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Minnesota Twins Wiretap

Mauer Focused On Greater Durability

Twins catcher Joe Mauer is focused on being more durable heading into the 2011 season.

He is coming off a number of nagging injuries suffered last season and minor surgery in December to alleviate some swelling in his left knee.

Mauer has also advised closer Joe Nathan, who had elbow surgery last year, to take it slow.

"My advice to Nathan, I'm taking that to heart, too," Mauer said, looking ahead to his own spring plan.

"I should be ready to go when we report. Just got to be smart about it and get ready for the season."

Via Associated Press

Twins Have Thought About Playing Mauer At Another Position

Joe Mauer's history of injury has led the Twins to ponder playing him at a position other than catcher.

"If it becomes an issue down the road, then we make a move and put him somewhere else," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But he wants to catch. He's our catcher, and we need him in the lineup. Obviously, as a manager, you try to do the best you can with resting a guy and giving him his days (off).

"You rely on the players to tell me when and when not to, and normally Joe's pretty good about that, telling me the days he's beat up."

Mauer played 22 games as the designated hitter last season, including five straight games in early August when he was battling a sore right shoulder.

Via Pioneer Press

Minnesota To Retire Blyleven's No. 28

Newly elected Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven will have his No. 28 jersey retired by the Twins in July.

The Twins announced on Thursday they plan to hold Bert Blyleven Day, when Minnesota hosts the Rangers on July 16.

He'll be the sixth Twins player with his number retired, joining Harmon Killebrew (No. 3), Rod Carew (No. 29), Tony Oliva (No. 6), Kent Hrbek (No. 14) and Kirby Puckett (No. 34).

Via Associated Press

Twins Take Down Trees At Target Field

The Twins will take down the pine trees that were planted behind the center field wall at Target Field.

Hitters complained the trees made it difficult for them to pick up the ball out of the pitcher's hand.

"First year in the stadium, it was pretty bad," catcher Joe Mauer said. "It was one of the worst backdrops that we've seen and it's nice to see them address it."

Via Associated Press

Nathan Hopes To Be Ready For Opener

Twins closer Joe Nathan hopes to be on the mound for the team if needed in their season opener.

Nathan, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year, asked Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire to step in the box against him.

"I wasn't afraid to come inside and brush him back a couple times," Nathan said. "Anytime you're comfortable enough to tell your manager to step in and throw some inside, I think my release point went well."

Gardenhire says the coaches have a plan for easing him back in and they want to be cautious with him to avoid his elbow getting hurt again.

"We'll always err on the cautious side," Gardenhire said. "We'll try to do that with Nathan. We'll sit down and have our talk. I know he wants to be full bore because he's worked really hard. We'll have our talk soon and make sure we do the right thing."

Via ESPN.com

Twins Jan 2011 Archive