News and Notes from the Twins Spring Training: 2/20/17

As every Spring, I will be following the Twins and providing news and notes.  For about 10 days I will be in Fort Myers providing live coverage from the Twins' Spring Training.  Those post will be noted as such.  Otherwise I will be providing summaries of the team's activities and individual posts on certain subjects relating to the Twins' preparation for 2017.  You can find all 2017 Spring Training related posts here.

  • The Twins have signed 28 year old journeyman and former Gophers RHP Seth Rosin to a minor league contract.  The Arden Hills, MN native was drafted by the Twins in the 28th round of the 2007 draft, but decided to go to the Univesity of Minnesota instead.  He projects as a Rochester pen depth signing. 
  • RHPs Kyle Gibson Nick Burdi, and Jose Berrios have been changing their deliveries, the first two to keep their shoulder and elbow healthy, and Berrios to hid his pitches better and avoid tipping them.  So has done LHP Craig Breslow, with his motivation being to re-invent himself.
  • 1B/DH Kennys Vargas has worked out with Manny Ramirez this winter.  Ramirez has been fellow Dominican's Miguel Sano's winter training partner, but Sano decided to work out for former third baseman Fernando Tatis, to include some fielding work this winter.  In an interesting confession, Vargas indicated that the Twins' coaches wanted him "for years to cut down his swing and use the whole field, as [they did with] Ortiz", something that Ramirez and him worked to fix last winter.
  • LHP Hector Santiago, changed his number to 53 from 66 last season.  He wore 53 both with the Angels and the White Sox previously.  The number became available when RHP Pat Light was traded to the Pirates a couple weeks ago.  Santiago will fight about 10 other candidates for a position to the Twins' rotation this Spring, something he will not be handed, as he decided to take off the Twins' camp and pitch for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in the WBC.  Jose Berrios, another pitcher fighting for a rotation sport for the Twins, will be in the same disadvantage because he made the same choice.
  • 2B Brian Dozier is surprised to be back with the team.  His and the Twins' wish might come true by next off-season, now the Mets will have an opening in the position.
  • LHP Glen Perkins who is recuperating from a torn labrum surgery, pitch twice from the mound in bullpens without any problem.  It was indicated that he was pitching at "75%", but no velocities were mentioned.  Something will definitely keep and eye on and report live when in Fort Myers, as with RHP Phil Hughes' recovery from TOS surgery.  Hughes sounds ahead of Perkins, as far as recovery goes, and, unlike Perkins, who will likely start the season in the DL, is planning to start the season with the big club.  For both, return of velocity is essential to be effective, and will keep an eye on that.  During his recovery Perkins used an electronic muscle simulator, instead of icing after workouts.
  • LHP Mason Melotakis is the only other injured player in the camp, recovering from an oblique strain and not throwing.
  • The Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said the following in an interview by Mackey and Judd:
    • He would like information to be shared throughout the organization, making more informed decisions through collaboration, bringing different ideas from different departments.
    • He wants his staff to check their egos in the door and share ideas.  Will abolish the "we've always done it this way" mentality, and explore the "whys' of doing something.
    • Being patient with changes in order to make good informed decisions that will be happening as the time passes
    • C Jason Castro can impact the game, in addition to pitch framing, with his game calling abilities, as well as with his bat that "has upside".
    • There is not "an one size fits all approach" with the pitchers.  They will try to leverage each pitcher's strengths .
    • Was imperative to spend 5-10 minutes with each players to make sure that everyone understands the expectations as well as that the management is accessibly for the players.
    • He believes that the team can "take a step forward" this year with the players the team has, by giving them more resources to succeed. 

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