesday's signing of infielder Andrew Romine to a minor league complex brings the Twins' spring roster to its maximum 75 players. Romine played 583 games in 10 major league seasons and played two games last season with Texas. His best season was 2017, when he hit four homers and drove in 25 runs in 124 games with Detroit.

• Four players were absent Tuesday: Pitcher J.A. Happ was in quarantine because of COVID-19 protocols, and three players — Simmons, pitcher Andrew Albers and catcher Tomas Telis — because of immigration travel issues.