Target Field was a busy place Saturday afternoon as the Twins entered the second day of mandatory pregame work for their young players. Drills in the infield and outfield kept the team busy before batting practice.

It marks a new phase of the season, one focused on youth and development and prompted by Nelson Cruz’s departure. Manager Rocco Baldelli is hoping to instill a change in the team’s processes in the final two and a half months of the season.

“We’re not going to pretend that we don’t need to get better as a group,” Baledlli said. “… We have to acknowledge that we’re going to take some different approaches and that we’re probably also, due to the lack of experience that we have out on the field, (going to) approach our schedule differently, too. I’m not trying to make a massive deal about this, but it’s a true change from the way we’ve operated here in a lot of ways.”

Baldelli said the focus will span across all the parts of the game, from baserunning to fielding to the fundamentals of how to play at a major league level.

“There are many areas of the game that we have to improve upon, and we will not shy away from that,” Baldelli said.

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Maeda excited for Olympics

While Kenta Maeda won’t have the opportunity to return home to Japan and compete in the Olympic Games, the Twins’ pitcher expressed his excitement for the beginning of the Games in his home country.

“What are the chances in your lifetime of having your home country as a host (twice), so in that sense I’m really happy for the Olympics to be hosted in Japan, Tokyo. But with no fans, that’s kind of a bummer for the players, but that’s what it is right now with COVID,” Maeda said.

Japan hosted the Winter Games in Nagano in 1998. Japan and the Dominican Republic will open up play in this year’s baseball competition on Tuesday.

While Maeda isn’t eligible to compete in the Olympics as he is currently on the Twin’s 40-man roster, Minnesota’s newly acquired pitcher Joe Ryan, will. He was one-half of the return the Twins got in the Cruz trade and will compete for Team USA. Former Twins player Tyler Austin is also competing for the United States.

Buxton update

Byron Buxton was out on the field pregame throwing and playing catch. It’s a welcome sign for the Twins’ star center fielder, who has been out since June 21 with a broken knuckle on his left hand. Baldelli said Buxton continues to wear a splint to keep the hand in place.

“I think he can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I think he’s getting close to starting some different activities, even though he’s not there yet,” Baldelli said.

Arraez to the IL, Cave reinstated

Luis Arraez is headed to the 10-day injury list as he continues to deal with a right knee strain that he suffered on Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox.

The team had hoped to keep Arraez off the injured list if possible. He went through batting practice on Friday, but Baldelli said the real indication that Arraez will be close to returning is when he begins sprinting again.

To replace Arraez on the roster, the Twins called up outfielder Jake Cave and reinstated him from the 60-day injured list. Cave has been on the injured list since May 13 after he sustained a stress reaction on his lower back. He had missed Minnesota’s last 64 games.

Cave went 11-30 in an eight-game rehab stint with Triple-A St. Paul. Kyle Garlick was moved to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster for Cave.