Minnesota Sports Roundup: Wolves return to action after a four-day breakMinnesota Sports
-- The Minnesota Timberwolves welcome the Denver Nuggets to Target Center tonight after a four-day stretch without a game(Wed 7 p.m.).
The Minnesota Timberwolves welcome the Denver Nuggets to Target Center tonight after a four-day stretch without a game(Wed 7 p.m.). The Wolves hope center Nikola Pekovic and point guard J-J Barea will be healthy enough to return to the court. Both players practiced Tuesday. Pekovic has been nursing a sore ankle while Barea has missed the past five games with a sprained foot. Minnesota added some depth by signing veteran forward Josh Howard last week. Howard had six points, two assists and two steals in 14 minutes of play in Friday's loss to Golden State. Tonight's matchup with Denver is the first Northwest Division game for the Timberwolves.
The Minnesota Twins have added eight players to their 40-man Major League roster. Outfielder Aaron Hicks and right-handed pitcher Kyle Gibson are the two players with the best chance of making the team next spring. The other six are infielder Danny Santana, catcher Josmil Pinto and pitchers Caleb Thielbar, B-J Hermsen, Michael Tonkin and Tim Woods. The team also agreed to terms on minor league contracts with 10 players and invited them to big league camp. The list includes pitchers Samuel Deduno, P-J Walters, Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez and outfielder Brian Dinkelman.
The Minnesota Twins are out with their 2013 Spring Training schedule. The club will play 19 homes at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida The Grapefruit League opener is February 24th versus the Tampa Bay Rays. Minnesota will play the Red Sox at home four times including the final game March 29th. The Twins host the A-L Wild Card Orioles three times, a visit from the Puerto Rican World Baseball Classic team, the Yankees March 22nd and the Cardinals March 25th. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report February 12th with the rest of the team arriving on February 15th.
Free-agent pitcher Jeremy Guthrie will not be joining the Minnesota Twins starting rotation this offseason. The Royals signed the 33-year-old right-hander to a three-year, 25-million-dollar contract Tuesday after acquiring him in a trade with the Rockies midway through last season. Guthrie went 5-and-3 with a 3.16 E-R-A in 14 games for Kansas City. He was reportedly on the Twins radar as they seek to add quality starters to a staff that really struggled in 2012. Minnesota decided not to re-sign veteran right-hander Scott Baker who inked a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs. Left-hander Scott Diamond is the only starting pitcher the Twins have penciled into their 2013 rotation. The Winter Meetins begin in two weeks in Nashville.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler still doesn't know whether he'll play Sunday at home against the Vikings. Cutler missed Monday's 32-7 loss at San Francisco after suffering a concussion versus Houston the previous Sunday. Cutler says he feels good but has not yet been cleared to play. During his radio show Tuesday, the Bears QB said he met with the doctor and has "a few more hoops to jump through, so we'll see how it goes this week." He's expected to meet with doctors again today and tomorrow. The Vikings are winless in their last four visits to Soldier Field.
The University of Minnesota football team is moving forward after wide receiver A-J Barker's departure. Coach Jerry Kill says they are focused on Senior Day which is Saturday's regular season finale against Michigan State. Kill is holding shorter practices this week so his players are not fatigued versus the Spartans. The 6-and-5 Gophers can improve their bowl prospects with a victory while 5-and-6 Michigan State needs one more win to become bowl eligible. Fifteen Minnesota seniors will be honored Saturday afternoon at T-C-F Bank Stadium.