SARASOTA, Fla. -- As Minnesota manager Paul Molitor put it, there's no reason for Baltimore to see more of Twins starter Phil Hughes, especially considering that the teams meet for a three-game series to start the 2016 regular season.Hughes stayed back at the Twins spring training complex in Fort Myers,
SARASOTA, Fla. -- As Minnesota manager Paul Molitor put it, there's no reason for Baltimore to see more of Twins starter Phil Hughes, especially considering that the teams meet for a three-game series to start the 2016 regular season.
Hughes stayed back at the Twins spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., after he was originally scheduled to pitch in Saturday's game. Instead, he threw a simulated game of four innings at around 60 pitches with five- to seven-minute breaks in between.
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"It would have been like three consecutive [starts against Baltimore] potentially," Molitor said. "I don't get overly hung up on if you pitch well -- it's not like they don't know him. We're just trying to tweak it a little bit."
So far this spring, Hughes has pitched well. In five innings of work he's surrendered just two hits with no walks, but also has not recorded a strikeout.
"It's going to be the best we can -- trying to give him some situations with baserunners and just have him go up there," Molitor said of the simulated game.
Hughes is one of the candidates to start Opening Day for Minnesota, with Ervin Santana being the other likely front-runner. Molitor said he's getting closer to a decision.
"I don't think it's going to be too much longer," Molitor said. "I guess that will be forthcoming earlier than the final rotation."
Molitor added he doesn't think the timing affects the players.
"If they have enough notice, whether it's one start or a couple starts, I don't really think it's going to matter all that much," he said.
There is little reason for the Twins and Orioles not to be familiar with each other come the start of the season. The two clubs have a total of six games against each other in Grapefruit League action.
Molitor downplayed the effect that will have on the regular season.
"Both teams are learning, increasing their knowledge and bookkeeping of certain players, certain pitchers," Molitor said. "For the most part, we're going to have enough information from the past on most of these people."
• Molitor said that switch-hitting utility player Danny Santana is dealing with a "tender (left) wrist." Santana is not expected to miss significant time and will likely just need rest to heal.
Santana has three hits in 23 at-bats this spring, including a home run.
• Right-hander Tyler Duffey will pitch in a minor league game against the Orioles on Sunday. Also scheduled to pitch in the game are left-handed reliever Glen Perkins and right-hander Kevin Jepsen.
Greg Zeck is a contributor to MLB.com.