Update: ESPN's Buster Olney wrote in his blog that the Minnesota Twins need to sign C Joe Mauer to a contract extension soon because every hour that ticks gives Mauer more of a taste of being a free agent.
Update: The Associated Press announced that Minnesota Twins CL Joe Nathan will play catch this weekend to decide if he can pitch with a torn ligament in his right elbow. The Twins were intentionally vague about the plan for Nathan to test it this weekend. Manager Ron Gardenhire says he doesn't want it "to become a media circus." Tests showed a torn ulnar collateral ligament on March 9. The injury could require season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Update: According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale's twitter page, the Minnesota Twins are scouting San Diego Padres CL Heath Bell for a possible trade. This could be the Twins solution if current CL Joe Nathan is out for the season. Nathan is set to throw on Saturday.
Fantasy Impact: The Twins would trade for one of the game's best ninth-inning men to fill in for the injured Joe Nathan. Bell compiled a 2.71 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 42 saves in 68 appearances last season.
Update: The Minnesota Twins look at P Scott Baker as their number one starter and so far this spring he has looked the part. On Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles Baker threw 4 innings of shutout ball as he lowered his spring ERA to 1.00. Over 9 innings this spring Baker has allowed one run, a solo HR.After a shaky start to the 2009 season baker steady the ship and finished 15-9 for the season.
Update:Manager Ron Gardenhire of the Minnesota Twins is standing by his word to rest 1B Justin Morneau more this spring by holding him out of the next few spring games as Morneau battles some back soreness."We’re going to give him a couple more days, make sure he’s got all the soreness out of his ribcage and back, all the general soreness from riding stinking busses and all that stuff.
Update: Minnesota Twins C Joe Mauer returned from a four-day absence to have two hits in his Tuesday afternoon return to spring training. Mauer had been out while resting a sore right shoulder. The three-time AL batting champion and reigning MVP is hitting .600 this spring.
Fantasy Impact: This is encouraging news for the Minnesota Twins, especially after losing Joe Nathan. Fantasy owners can continue to take Mauer as the first overall catcher in their drafts with confidence.
Update: In his third start of the spring,Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano finally gave up his first run of the spring. In fact, he gave up 3 for the day on 3 hits. Mike Stanton hit a 2 run homer off the Twins lefty. Liriano struck out 6 and walked none in his 3 innings of work.At this time Liriano seems to be destined for a starting role, but he could be moved to the closers role if Joe Nathan is out for the season. Nathan will try to throw on Saturday for the first time since being diagnosed with a tear in his elbow.
Update: ESPN's Buster Olney inquired in his blog today that the Minnesota Twins could use free agent closer John Smoltz to fill the role after Joe Nathan injured his elbow and may be out for the season. "Scouts who saw Smoltz in his time with the Cardinals say that the quality of his splitter increased dramatically in St. Louis, giving him a weapon against left-handed hitters that he did not have in his outings with the Boston Red Sox.
Update: Minnesota Twins SP Kevin Slowey is showing that without closer Joe Nathan, other pitchers can still step up. Slowey threw a perfect three innings today, giving up zero hits, zero walks and striking out four.
Fantasy Impact: Slowey showed good potential today and should be the second best valued fantasy pitcher for the Minnesota Twins behind Scott Baker.
Update: The Associated Press confirms that the Minnesota Twins have agreed to sign a new contract with OF Denard Span. Span signed a five-year, $16.5 million deal that includes a $9 million team option for 2015. "We go through a pretty good checklist of criteria before we enter discussions with a player about a long-term contract and he has been very good for us for two years," Twins general manager Bill Smith said.