Found March 06, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. While it had already been announced that reliever Joel Zumaya would undergo Tommy John surgery on his injured right elbow, the Twins said Tuesday that the surgery will take place on March 29 in Pensacola. Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery.The 27-year-old Zumaya has a history of arm problems and missed all of 2011 after injuring his arm during the 2010 season. The Twins signed him as a free agent this past offseason, hoping that he could bounce back from his previous injuries and provide a viable right-handed option out of the bullpen. But Zumaya's season with Minnesota ended before it began as he tore his ulnar collateral ligament on Feb. 25 during a bullpen session."As I told him when it happened, he's going to sit down and talk about it with his family and make a decision on what he wants to do. I support him either way," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Zumaya. "We had an opportunity to meet this young man. He's a nice, young man. It's sad we're not going to have him on our ballclub this year. I was looking forward to that. If he wants to continue to try to play and get this done, I'm all for it. That's great."While Zumaya will miss the entire 2012 season, the Twins still haven't made a corresponding roster move and general manager Terry Ryan said they won't for a while."We probably won't make it until I have to, which isn't now, of course," Ryan said. "Once you have to submit your 25-man roster, if you need space then we'll make a decision."Baker's elbow feels good in start against Rays: Minnesota right-hander Scott Baker threw two scoreless and hitless innings in Tuesday's 3-2 win over Tampa Bay. After missing time last season with an elbow injury, Baker said his elbow felt fine after facing seven Rays batters.Baker missed almost all of August and September during the 2011 season with a right flexor strain but returned to throw three innings in two relief appearances in late September. "I'm just going about my business," Baker said after Tuesday's start. "I obviously make sure that I do all the preventative stuff. So maybe I do little more than I have in the past, but that's not a bad thing. That's actually a good thing. So you just do the best you can. There's peace in the fact I'm doing everything I can to stay healthy."Baker allowed just one base runner, walking Jeff Salazar in the second inning. But Baker induced five fly ball outs and one groundout for a scoreless two innings of work despite swirling winds."I threw a few off-speed pitches, but obviously saw out there that the wind is blowing 100 mph in, and I don't care if it's spring training or not, and you work on things, you'd be crazy not to take advantage of that. So I threw it over," Baker said. "In situations when you've got two strikes, why would you bury a breaking ball and have a guy get a bloop hit instead of throwing a high fastball with a potential of popping it up. There's just not a lot he can do other than pop it up."Jerry White improving: Twins first base coach Jerry White missed Monday night's game against Boston and didn't travel to Port Charlotte on Tuesday as he remained hospitalized with stomach and chest tightness. White had a stress test performed Tuesday, but Minnesota doesn't think it's anything too serious."He wasn't feeling well," Ryan said before Tuesday's game. "The reports coming out of there is that it isn't anything serious, but they're going to give him a stress test just to make sure."Gardenhire said after Tuesday's game that White was likely already back in the team's clubhouse in Fort Myers.Mauer, Morneau to play in "B" game: While most of the Twins will head to Sarasota on Wednesday for a game against the Baltimore Orioles, stars Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau will stay back in Fort Myers to play in a "B" game against the Boston Red Sox.Gardenhire said the plan is to play Mauer at first base while Morneau will be the designated hitter. Right-hander Nick Blackburn will start for Minnesota in the "B" game, which begins at 10 a.m. ET. Carl Pavano will get the start against Baltimore.Gardenhire talks about Thome: Former Twins DH Jim Thome isn't in Minnesota's camp this season, as the 41-year-old slugger signed with Philadelphia in the offseason. The only problem is, Thome can't be used as a designated hitter in the National League, meaning his at-bats with the Phillies could be limited."If they're putting Jim Thome at first, I don't think they're looking for gold. I just think they're looking to survive and get his bat in the lineup," Gardenhire said. " He didn't even have a glove (in Minnesota). I don't think there was one in his locker. He had to borrow mine to play catch."While with the Twins last season, Thome became the eighth player in major league history to hit 600 home runs. He currently sits at 604 homers entering 2012, his 22nd big league season.In two seasons with the Twins, Thome hit 37 homers and drove in 99 runs. He quickly became one of Gardenhire's favorite players, both on and off the field."He's a great guy. As good as they get. Everything everybody says about him, and more," Gardenhire said. "He's a class act. A lot of fun. Fun to be a part of his career."Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
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