"I kind of think it was in the plan the whole time to go with the veterans and give them their shot first," Garza said. "They are veterans. Give them their shot first and go from there. So I'll just come down here, do what I did last year and come right back up a little more determined this year."That determination was on display Thursday as Garza arrived early to Minor League camp. Garza said he had been told he could take the day off, but rather than sit around stewing, the 23-year-old chose to be out on the fields running and working out with his Rochester teammates. It also gave Garza a chance to have a sit-down with former Twins manager Tom Kelly, who gave him a bit of advice. "He said something in me had changed, and it wasn't the way I'm playing, but that I'm thinking too much," Garza said. "And it hit me I was. I've been thinking too much all spring. This time last year I was just pitching and letting it fly, and look at the results. Now I'm just going to go out there and play the game like I'm 8 years old." As for a timetable the Twins offered for a possible return, Garza said there wasn't a specific one given to him. The two groups discussed the fact that they want Garza to pitch on a regular basis, a luxury that being the fifth starter would not have allowed him. So rather than be specific, Garza said he just wants to be back as soon as possible. "It could be a month, three months or it could be a week," Garza said. "I'm not going to think anymore. I'm just going to go out, do what they ask and pitch." Opening Scene: The Twins have announced the plans for their annual Opening Day festivities for Monday as the team hosts the Orioles. The activities get underway at 6 a.m. CT as the Twins host the 12th annual "Breakfast on the Plaza." A rally will then take place at the Mall of America starting at 11 a.m. It will feature appearances by pitchers Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier along with Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew and Gardenhire. As for game-time events, former Twins pitcher Brad Radke is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The national anthem is set to be performed by former American Idol contestant and Edina native Paris Bennett. Twins tidbits: Catcher Joe Mauer (stress reaction in left fibula) played in his second Minor League game of the week and went 2-for-5 with a home run. Mauer also caught three innings for the second straight day. The plan now is to have Mauer travel with the Twins to Bradenton on Friday and catch a few innings against the Pirates. ... Nick Punto (sore groin) is expected to see his first game action since March 18 when he plays in a Minor League game Sunday. Punto will play three or four innings of defense and see a couple at-bats. The hope is to have him play in Saturday's game against the Pirates before breaking camp with the club. ... Left-hander Mike Venafro reported to Minor League camp but it doesn't guarantee that he will remain in the organization. Venafro has until Sunday to accept the assignment. Coming Up: The Twins head to Bradenton for their final road trip of the spring to take on the Pirates in a 12:05 p.m. CT contest. Ortiz will get the start for Minnesota as he faces Pirates left-hander Tom Gorzelanny.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less