News and Notes from the Twins Spring Training: 3/13/17

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, starting this week, these reports will be live from Fort Myers and daily and will be indicated in the title.
  • The Tigers' closer, Fransisco Rodriguez and Royals starting catcher Salvador Perez both were injured in the same WBC play.   Interesting enough, Perez was injured by sliding Royals' teammate, former Twin,  Drew Butera who now might have gained him a starter's job.
  • Twins LHP Hector Santiago came in relief with one out in the 4th inning in their WBC game against Mexico.  His fastball was between 86 and 89 mph, a few ticks below his 91.4 mph last season average.  He threw 42 pitches, a bit under the 60 he was slated to throw for the Twins at this point.  He pitched 2-2/3 innings allowing 4 hits and 3 runs (1 earned) striking out 3.
  • Twins RHP Phil Hughes started at home against the Orioles Sunday.  He pitched 5 innings, allowed 6 hits and a walk and struck out 4.  Three of those hits were HRs and allowed 4 earned runs.  His FB was up to 92, which is encouraging, since in the past he said that he will not throw 100% until his next appearance.  Will be interesting to see the velocity and results then.  The 3 gopherballs were not encouraging.  Craig Breslow was effective in relief, but penciled in closer Brandon Kintzler was not, allowing a couple hits and a run.  Jorge Polanco hit a grand slam in the game, and Brian Buxton and Miguel Sano had a double each, Buxton also had a home run.  Good to see the young Twins' bats getting warmed up as the opening day approaches.
  • Ryan Vogelsong started the split squad game at Pittsburgh.  He pitched 2-1/3 innings, allowed 4 hits and 3 earned runs and struck one a batter.  He mentioned that he preferred the starting routine and felt better as a starter.   He was up to 89 mph. At that game Daniel Palka got his team leading 9th walk of the Spring and had his first home run.  Matt Hague who is fighting for a 1B/DH position with Kennys Vargas (who had his first game with Team Puerto Rico in the WBC Sunday, also on Sunday had a walk and was hit by a pitch in 5 PAs) and ByungHo Park, went 3 for 4 with 3 doubles.  LHP Taylor Rogers pitched 2 scoreless innings allowing a base on balls and striking out a batter.
  • Jose Berrios pitched on Sunday in the WBC against Italy after 11 days rest and the rust showed:  He walked the first batter he faced and allowed a HR to the second batter he faced, before he was done with the inning.  Other than a HR to Drew Butera, his second inning was clean, and then set down ten in a row.  His fastball was at 91-93 mph and his breaking ball was really biting and induced swings and misses.  He threw 62 pitches in those 5 innings, allowing  2 Hits, a walk and 3 earned runs, while striking out six.
  • Looks like Ervin Santana might pitch for the Dominican WBC team in the next phase.  He will start next Tuesday's game against Puerto Rico instead of pitching to minor leaguers in camp.
  • One reporter predicts that the Twins will win the 2017 World Series.
  • First cuts: The Twins optioned LHP Mason Melotakis to AAA, RHPs Fernando Romero and Felix Jorge and LHP Randy Rosario to AA, and assigned LHP Stephen Gonsalves and RHP Aaron Slegers to their minor league club. 
  • I am officially in Fort Myers and the next week or so expect daily live correspondence from the Twins' major and minor league club.  Make sure that you follow my twitter @thrylos98 for updates

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