"I never thought of [going to Minnesota] in my mind, but when my agent told me about it, I said, 'It's a good team,'" Ortiz said. "Everybody plays hard and everybody plays together here. That's what I'm looking for."When you sign with someone, you want to go to the playoffs and win games. My last two years, I played for teams that did not go to the playoffs. I want to win games and help my team go to the playoffs. Those are the best things." Sad departure: The Twins' excitement for the first day of full-squad workouts was tempered by some tragic news they received early Saturday morning. Jackson Mijares, brother of left-handed Twins pitching prospect Jose Mijares, was shot and killed Friday night at a bar in his hometown of Caracas, Venezuela. Two other family members were also shot and wounded in the incident. Jose Mijares left camp to travel back home and spend time with his family. The team addressed the situation before practice.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jose and his family," Gardenhire said. "We know it's not going to be easy. It's a very tough situation for our ballclub to deal with, but hopefully this puts things in perspective for people."What a pain: Saturday's workout went smoothly for the Twins, except for one minor injury. Matt Garza threw his first session of live batting practice and in the midst of it, felt a slight pain in his upper neck. The problem was diagnosed as a mild strain, but Garza shouldn't miss any time. "He said he felt something high in his neck that was making it hard to turn and throw the ball," Gardenhire said. "But he should be fine." And there's always one: Every year, there is at least one Twins hitter who gets the distinction of being the first to be tagged with a pitch. Mike Redmond joked with Garza before practice began that he didn't want to get the "heater" in his back, but Redmond didn't have to worry. Instead, it was outfield prospect Denard Span who was hit with a curveball on his backside by pitcher Ricky Barrett. The pitch got away from Barrett, but its timing was a tad ironic as it came after Span had delivered the blast of the day, a homer over the center-field fence. Quotable: "That guy can flat-out hit. He can really hit. But stealing bases, no. It's like [Justin] Morneau's goal to play second base -- these are two things that may not happen. I won't say never, but they may not happen this year. -- Gardenhire, on the chances of Redmond swiping a bag this year (Redmond has one stolen base in 8 Major League seasons)
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.