Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/2/12
FOXSportsNorth.com will track reports from the news outlets already in Florida until March 4, when Tyler Mason will begin covering the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers. A look at Friday's top story lines from camp: Hughes almost ready: The Twins will open their exhibition season Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays in Fort Myers. The Star-Tribune reported that infielder Luke Hughes won't play due to a strained right shoulder but that he may be ready to go by Sunday. Hughes took batting practice Friday for the first time since suffering the injury in a home-plate collision in his native Australia last month. Manager Ron Gardenhire said he'd go with the following batting order against the Rays: 1. CF Denard Span; 2. SS Jamey Carroll; 3. C Joe Mauer; 4. 1B Justin Morneau; 5. RF Josh Willingham; 6. DH Ryan Doumit; 7. 3B Danny Valencia; 8. LF Trevor Plouffe; 9. SS Alexei Casilla. Carl Pavano, the team's opening day starting pitcher, will also take the mound for the exhibition opener. Twins fans can be heartened by the fact Span, Mauer and Morneau -- all hounded by injuries last season -- are ready to go from the start. Bounced right off: A day after colliding with the center-field fence in a simulated game, Span -- who battled concussion symptoms most of last season -- told MLB.com Friday that he felt fine. "I was curious to see how I'd feel this morning, but when I woke up this morning my head and my neck felt fine," Span said. "Just my back was a little sore. So it was a lot better than I was expecting. It was a big relief. It showed me how far I've come this offseason." Gardy speaks out: Gardenhire told the Pioneer Press Friday that he is conflicted about Major League Baseball's addition of two teams to the postseason. Those two teams will be involved in a one-game playoff between the two-wild-card teams in each league. "A one-game playoff, we've been there twice," Gardenhire told the Pioneer Press of the Twins' AL Central tiebreaker games in 2008 and 2009. "That's real exciting for one day, and then somebody goes home and you're still pissed off. So I don't know. One game. You play 162 to play a one-game playoff, I don't know about that."
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