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3/3/12

Transactions Involving Former Twins - February edition

This off-season I have been keeping track of former Twins who were signed by other teams. This is the final edition, since Spring Training has started. Here is the cumulative list of former Twins who are playing for new teams this season:

Arizona Diamondbacks:

C Henry Blanco (major league; free agent, November 2011)
LHP Craig Brelsow (traded by the Oakland Athletics with Trevor Cahill for Jarrod Parker, Ryan Cook and Collin Cowgill, December 2011)
OF Jason Kubel (major league; free agent, December 2011)

Atlanta Braves:

LHP Dusty Hughes (minor league; free agent, November 2011)

Baltimore Orioles

SS Steve Tolleson (minor league; free agent, November 2011)
C Allan de San Miguel (minor league; free agent, January 2012)
LHP Dennys Reyes (minor league; free agent, January 2012)
RHP Pat Neshek (minor league; free agent, January 2012)
RHP Luis Ayala (major league; free agent, January 2012)

Boston Red Sox

IF Nick Punto (major league; free agent, December 2011)
RHP Carlos Silva (minor league; free agent, January 2012)
OF Jason Repko (minor league; free agent, January 2012)

Chicago Cubs:

IF Matt Tolbert (minor league; free agent, January 2012)

Chicago White Sox:
-

Cincinnati Reds:

LHP Ron Mahay (minor league; free agent, January 2012)

Cleveland Indians:

RHP Kevin Slowey (traded by the Colorado Rockies for RHP Zach Putnam, January 2012)
SS Cristian Guzman (minor league; free agent, February 2012)

Colorado Rockies

IF Casey Blake (major league; free agent, December 2011)
IF/OF Michael Cuddyer (major league; free agent, December 2011)
IF Brendan Harris (minor league; free agent, January 2012)
OF Brandon Roberts (minor league; free agent, January 2012)
RHP Kevin Slowey (traded by the Twins for RHP Dan Turpen, December 2011)

Detroit Tigers:
-

Houston Astros:

RHP Livan Hernandez (minor league; free agent, January 2012)
C Jair Fernandez (minor league; free agent, January 2012)

Kansas City Royals:
LHP Jose Mijares (major league; free agent, December 2011)

Los Angeles Angels:

OF Doug Deeds (minor league; free agent, January 2012)
RHP Juan Rincon (minor league; free agent, February 2012)


Los Angeles Dodgers:

IF Adam Kennedy (major league; free agent, November 2011)


Miami Marlins:

RHP Rob Delaney (minor league; free agent, January 2012)
3B Terry Tiffee (minor league; free agent, January 2012)
3B Chase Lambin (minor league; free agent, February 2012)

Milwaukee Brewers:
-

New York Mets:

LHP Chuck James (minor league; free agent, December 2011)
RHP Jon Rauch (major league; free agent, December 2011)

Oakland Athletics:

OF Jason Pridie (minor league; free agent, November 2011)

Philadelphia Phillies:

1B/PH Jim Thome (major league; free agent, November 2011)

Pittsburgh Pirates:

C Jose Morales (minor league; free agent, December 2011)

San Fransisco Giants

RHP Eric Hacker (minor league; free agent, December 2011)
RHP Boof Bonser (minor league; free agent, December 2011)
RHP Ramon Ortiz (minor league; free agent, February 2012)

Seattle Mariners:

RHP Matt Fox (minor league; free agent, November 2011)
LHP Sean Henn (minor league; free agent, December 2011)
SS Luis Rodriguez (minor league; free agent, November 2011)

St. Louis Cardinals:

RHP Shooter Hunt (drafted in the AAA portion of the Rule 5 draft, December 2011)
LHP JC Romero (major league; free agent, December 2011)

Texas Rangers:

RHP Joe Nathan (major league; free agent, November 2011)
IF/OF Yangervis Solarte (minor league; free agent, December 2011)
LHP Joe Beimel (minor league; free agent, February 2012)

Toronto Blue Jays:
RHP Sergio Santos (traded by the Chicago White Sox for Nestor Molina, December 2011)
RHP Jim Hoey (claimed off waivers, December 2011)

Washington Nationals:
-

So other than the Tigers and the White Sox, the Brewers and Nationals are the only teams that have not signed any former Twins this off-season.

3/1/12

Today's Twins B game recap

Today the Minnesota Twins played their first B game of the Spring Training (B-games are free to watch and do not count in the standing and the rules can be bent, and were bent today). The pitchers in order were: Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Liam Hendriks, Jeff Manship, Jason Bulger, Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson, Brendan Wise and Deolis Guerra will pitch an inning a piece. The Twins starting line up was:

LF- Ben Revere
3B- Ray Chang
RF- Rene Tosoni
CF- Joe Benson
DH Brian Dinkelman
1B- Aaron Bates
SS- Brian Dozier
C- J.R. Towles
2B- Pedro Florimon

here is a link to a picture of today's game.

1st Inning:

Scott Baker started the inning and allowed a HR to Lavarnway who was the only man to reach other than Jose Iglesias who led the game with a single on Baker's first pitch. 12 pitches 8 strikes for Baker.
Rene Tosoni hit a double of Alfredo Aceves after a Ben Revere single, who scored on Joe Benson's infield single. 1-1 after one inning

2nd Inning:

Nick Blackburn pitched a scoreless inning giving a lead off single to Red Sox' B Wil Middlebrooks and JR Towles caught him stealing second.
J.R. Towles hits a single off Daniel Bard to score Brian Dozier, who doubled earlier. 2-1 Twins

3rd Inning:
Jeff Manship pitched a scoreless inning

4th Inning:

Liam Hendriks pitched a scoreless inning.
Aaron Bates hit a two-run homer to dead center off lefty Jesse Carlson, former set up man for the Blue Jays, to make it 4-1 Twins

5th Inning:

Jason Bulger surrendered a run to the Red Sox. 4-2 Twins
Two-run double from Brian Dinkelman makes the score 6-2

6th Inning:

Nate Spears hits a 2 Run Triple for Boston off Carlos Gutierrez to make it 6-4 Twins. The inning was cut short, before 3 outs were made, because Gutierrez had reached his pitch limit. Walk, walk, double, walk was his day, with 2 outs in there. This can happen in a B game but not in an A game. A very bad outing for Gutierrez.

7th Inning:

Dan Butler hits a solo HR off Tyler Robertson. Robertson then picked a runner off first. 6-5 Twins.

8th Inning:

Brendan Wise pitched a scoreless 8th inning.

9th Inning:

Deolis Guerra pitched a scoreless 9th to get the save.
The Twins' batters are hitting at the bottom of the 9th so the Red Sox' pitcher is getting his work (another thing that happens only in B games.)

Unfortunately the coverage was not very good and twitter was pretty much the only source for game updates. And then you had professional journalists, who do not realize that the fans are interested in the first game of the Twins' season and it is their job to provide coverage, make asinine remarks like this.

As far as the hitters go: Aaron Bates hit a HR, Brian Dinkelman had 2 hits and 2 RBI, Brian Dozier and JR Towles an RBI single each, Brian Dozier two singles and Rene Tosoni a double. Joe Benson and Pedro Florimon stole a base a piece.

You can find all the spring training coverage in this site here

2/29/12

What have we learned so far in the Twins Spring Training

Tomorrow the Twins will play their first unofficial game, and there are already a few interesting observations in this very young Spring Training. As always, you can find all the Spring Training news and analysis on this site here.

First of all, as far as the "B" game (free to fans, BTW) tomorrow goes, the Twins have announced who is playing. All of: Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Liam Hendriks, Jeff Manship, Jason Bulger, Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson, Brendan Wise and Deolis Guerra will pitch an inning a piece. The line up will be: C- J.R. Towles, 1B- Aaron Bates, 2B- Pedro Florimon, 3B- Ray Chang, SS- Brian Dozier, LF- Ben Revere, CF- Joe Benson, RF- Rene Tosoni, DH Brian Dinkelman.

So what have we learned so far:

  • The clubhouse atmosphere is upbeat and easy going and players like Ben Revere have been lighting up the atmosphere and bring in positive energy

  • Joe Mauer did not miss a single workout, a single bullpen catching or a single batting practice. This is extremely encouraging.

  • Justing Morneau did not miss a single workout and hit a double and a home run off Fransisco Liriano the other day, which means that he can time and turn a fastball this early in Spring Training and this is great news

  • The Twins lost Joel Zumaya and someone from the organization will have to step up. My analysis about this is here, but several of these pitcher will be pitching tomorrow.

  • Based on the starting lineup tomorrow, unless they reverse, Florimon is viewed as the second baseman and Dozier as the SS for the Red Wings. It Looks like the Twins will give Dozier many chances to win the short stop of the future label. As a matter of fact, that lineup, minus Revere, might be the Rochester Red Wings starting lineup.

  • Ron Gardenhire is open with his outfield positions, especially now that Revere's arm is stronger

  • Late edit, because it just came up in Phil Mackey's notebook. According to Joe Mauer, Carlos Gutierrez, Casey Fien and Fransisco Liriano have been the most impressive pitchers he caught in camp right now.



So the Twins are playing their first game tomorrow. Baseball is here. And this is incredible news!

2/28/12

Random Tuesday Twins Thoughts and Tidbits

Here is this week's installment (heavily influenced by Spring Training) :


  • Wishing my best to Joel Zumaya, who's career with the Twins for all practical purposes ended last Sunday. Several media outlets have mentioned that he is considering retiring from baseball and becoming a professional fisherman. Terry Ryan indicated that the Twins most likely will replace Zumaya from within the organization, which opens another position in their pen. I looked at the potential possibilities here yesterday.

  • In another interesting story from the Twins' camp, we learned that Doumit will not be part of the first base rotation, J.R. Towles has hopes on sticking with the big team, and that Luke Hughes might actually take batting practice today. Yesterday he took swings without a ball and felt good, according to himself. Meanwhile there are reports that Revere's arm has been stronger this offseason. Paul Molitor on ESPN 1500 mentioned that yesterday Revere threw over the head of the cut-off man (Nishioki) in practice. Interesting to see how this develops. Another thing we learn yesterday is that Ron Gardenhire opened his mind and the Revere LF- Span CF- Willingham RF he (almost) wrote on stone this offseason, might not be it, if it does not make sense. Good to hear.

  • A former member of the Twins' World Championship teams, is selling Fish Tacos, while a current Twins' pitcher is clearing the Fort Myers seas from sharks

  • A recently departed Twins, has already made his presense felt in his new team's clubhouse, while another of his former teammates who pitched last season with the Bridgeport Bluefish, is now an Angel

  • I bet that you did not know that there is an annual MLB groundskeeper's convension and an MLB Groundskeepers Hall of Fame. I didn't. Now we all do.

  • The Twins' player Tweet of the week award goes to Ben Revere with this one. When Ben retires from baseball, he has a bright future in fortune cookie script writing. Niko Goodrum gets second place with this advice. Also from the tweet deparment, Ben Revere thinks that a certain fast food joint, hold the secret to hitting home runs

  • You absolutely have to read the transcript of the texting conversation that Ron Gardenhire had with Nick Punto after the Cardinals won the Worls Series.

  • We have learned (from Drew Butera) that Jamey Carroll is "smooth as a baby's bottom". No comment.

  • Word of the week: hypocorism. As in "with Spring Training starting, Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire would need to find hypocorisms for all his new players." I guess Carroll is already set "Jamey" and Marquis too, "Markey", but will we hear "Doumey" and "Willey"? Time will tell.

  • Speaking of Gardy, he announced that the Twins will continue serving beer at the clubhouse. No word about fried chicken yet.



The parting shot today was inspired by this shot that Phil Mackey posted of Joe Mauer taking grounders at first base last Sunday on one of the Twins' practice field. Chainlink fence, trees, houses. Spring Training... The more things change, the more they say the same. So the parting shot is of Hall of Famer, then full time manager, part (10%) owner and ocassional pitcher of the Washington Senators, Clark Griffith, hitting grounders in the Washington Senators' spring training in Charlotesville, VA at 1913. 99 years ago. He was 43 then. Chainlink fence, trees, houses...


2/27/12

Who will replace Joel Zumaya for the Twins?

Joel Zumaya left the mount on Saturday with elbow discomfort, cutting his workout short. Terry Ryan announced on Sunday that an MRI showed that he has torn his UCL, will undergo Tommy John surgery and not pitch for a month. It is unclear whether the Twins released him yet, but at this point that is a technicality, because by releasing him they will save $450,000 and pay him only the guaranteed $400,000.

There are 32 remaining pitchers (64 arms) in the Twins' spring training camp. From those, I would argue that the following 9 are locks to make the team, leaving 23 players to fight for 3 open bullpen spots. Here is a list of my locks:

Rotation:
Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Francisco Liriano, Jason Marquis, Carl Pavano

Pen:
Matt Capps, Brian Duensing, Glen Perkins, Anthony Swarzak (3 open spots)

Lets examine the remaining 23 pitchers a bit closer. The following is a list of the pitchers in the Twins' camp broken down by whether they are in the 40-man roster or not (there is a spot available now that Zumaya is not with the team) sorted alphabetically. I also list their age, whether they are left-handed or right-handed, whether they are starters or relieves, their 2011 MLB average fastball velocity (they do have to replace someone who touched triple digits), their career major league and minor league numbers and their off-season fall or winter league numbers. Here is the list:

On the 40-man roster:

Alex Burnett RHP, 24, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 93.3; reliever
MLB Career: 98.1 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.485 WHIP, 6.4 K/9, 1.57 K/BB, 4.60 FIP, 4.64 xFIP
MiLB Career: 519.2 IP, 3.41 ERA, 1.201 WHIP, 7.0 K/9, 2.97 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Scott Diamond LHP, 25, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 88.8; starter
MLB Career: 39 IP, 5.08 ERA, 1.744 WHIP, 4.4 K/9, 1.12 K/BB, 4.36 FIP, 4.87 xFIP
MiLB Career: 565.1 IP, 3.77 ERA, 1.415 WHIP, 7.1 K/9, 2.46 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Terry Doyle RHP, 26, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : N/A; starter
MLB Career: N/A
MiLB Career: 422.2 IP, 2.94 ERA, 1.143 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, 3.93 K/BB
2012 Winter (AFL): 27.1 IP, 1.98 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 5 BB, 22 K

Jeff Gray RHP, 30, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 92.9; reliever
MLB Career: 88.2 IP, 4.57 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 5.1 K/9, 1.61 K/BB, 4.47 FIP, 4.41 xFIP
MiLB Career: 409.2 IP, 3.56 ERA, 1.225 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, 2.98 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Deolis Guerra RHP, 23, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : N/A; reliever
MLB Career: N/A
MiLB Career: 680 IP, 4.95 ERA, 1.413 WHIP, 6.5 K/9, 1.94 K/BB
2012 Winter (VWL): 26.2 IP, 3.71 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 7 BB, 23 K

Carlos Gutierrez RHP, 25, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : N/A; reliever
MLB Career: N/A
MiLB Career: 321 IP, 4.07 ERA, 1.430 WHIP, 6.4 K/9, 1.68 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Liam Hendriks RHP, 23, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 90; starter
MLB Career: 23.1 IP, 6.17 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 6.2 K/9, 2.67 K/BB, 4.10 FIP, 3.66 xFIP
MiLB Career: 375.2 IP, 2.78 ERA, 1.089 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, 5.72 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Matt Maloney LHP, 28, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 86.8; starter
MLB Career: 80 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.450 WHIP, 6.1 K/9, 3.18 K/BB, 5.48 FIP, 4.57 xFIP
MiLB Career: 890.1 IP, 3.27 ERA, 1.178 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, 3.34 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Jeff Manship RHP, 27, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 90; starter
MLB Career: 64 IP, 5.63 ERA, 1.609 WHIP, 6.2 K/9, 1.76 K/BB, 4.35 FIP, 4.57 xFIP
MiLB Career: 574 IP, 3.54 ERA, 1.268 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, 3.24 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Lester Oliveros RHP, 24, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 93.9; Reliever
MLB Career: 21.1 IP, 4.64 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 5.5 K/9, 1.18 K/BB, 3.35 FIP, 4.71 xFIP
MiLB Career: 275.2 IP, 3.21 ERA, 1.288 WHIP, 11.2 K/9, 2.84 K/BB
2012 Winter (VWL): 20.1 IP, 1.33 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 9 BB, 18 K

Tyler Robertson LHP, 24, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : N/A; starter/reliever
MLB Career: N/A
MiLB Career: 616.1 IP, 3.69 ERA, 1.379 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 2.47 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Kyle Waldrop RHP, 26, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 88.4; reliever
MLB Career: 11 IP, 5.73 ERA, 1.455 WHIP, 4.1 K/9, 0.83 K/BB, 4.93 FIP, 4.44 xFIP
MiLB Career: 779 IP, 3.63 ERA, 1.276 WHIP, 5.7 K/9, 2.91 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A



Not on the 40-man roster:

Jason Bulger RHP, 33, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 91.6; reliever
MLB Career: 133 IP, 4.33 ERA, 1.406 WHIP, 9.3 K/9, 1.84 K/BB, 4.49 FIP, 4.17 xFIP
MiLB Career: 405 IP, 3.80 ERA, 1.398 WHIP, 10.9 K/9, 2.58 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Jared Burton RHP, 33, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 90.7; reliever
MLB Career: 169 IP, 3.41 ERA, 1.325 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 1.96 K/BB, 3.97 FIP, 4.39 xFIP
MiLB Career: 340.2 IP, 3.46 ERA, 1.253 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 2.56 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Samuel Deduno RHP, 28, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 89.2; reliever
MLB Career: 5.2 IP, 3.18 ERA, 2.118 WHIP, 11.1 K/9, 1.75 K/BB, 4.99 FIP, 3.57 xFIP
MiLB Career: 738.1 IP, 4.29 ERA, 1.423 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, 1.88 K/BB
2012 Winter (DWL): 6 IP, 1.50 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 4 BB, 13 K

Phil Dumatrait LHP, 28, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 91; reliever
MLB Career: 151 IP, 6.20 ERA, 1.781 WHIP, 5.8 K/9, 1.08 K/BB, 5.76 FIP, 5.33 xFIP
MiLB Career: 883.1 IP, 3.66 ERA, 1.396 WHIP, 6.7 K/9, 1.59 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Casey Fien RHP, 28, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 91.5 (2010) ; reliever
MLB Career: 14 IP, 8.36 ERA, 1.643 WHIP, 5.8 K/9, 1.50 K/BB, 6.81 FIP, 5.41 xFIP
MiLB Career: 311 IP, 3.07 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, 4.43 K/BB
2012 Winter(DWL): 30.2 IP, 4.40 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 8 BB, 31K

Luis Perdomo RHP, 28, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 93.6; reliever
MLB Career: 61 IP, 4.87 ERA, 1.508 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, 1.62 K/BB, 5.52 FIP, 4.12 xFIP
MiLB Career: 313 IP, 3.65 ERA, 1.310 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 2.06 K/BB
2012 Winter(DWL): 21.1 IP, 2.11 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 3 BB, 16K

Aaron Thompson LHP, 25, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 88.1; starter/reliever
MLB Career: 7.2 IP, 7.04 ERA, 2.478 WHIP, 1.2 K/9, 0.17 K/BB, 8.50 FIP, 7.08 xFIP
MiLB Career: 783 IP, 4.37 ERA, 1.483 WHIP, 6.7 K/9, 2.15 K/BB
2012 Winter (DWL): 21.2 IP, 6.10 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 4 BB, 3 K

Daryl Thompson RHP, 26, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 91.2; starter/reliever
MLB Career: 17.1 IP, 8.31 ERA, 2.192 WHIP, 3.1 K/9, 0.50 K/BB, 6.92 FIP, 6.63 xFIP
MiLB Career: 711.1 IP, 3.73 ERA, 1.247 WHIP, 7.5 K/9, 2.96 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Esmerling Vasquez RHP, 28, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 93.4; reliever
MLB Career: 137 IP, 4.66 ERA, 1.496 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 1.50 K/BB, 4.50 FIP, 4.90 xFIP
MiLB Career: 512.1 IP, 4.55 ERA, 1.440 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 1.73 K/BB
2012 Winter (DWL): 9 IP, 3.00 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 7 BB, 9 K

P.J. Walters RHP, 27, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : 88.8; starter/reliever
MLB Career: 51 IP, 7.24 ERA, 1.529 WHIP, 7.1 K/9, 1.82 K/BB, 5.86 FIP, 4.40 xFIP
MiLB Career: 702 IP, 4.06 ERA, 1.345 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, 2.73 K/BB
2012 Winter: N/A

Brendan Wise RHP, 26, 2011 MLB Average FB (PitchF/X) : N/A ; reliever
MLB Career: N/A
MiLB Career: 424.1 IP, 3.37 ERA, 1.317 WHIP, 4.8 K/9, 1.77 K/BB
2012 Winter (ABL): 4 IP, 0 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3 BB, 2 K

So this is how it looks on paper... Who has a chance to make the team?

Clearly it will depend on spring training performance. With Terry Ryan mentioning Anthony Swarzak repeatedly during the last a couple of days as someone who now has to "step it", I suspect that Swarzak will be used later in ball games and not be the long man emergency starter he has been the past few seasons. So one of the starters in the group would need to replace him in that capacity. My pick is Terry Doyle because he is a rule 5 pick and has to be returned to the White Sox (or, very unlikely workout a trade for him) if he does not make the 25-man roster.

This leaves 2 spots. Swarzak's fastball average 92 mph last season, so ideally the Twins will have at least another righty who is throwing fast. Lester Oliveros(93.9 mph average FB 2011), Luis Perdomo (93.6 mph average FB 2011), Esmerling Vasquez (93.4 mph average FB 2011), Alex Burnett (93.4 mph average FB 2011), Jeff Gray (92.9 mph average FB 2011) will fight for at least one of these 2 spots. It is hard to tell who will win the battle, but Oliveros, Perdomo and Vasquez pitched in the winter leagues so they are a bit ahead of the competition early in the camp. Oliveros and Burnett are before their primes at 24 years old. Perdomo and Vasquez are at their primes at 28 and Gray is at the late part of his prime at 30. Vasquez (137 IP), Burnett (98.1 IP) and Gray (88.2 IP) have the most MLB experience. Oliveros and Perdomo miss the most bats. It is very hard to tell, but on paper, Burnett and Oliveros have the highest chance of being the two who make the team.

Any one else has any possibilities to make the team? I think that everyone on the list will be given a good look. Jason Bulger and Jared Burton are veteran arms. Carlos Gutierrez has developed a cutter and has always thought of having high potential. Jeff Manship has made the trip north twice from Spring Training. Kyle Waldrop ended the season with the Twins and a lot in the organization like his ground ball throwing abilities. Phil Dumatrait, even though his performance in 2011 was mediocre, was re-signed and praise through out 2011 by Ron Gardenhire.

It will all play on the spring training fields and the stadiums as well and the player who will step up and take that opportunity will be the ones who will go up to Baltimore with the team in April

2/26/12

Twins announce their Minor League Spring Training Schedule

The Minor League Spring Training Schedule for the Twins' organization has been official:

Tuesday, March 6 - All Players Report.
Thursday, March 8 - First full squad workout

At that point, players are split in AAA, AA and A camps and have games with the same opponent the same day. I have below the Red Wings' schedule, but the AA and A squads will play with the equivalent squads of the same organization the same day. Those 3 games are usually spit between the 2 teams sites, so when The Red Wings are playing the Pawtucket Red Sox in the Sox' camp site, at least one of the AA or the A team will play the equivalent Red Sox' squad at Lee County Sports Complex. All opposing teams are withing short driving distance (They only play the Red Sox, Rays and Orioles).

As far as the Twins' MLB Camp goes, expect the first round of cuts just before March 8th so cut players can join the Minor League Camp and the second round of cuts just before March 14th, so those squads are properly staffed for the games.

Here is the Red Wings' schedule, but you can infer about the other teams in the organization ("at Ft Myers" = at Red Sox' camp; home games indicated by "Lee County Sports Complex" ) :


Wednesday, March 14 - Red Wings vs. Pawtucket (Boston Red Sox) at Ft. Myers
Thursday, March 15 - Red Wings vs. Durham (Tampa Bay Rays) at Lee County Sports Complex
Friday, March 16 - Red Wings vs. Durham (Tampa Bay Rays) at Port Charlotte
Saturday, March 17 - Red Wings vs. Pawtucket (Boston Red Sox) at Lee County Sports Complex
Sunday, March 18 - Red Wings vs. Double A New Britain at Lee County Sports Complex
Monday, March 19 - Red Wings vs. Norfolk (Baltimore Orioles) at Lee County Sports Compex
Tuesday, March 20 - Red Wings vs. Norfolk (Baltimore Orioles) at Sarasota
Wednesday, March 21 - Red Wings vs. Pawtucket (Boston Red Sox) at Ft. Myers
Thursday, March 22 - Red Wings vs. Durham (Tampa Bay Rays) at Lee County Sports Compex
Friday, March 23 - Red Wings vs. Durham (Tampa Bay Rays) at Port Charlotte
Saturday, March 24 - Red Wings vs. Pawtucket (Boston Red Sox) at Lee County Sports Compex
Sunday, March 25 - Red Wings vs. Double A New Britain at Lee County Sports Compex
Monday, March 26 - Red Wings vs. Pawtucket (Boston Red Sox) at Ft. Myers
Tuesday, March 27 - Red Wings vs Norfolk (Baltimore Orioles) at Sarasota
Wednesday, March 28 - Red Wings vs. Norfolk (Baltimore Orioles) at Lee County Sports Compex
Thursday, March 29 - Red Wings vs. Pawtucket (Boston Red Sox) at Lee County Sports Compex
Friday, March 30 - Red Wings vs. Durham (Tampa Bay Rays) at Lee County Sports Compex
Saturday, March 31 - Red Wings vs. Pawtucket (Boston Red Sox) at Ft. Myers
Sunday, April 1 - Red Wings vs. Double A New Britain at Lee County Sports Compex

Joel Zumaya injury: what do we know

Update: Zumaya's MRI revealed a Torn UCL. Ligament replacement surgery next. Out for at least a year.

By now we all know that Zumaya left yesterday's bullpen session with pain/discomfort on "the inside of his elbow" after he threw 15 pitches to Chris Herrmann. According to the observers he was throwing very hard. Terry Ryan announced that there will be an MRI today and the results will be announced either late today or tomorrow.

Of course, the reaction of the Twins' Territory, especially in the light of the injury-filled , and disappointing 2011 season, was nothing short of "gloom and doom". Here, I am attempting to really go through all those reports and separate opinion from facts, look into quotes, reading between the lines and see what the story might be.

John Shipley wrote this report at Pioneer Press, Phil Mackey this update at ESPN 1500, La Velle Neal this piece at Star Tribune and Rhett Bollinger this one for MLB.com. There are some interesting direct quotes from Terry Ryan and other Twins' members. Let's examine them:

"It would be a little less concerning if we didn't have the history he's experienced in his career"

What I read into this, is that the injury/pain/discomfort is not that severe and if it were. let's say Carl Pavano, instead of Joel Zumaya, it might have been a different story about perceptions of severity. This is good news in my book, and is reinforced by this quote by Ron Gardenhire: "He's had some issues and had some arm injuries, and we want to protect him as much as we can". So this might be indeed something not extremely serious, but Zumaya and the Twins are playing it safe, because of his injury history.

A reference was made about the pain the Joe Nathan experience last season in Spring Training because of scar tissue being removed when pitching, a process that is helpful but painful. When Ryan was asked about that, he said "that would be ideal".

Again, it is a good possibility that this is the case. According to everyone he was throwing hard. The harder someone throws, the faster scar tissue breaks and the more painful it is. Danny Valencia is quoted by Phil Mackey saying "He was throwing gas, man,", Ryan said that "We may have to tone him down some."

It is entirely likely that Zumaya's discomfort is actually a good sign: scar tissue breakdown. I agree 100% with what Terry Ryan said, about Zumaya:

"Anytime a guy gets an MRI, there's got to be concern. But, I'm not going to overreact until the results come out. Let's hope it's not something serious."