While the Minnesota Twins play their home opener Thursday, April 8, the Saint Paul Saints — or at least many who will officially become the 2021 Saints — will have a regular workout day at CHS Field.

No field trip to Target Field for the organization’s most advanced prospects. It’s just another work day for them, and a familiar one for players who spent the better part of last summer on the Twins’ taxi squad.

Until the Saints’ May 4 opener, the 35 players working in Lowertown still compose the taxi squad, practicing in Twins gear and playing short simulated games since starting workouts on April 3.

“We don’t really have the roster here yet,” Saints manager Toby Gardenhire said Wednesday. “It’s like what we did last year; we have a group of players that are basically extra guys just in case they need some stuff on the big-league side.”

Rained out on Wednesday, players have been doing drills, taking batting practice and, so far, playing four-inning simulated games. All the players in St. Paul went through training camp in Fort Myers, so it’s mostly about being ready if the Twins need them.

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There are 20 pitchers, five outfielders and infielders, and three catchers in camp, so some will be sent to other levels, most likely the Twins’ new Class AA affiliate in Wichita. But Gardenhire thought most would stay in St. Paul and get fitted for Saints uniforms.

“I’m really just preparing for a season,” said outfielder Alex Kirilloff, the Twins’ first-round pick in the 2016 amateur draft, 15th overall. “I’m playing the outfield and working in sim games every day. They let us do our routine, and I’m just trying to be ready for anything, really.

“Getting back to a sense of normalcy makes it fun. It’s great to be back playing with the guys and this staff.”

Normalcy for Kirilloff will be playing a real season of baseball, wherever that might be. Because the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor-league season, he played in only one official baseball game last season, the Twins’ last of the season.

“We don’t really have the roster here yet,” Saints manager Toby Gardenhire said Wednesday. “It’s like what we did last year; we have a group of players that are basically extra guys just in case they need some stuff on the big-league side.”

Rained out on Wednesday, players have been doing drills, taking batting practice and, so far, playing four-inning simulated games. All the players in St. Paul went through training camp in Fort Myers, so it’s mostly about being ready if the Twins need them.

There are 20 pitchers, five outfielders and infielders, and three catchers in camp, so some will be sent to other levels, most likely the Twins’ new Class AA affiliate in Wichita. But Gardenhire thought most would stay in St. Paul and get fitted for Saints uniforms.

“I’m really just preparing for a season,” said outfielder Alex Kirilloff, the Twins’ first-round pick in the 2016 amateur draft, 15th overall. “I’m playing the outfield and working in sim games every day. They let us do our routine, and I’m just trying to be ready for anything, really.

“Getting back to a sense of normalcy makes it fun. It’s great to be back playing with the guys and this staff.”

Normalcy for Kirilloff will be playing a real season of baseball, wherever that might be. Because the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor-league season, he played in only one official baseball game last season, the Twins’ last of the season.

In his major-league debut, he went 1 for 4 at the plate and made four putouts in right field in a 3-1 loss to Houston in a best-of-three wild-card series.

Considered one of the Twins’ top two prospects along with shortstop Royce Lewis — out for the season after tearing a ligament in his right knee — Kirilloff has never played a season beyond Class AA. He has hit a combined .317 with 36 home runs and 177 RBIs in 279 minor-league games.

It’s safe to assume he’ll start the season with the Saints, but he’s not taking anything for granted. In fact, he said, he’s trying not to even think about that.

“I’ve done that in the past and, frankly, it doesn’t do me much good,” he said. “A lot of it right now is just looking forward to playing a season, regardless of where it is. I hope the pieces continue to fall together and we stay on track for that.”

Ditto Trevor Larnach, a first-round draft pick in 2018 (20th overall) out of Oregon State expected to make his major-league debut in 2021. He hit .286 with a home run and three RBIs in eight games in Fort Myers this spring.

“For the past few years I’ve been a part of pro baseball and I’ve definitely learned not to assume anything,” said Larnach, 24. “So, I’m going, really, just where they tell me, putting in my work and staying ready.

“It’s exciting. There was a sense of normalcy in spring training, with the fans and everything, and it just feels like we’re close to getting back to normal.”

The Minnesota Department of Health has opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 or older, and Saints players and coaches were given the opportunity to be vaccinated on Tuesday.

The Saints successfully opened CHS Field to as many as 1,500 fans last August, and the team expects to welcome more than 2,000 for the May 11 home opener against the Iowa Cubs.

They open the season with a six-game road trip to Omaha on May 4-9.

“I’m excited to watch them play,” Gardenhire said. “The Twins have some pretty good prospects and I’m looking forward to seeing what we’re capable of. It should be pretty fun for me, and I’m excited for Twins fans to see it, too.”