News and Notes from the Twins Spring Training: 2/28/17

This is the latest report of the happenings in the Twins' Spring training.   The previous one is here, and can find all 2017 Twins Spring Training related posts here.  I will be describing events of interesting in the Twins' camp as well as happenings with former Twins.  For two weeks these reports will be live from Fort Myers and will be indicated in the title.

  • The Twins played their third game of the Spring hosting the Nationals on Sunday afternoon
    • Trevor May was pounding the strike zone earlier getting two ground outs with four pitches and then got into trouble with a looking eye single and two walks, but finally got a strikeout to finish the first.  His fastball was at 94-96, and threw a mid 80s change and breaking ball.  Worth mentioning that the catcher was Chris Gimenez.  He finished his work after two ground outs in the second inning, including one that was a highlight reel catch and throw by SS Jorge Polanco.  33 total pitches. 
    • Byron Buxton's double to start the Twins first is of additional significance because it came off a slider, a pitch that Buxton had a very hard time handling this time last year.  Very encouraging sign.   After Polanco got out from a line drive to RF, Brian Dozier failed to make contact with 1 out and RISP.  The Twins need better from him than looking strikeouts. Spring Training or not.  Despite his career season last year, Dozier hit .192/.288/.384 in high leverage situations, a number that needs to improve for the Twins to content, which not much to ask for the player who is treated as their best player. 
    • RHP Felix Jorge, the Twins' 23th prospect, relieved May and needed one sinker to end the second inning.  Jose Berrios pitched the third and, even though his fastball was at 94-95, his command was not crisp, allowing a couple of hits, a stolen base and a run.  The command improved in the second inning he pitched, after he issued a lead of walk, resulting to a ground out, and two strikeouts.
    • Jason Castro, the Twins' new catcher, playing as the DH, hit a low off-speed pitch by Nationals RHP A.J. Cole to the Right Field pavilion for a 2 run home run, his first as a Twin, driving in C Chris Gimenez who had singled previously to drive LF Eddie Rosario.  Speaking of Rosario at LF, this is the second game he has started there with Max Kepler at RF, despite Kepler suggesting that the is more comfortable at LF and Rosario having a stronger arm.  
    • In the second inning Buxton walked, stole a base and was driven in by Polanco, a series of outcomes that the Twins hope it happens often next season.   Former Twins' RHP Vance Worley was greeted in the third by a single by Dozier, and a ground rule double by Miguel Sano, followed by outs by Kepler,  Kennys Vargas, and Rosario, for only 1 run.
    • Craig Breslow, fighting for a pen position, came in to pitch the 5th.  His fastball was at 89-91. After two quick outs, he walked a couple batters and got out of the inning with a fly out.
    • Fernardo Romero, the Twins' 4th best prospect, was hitting 97-98 mph in the radar gun.  An interesting substitution:  Danny Santana came in at second base.
  • In a post appearance interview, Trevor May said that he "sees a lot of hungry guys to prove that 2016 is a fluke", which is encouraging.   He also said that he "wants pitch 200 innings, into the seventh inning" every ball game, and "to take the ball in the beginning of a playoff series", which is even more encouraging. 
  • A few interesting notes by the game against Miami the Twins won on Sunday:
    • Ervin Santana cruised in 2 innings spreading 2 hits and striking out 2.  The pen was tentative, other than Justin Haley who had an 1-2-3 6th inning that included a strikeout
    • Drew Stubs lead off again, but played Left field.  Got a hit and walked twice to raise his OPS to 1.917 second only to BuyungHo Park who had another HR as the first baseman to raise his OPS to 2.071.
    • On the Miami side former Twins' LHP Caleb Thielbar faced 2 batters and struck them both out in the second inning.  Miami had to use 11 pitches in this game...

No comments: