This is the latest report of the happenings in the Twins' Spring training, and the first live from Fort Myers. 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.
- On Saturday C Mitch Garver, OF Zack Granite, OF Daniel Palka, and IF Edgelb Vielma were optioned to AAA Rochester. IF Niko Goodrum, IF Nick Gordon, IF Leonardo Reginatto, and C Dan Rohlfing were reassigned to the Twins' minor league camp.
- LHP Tyler Jay and the Twins decided that he better move full time to the bullpen. A great decision. Add Burdi, and hope that one of Duffey/Chargois/Reed gets it, and will get the Twins' version of the Nasty Boys, as soon as later this season.
- The Twins hosted the Red Sox today, in a game that rotation hopeful Ryan Vogelsong started. He lasted three innings, and needed 62 pitches to do so. Here is a complete pitching log. His fastball touched 87 three times and it felt that he was pitching batting practice out there and that he was a pitch away from disaster. Yesterday I questioned whether Phil Hughes is ready to pitch in a Twins' game this coming season. Compared to Vogelsong, he is light years away. I just cannot see Vogelsong making the Twins right now, Culture Club or not... In addition, the time that Vogelsong takes between pitches makes Mr Pelfrey seem lightning fast.
- Jake Reed got his fastball up to 97, and his slider was at 84-86, but he did not attack batters. Max Kepler had to leave after the first inning because Pablo Santoval deliberately stepped on his hand after a slide. Reed had a chance to make him pay for it or even throw a bit of chin music, giving the message that the Twins are not any more going to be a team that goes belly up easily. Instead he was tentative and served him a 94 mph FB down the middle that was turned into a home run and opened the doors for a 5-run inning. Trevor Hildenberger followed with an equal uffdaish appearance, featuring an 85-87 mph FB and a 75-76 mph off-speed pitch that was batting practice like. Nick Tepesh followed and allowed 5 more runs to score. Matt Belisle struck out the side of AAA Red Sox hitters he faced and Brian Kintzler allowed a couple of hits to them before he realized that he better get serious and close the game. All in all a pretty horrific pitching appearance by the Twins.
- As far as the sticks went, the Twins had a great first inning against reigning Cy Young winner Rick Porcello and quickly get up 4 runs. Brian Dozier went 3 for 3, Miguel Sano had a nice opposite field hit, and ByungHo Park added a couple of hits. Danny Santana was very disappointing with the glove, not getting to a couple of balls a regular outfield could easily get to at LF, costing the Twins at least 3 runs and becoming the third out trying to steal second, albeit in a hit and run play.
- I will take another cut at the likely Twins' roster tomorrow, but the rotation spots are getting very thin with the disappointing appearance of Vogelsong and the fact that Hector Santiago will not make a single star for Team Puerto Rico and thus will be unlikely to be stretched enough to start the season in an MLB rotation. But that was his choice, and his contract is not guaranteed. Jason Haley will start tomorrow's game at the Jet Blue Park, while the Twins will be having minor league intrasquad games in the bag fields tomorrow, and this is where I will be.