News and Notes from the Twins Spring Training: 3/6/17

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.

  • With the minor league Spring Training just around the corner, the Twins have announced the signings of LHP Jonny Drozd, and UT Shane Kennedy.   Drozd is a 25 year old 6'7", 200 lbs lefty reliever who made it to A+ Tampa in the Yankees organization.  Kennedy is a 25 year old who graduate from Clemson in 2015, was not drafted and played for the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier (Independent) League last season.
  • Trevor May pitched well on Saturday at Clearwater against the Phillies.  He allowed only one hit and had 2 strikeouts in 2-1/3 innings.  Jose Berrios, in his last appearance with the Twins before he moves on to WBC pitched 2 innings allowing 3 hits and 2 walks and struck out 4.  Still an improvement but the command is not there.   Hosting the Jays on Saturday Ervin Santana was in form, pitching three innings, spreading 5 hits, allowing a walk, but no run as striking out 1.   Ryan Vogelson and Adalberto Mejia pitched 1-1/3 innings each.  Mejia allowed no hits and had a strikeout, but Vogelson allowed an earned run in 2 hits and a walk.  Craig Breslow was perfect, striking out the only player he faced.
  • Twins' manager Paul Molitor, said that unless someone "gets derailed", Santana, Kyle Gibson, Phil Hughes, and Hector Santiago will be in the Twins' rotation.   Phil Hughes has yet to throw at 100%, while Hector Santiago is very derailable at this point.   Molitor also indicated that he liked what he has seen from Mejia.
  • Santiago had an improved second start against the Nationals at West Palm Beach on Sunday, which actually looks really good on paper: 2-2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K.  However Santiago almost gave a 3R HR that was blown foul in the 3rd, and then managed loading the bases before striking out the next hitter.  Clearly an improvement over last time's performance in the 0-19 loss against Tampa, but still not great.   Tyler Duffey pitched two scoreless innings allowing just one hit, touching 96 mph with his fastball, and Justin Haley pitched 1-1/3 innings, allowing 3 hits, 2 runs and striking out one.  Definitely is on the bubble right now.
  • Eddie Rosario went 2/3 in his last game before joining Team Puerto Rico for the WBC, getting his Spring Batting Average up to .375 and solidifying a major league job.  1B Kenny Vargas, who is in the same situation, had no hits, two walks and a strikeout, bringing his batting average for the Spring at .077. Eduardo Escobar has his first hit of the Spring in the same game.   1B Matt Hague hit the first pitch he saw to the bleachers for a two-run HR, increasing his batting average to .462, and had a great play with the glove getting the last out of the 8th inning, putting himself in the conversation for a bench position with the Twins.
  • In the Twins at Nationals game Plate Umpire David Rackley was injured by a foul tip off Daniel Palka's bat in the 8th and had to leave the game.
  • How do teams feel about their players who are competing for a spot (like the Twins' Jose Berrios, Hector Santiago, Kennys Vargas and Eddie Rosario) and leaving Spring Training to join their teams in the WBC?  Most of the teams are silent, but Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell had this to say regarding former Twins' LHP Fernando Abad, who put himself in this position: "In those positions of competing for a spot, you'd like to think that a guy's going to be here to make that mark here. He's aware of his status on the roster competing for a spot. When he returns, it's constant evaluating that's going on."  I suspect the same applies to the aforementioned Twins, without needed saying.

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