BOS@MIN: Hughes breaks down spring start vs. Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Phil Hughes faced a familiar lineup when he toed the rubber against the Red Sox in Grapefruit League play on Thursday.

The former Yankees right-hander has faced Boston 22 times in the regular season over his career, but this was his first time pitching against them this spring since signing a three-year, $24 million deal with the Twins this offseason.

Hughes was mostly solid during Minnesota's 4-3 loss, but he ran into trouble in the third inning and wasn't helped by a pair of errors committed by Trevor Plouffe and Joe Mauer. He ended up allowing two unearned runs on four hits over three innings, with two strikeouts.

"To get an inning where you work through some tough spots and battle a little bit, it'll help a little bit," said Hughes, who threw 65 pitches. "It's good, especially in spring, because you're going to get those types of innings during the season. You don't want it to be something new, where you just roll through Spring Training."

Hughes, who is scrapping his slider in favor of his curveball and cutter, showed some impressive curveballs, including one in the second inning to get David Ortiz to strike out looking.

"It's been good," Hughes said about his curveball. "I feel like sometimes it comes in and out and can be inconsistent, but for the most part, it's where I want it to be."

Hughes, who has a 1.04 ERA in three outings this spring, added that his arm has been feeling great so far with the Twins roughly halfway through camp.

"I feel good," Hughes said. "I feel better than most springs, I'd say. Last year, I didn't really have one [because of an injured back]. But in years past, I've pitched pretty well in Spring Training. But I don't remember having as much arm strength or velocity in other Spring Trainings. But command has been iffy at times, which is part of the process."

Tommy John surgery a success for Sano

Duquette discusses Twins top prospect Sano's injury

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Top prospect Miguel Sano underwent successful Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday, assistant general manager Rob Antony said Thursday.

Sano, who suffered a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, had the surgery in New York with Dr. David Altchek performing the operation. No other damage was found in Sano's elbow, but he did suffer a full tear of the UCL. Sano remains in the hospital after feeling some dizziness from the medication but is expected to fly back from New York on Saturday.

"They went in and looked at that same MRI we had and said it was a full tear," Antony said. "Altchek was pleased with the way the rest of the elbow looked. He said there's no doubt he'll be ready to go for the start of Spring Training next year."

Sano, ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect by MLB.com, is expected to need roughly five months of rehab before he can start swinging the bat again, and eight months of rehab before he's ready to play third base.

There's still a chance he could serve as designated hitter late in the Minor League season or play in the Arizona Fall League or in his native Dominican Republic during the offseason. But Antony said the main goal remains to have Sano ready for the start of next season.

"From my perspective, it doesn't matter to me if he DHs for a month or if he doesn't hit or play at all this year as long as he comes back healthy next year and ready to go," Antony said.

Ryan begins six weeks of radiation treatment

Twins Stand Up To Cancer for GM Terry Ryan

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins general manager Terry Ryan, who underwent surgery to remove a cancerous lump from his neck on Feb. 11, began radiation treatment on Thursday, according to assistant general manager Rob Antony.

Ryan, 60, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in early February after a lump was found in a lymph node in his neck. He underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic and was released from the hospital three days later.

He'll receive radiation treatment for the next six weeks, according to Antony, who spoke with Ryan on the phone on Thursday.

"I talked to him today and he sounded good," Antony said. "He said he felt pretty good."

Ryan has been feeling good enough to work some days from his office at Target Field, but Antony said it's too early to know if Ryan will be in Chicago for Opening Day on March 31, when the Twins play the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

"He hasn't talked about any of that," Antony said. "I think he's being careful not to want to put timetables on things or make too many plans, because he doesn't know how he's going to feel or how the treatment will affect him."

Florimon passes tests, ready for game action

Outlook: Florimon capable of solid power-speed mix

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Shortstop Pedro Florimon, who had his appendix removed on Feb. 17, is scheduled to return to action and play in a Minor League game on Friday.

Florimon has been taking batting practice on the field in recent days, and has been taking ground balls for the last week. He faced live pitching on Thursday, and is slated to see his first game action on Friday.

"He took live BP, and I think he's planning on playing three innings in a Minor League game tomorrow," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "After that, we're going to start stretching him out a little bit, and he'll get into some big league games."

There's still a chance that Florimon won't be ready for the start of the season, as he has about two weeks to get ready for Opening Day on March 31 against the White Sox. Eduardo Escobar, Jason Bartlett and Danny Santana remain candidates to start at shortstop if Florimon isn't ready.