News and Notes from the Twins Spring Training: 3/9/17

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.

  • Twins 2B Brian Dozier has left camp on Monday to attend his grandmother's funeral
  • There was not an official game on Tuesday, so projected starter Phil Hughes threw 4 innings in the back fields to take his turn, in the first full day of Minor League workouts.  He was primarily working on his changeup, but he was observed to hit 91 mph with his fastball, which is an encouraging sign.   He also plucked Travis Harrison on the hand.
  • It looks like the first round of the Twins' cuts will happen next week, on March 13, and LHP Mason Melotakis who has not appeared in a game yet, will likely be part of it.
  • Former Twins  IF Tyler Ladendorf has signed a minor league contract with the White Sox
  • Against team USA on Wednesday night the Twins used a lineup that could be their opening day lineup:  Buxton CF, Mauer 1B, Dozier 2B, Sano 3B, Kepler RF, Park DH, Grossman LF, Castro C, Polanco SS.  Kennys Vargas and Eddie Rosario, both with Team Puerto Rico might have the spots in DH and LF respectively in opening day.
  • Twins LHP Stephen Gonsalves was scratched from pitching against Team USA on Wednesday night because of a sore shoulder that has been bothering him since the AFL.
  • Trevor May apparently had butterflies against the level of competition in Team USA that has 18 All-Stars, allowing 2 quick hits and a wild pitch followed by a 2-run double, before getting a couple of ground outs, before striking out Giancarlo Stanton with 3 fastballs.  He has an easier second inning that should have been faster had the home plate umpire given him a clear looking Strike 3 on Andrew McCutchen.  He struck out Nolan Aronado in the third, allowing only an infield single in that inning.  In the fourth he got two outs before he walked McCutchen and reached his pitch limit.  Easily the best appearance of a Twins' SP this Spring based on competition.
  • The Team USA used relievers Luke Gregerson and Andrew Miller for the first 2 innings.  Gregerson was lights out, but Max Kepler got a double off Miller and ByungHo Park walked.  Lots of called strikes against Miller and pretty frustrating to see the plate umpire having a different strike zone for Miller than for May.  Jake McGee came in to face Jason Castro who got an RBI single against the lefty, followed by Jorge Polanco who tied the game with an infield single and chased the Colorado closer out of the game. DJ Baxendale, on loan to team USA, got Byron Buxton to pop up and end the inning
  • Speaking of, Buxton has been playing much more shallow centerfield this Spring and his speed allows him to get into deeper balls, while allowing him to catch shallower balls.  This will be interesting to see during the season.
  • Ryan Pressly made Daniel Murphy look like a fool striking him out in 3 pitches, then got Christian Yelich out with 2 pitches,  and got Alex Bregman to fly out in 1 pitch.  I would not be surprised if the is the Twins' closer sooner than later.
  • Craig Breslow finished the game for the Twins, pitching 2 innings facing lefties and righties and not allowing a run.  He got the save, but most importantly, I just cannot see how he does not make this Twins team.  
  • Alex Kirilloff, had his Tommy John surgery and looks successful.
  • Former Twins' OF Antoan Richardson has officially retired.
  • It looks like Reds' Rule 5 draft pick from the Twins, C Stuart Turner, has pretty high possibility of making the Reds' 25-man roster and not returning to the Twins' minors.

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