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Updated: February 27th, 2011 10:00pm
Live from Florida, Day 11: Morneau getting close?

Live from Florida, Day 11: Morneau getting close?

by Phil Mackey
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A rundown of the news, notes and quotes from Day 11 at Minnesota Twins spring training:

Health watch

• 1B Justin Morneau (concussion) is scheduled to see a doctor within the next couple days about the possibility of being cleared to play in games, manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday night. Morneau has participated in all workouts since arriving to Fort Myers last week, and he continues to face live pitching every day as well. The first baseman has been wearing a helmet and sunglasses in the batting cage as precaution, but so far no red flags have popped up.

• OF Delmon Young (toe) is "moving around a lot better," according to Gardenhire, and he could see game action within the next two or three days.

• OF Michael Cuddyer (foot) has been given a new cream to apply to the wart on his left foot. Doctors are hoping the cream takes care of the problem. If not, Cuddyer will need to have the wart removed -- a procedure that could cost him a few games at the start of the regular season.

Who's hot?

• OF Joe Benson's bases-clearing triple in the fifth inning off Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima was the offensive highlight of the night for the Twins in Sunday's 8-4 win over Boston. Benson, 22, combined to hit .259/.343/.538 with 27 home runs in 519 plate appearances between High-A and Double-A last season. He is one of the Twins' top offensive prospects.

• 1B Chris Parmelee went 2-for-2 with a double on Sunday, making the start in place of Morneau. Of Parmelee, Gardenhire said, "He's a guy that's really matured a lot over the last year. He came into camp, he's really worked hard on his fundamentals at first base. We know the swing part is there. He's got power, he can pop a baseball, but it's all the other parts of the game."

Who's not?

• RHP Anthony Swarzak gave up three runs (two earned) off four hits, including a home run, in the eighth inning on Sunday night.

Numbers game

33.5%: According to Baseball Prospectus' annual preseason projections, the Twins have a 33.5% chance of winning the American League Central, which, believe it or not, makes them the favorites over the Tigers (33%) and White Sox (30.4%). Then again, those percentages make it too close to call.

8: The number of pitchers Minnesota used on Sunday night; Carl Pavano, Pat Neshek, Dusty Hughes, Alex Burnett, Jeff Manship, Scott Diamond, Swarzak and Chuck James.


"Twenty-two feet, eight inches."
-- Former manager Tom Kelly, telling a small group of reporters about a putt he sank earlier in the day. Kelly said he went golfing with Paul Molitor.

On deck

The Twins travel to City of Palms Park on Monday for another match-up with the Red Sox (noon on 1500 ESPN). Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey are scheduled to pitch.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd