FORT MYERS, Fla. The Minnesota Twins had issues with health at first base and catcher. They also lost a pair of right fielders in free agency.
Now, the Twins are hoping veteran Ryan Doumit can fill in at any of those positions whenever they need him. Minnesota signed the versatile Doumit to a one-year contract this offseason, and he's now in his first spring training with his new club.
But it's not the first time Doumit has been around the Twins' spring training facility, Lee County Sports Complex. Doumit's close friend from Moses Lake (Wash.) High School, B.J. Garbe, was the Twins' first-round pick (fifth overall) in the 1999 amateur draft. The Pirates drafted Doumit in the second round that same year.
For three offseasons, Doumit and Garbe spent time down in Fort Myers, working out at Hammond Stadium. During those winters, Doumit got to know two of the current Twins players he'll be backing up in catcher Joe Mauer and first baseman Justin Morneau. Mauer...