First day in the Twins' Spring Training Camp today. The big team was away to Juniper (but looking at the box score of that game, looks like a lot of the players just took the day off.) Two of them, Alexi Casilla and Jamey Carroll did not, but they played for the Rock Cats and Red Wings, respectively, in the Twins' inter-squad AAA/AA game that started at noon local time.
The Red Wings, in addition to Carroll, had a lot of the recently demoted players from the Twins' camp. Bates 1B, Nishioki 2B, Cheng SS, Pearce 3B, Carson RF, Mastroianni CF and Dustin Martin (the only one not in the Twins' camp) LF. Diamond was the SP and Lehmann the Catcher. A couple of interesting things about Nishioka: Just the fact that he is playing at second base, makes me think that Dozier will be a lock at SS for Rochester. Also, before the game he spent time (at least an hour, based on the time I walked to the Complex) taking grounders with TK and Eddie Rosario among others. Nishi took grounders at SS, Rosario at 2B. Also, interesting to see the role of Ryo when Nishi is in Rochester. For this game, Ryo was a glorified bat boy.
At the dugout Carroll and Nishioka were having an interesting conversation (through Ryo.) Carroll repeatedly tapped the side of his own head and was telling Nishi that he has to play smart. Scott Diamond started for the Red Wings and he was pretty much average and had problems finding the plate. A few bright spots as far as performances went:
I did not have radar readings, but Wimmers pitched for 4 innings (for the Rock Cats) and pitched very well. Not much problem commanding and controlling which is good news for Twins' fans.
Also very interesting to see Angel Morales playing for the Rock Cats. Casilla was playing for them at that game and he seemed to be very encouraging to the kid.
also pitched for the Red Wings, but their best pitcher was Tyler Robertson who pitched in relief of Scott Diamond.
Lexi Casilla is locked in this Spring. He mad solid contract as a RHB and he is there 100%, which is great for him. I really expect a breakthrough season for him.
Surprise of the day? This guy:
Twins' 17th round pick in 2011. He was pitching on the field behind me, the sound of the ball to the glove made me look, and his next pitch made me leave the AA-AAA game and go where the Rookie ball players were playing. He will be a good one. Low 90s fastball with good movement and a great curve.
Spring training is always fun. Especially when you are a kid and you get a Hall of Famer to sign a ball for you: