BALTIMORE -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer passed Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew for the most Opening Day starts in Minnesota history with his 14th on Thursday against the Orioles at Camden Yards.Mauer has missed just one regular-season opener since his first Opening Day in 2004, making nine starts at
BALTIMORE -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer passed Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew for the most Opening Day starts in Minnesota history with his 14th on Thursday against the Orioles at Camden Yards.
Mauer has missed just one regular-season opener since his first Opening Day in 2004, making nine starts at catcher and five at first base. He's one of three players in the Majors who have been with one team over the past 14-plus seasons, joining the Cardinals' Yadier Molina and the Mets' David Wright.
"It's pretty special," Mauer said. "Coming in today, I knew that was going to happen. A lot of emotions. I woke up this morning anxious, nervous, excited. I knew that was a good thing, because that's every Opening Day. But to do it for 14 years is pretty special."
Twins manager Paul Molitor made sure to mention the milestone while addressing the team before the game, honoring Mauer for his time with the club.
"We appreciate that a lot around here, especially someone like myself who knows a lot about the history and names like Killebrew," Molitor said. "Joe will probably acknowledge that it's cool, he likes that word, but it'll grow in significance for him whenever he takes the uniform off for the last time and enjoys those milestones that are on his resume a little more deeply."
Mauer enters the season just 14 hits away from 2,000 in his career and with 14 more doubles, he'll pass Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett for the most in franchise history. Mauer also remains 15 games behind Kent Hrbek for the third-most games played in Minnesota history and is 51 games behind Puckett. Killebrew is the Minnesota leader with 2,435 games played, while Mauer is at 1,732.
Mauer, though, is in the final year of his eight-year, $184 million deal, so this could be his last season with the Twins. But he's maintained he's not thinking about that, and his situation will be addressed after the season.
• Right-hander Lance Lynn rejoined the Twins on Thursday after throwing in a Minor League game in Florida on Wednesday to get ready for his start against the Pirates on Monday. Lynn gave up six runs in the first inning of his outing, but the Twins are happy he reached roughly 90 pitches. He is fully stretched out for his Minnesota debut after signing during Spring Training.
"It puts him in good position as far as being able to go a normal length his next time out," Molitor said.
Roster officially set
• The Twins officially selected the contract of outfielder Ryan LaMarre and placed Ervin Santana (right middle finger surgery) and Phil Hughes (left oblique strain) on the 10-day disabled list. LaMarre was told on Tuesday he'd make the club as a fifth outfielder. He takes the 40-man roster spot vacated by Kennys Vargas after he passed through waivers.
• Santana has begun his throwing program, starting with throwing a soft baseball into a net and will progress to throwing a real baseball this week. Santana's expected to return date has been pushed back a tad, according to Molitor, and he is more likely to return in early-to-mid May rather than late April.
• Hughes could pitch in a Minor League game as early as Saturday, as his injury isn't considered serious. He remains an option to return once the Twins need a fifth starter on April 11.
• Left fielder Eddie Rosario has no throwing restrictions after suffering tendinitis in his right triceps during Spring Training. He's considered healthy and ready to go.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.