Live from Fort Myers: Twins Spring Training Notes: 3/18/2018

This is my daily live report from Fort Myers on the Twins' Spring Training:
  • The big news of the day is that Twins' SS Jorge Polanco was suspended 80 days for the use of the anabolic steroid Stanozolol. Ervin Santana was suspended 3 seasons ago for testing positive to the same substance.  Ehire Adrianza and Eduardo Escobar will likely play at SS.  This means that there are now two additional roster positions at least until the middle of the season with (alphabetically) Erick Aybar, Jake Cave, Zack Granite, Robbie Grossman, and potentially even Ryan Lamarre or Brock Stassi fighting for them.   Polanco's suspension opens a spot on the 40-man roster as well.  
  • The Twins might want to make a trade or sign a free agent (even though the pickings are very slim for that last category now) to replace Polanco.   SS Adeiny Hechavarria currently of the Rays is owed $5.9 million for 2018, and the Twins need to trade Kennys Vargas.
  • On other player news, Ervin Santana has not been yet cleared to hold a baseball.  Not sure what that means for his return timeline but does not sound too good.
  • The next round of cuts was announced today: OF Nick Bass, IF Nick Gordon, RHP Myles Jaye, C Jordan Pacheco, RHP Jeff Reed, and OF Lamonte Wade were the victims.
  • Before the Twins game hosting the Phillies, RHP Lance Lynn pitched at Bobby Wilson at the back fields, hitting 90-93 mph with his fastball.
  • Jake Odorizzi made his third start with the Twins and it was not as good as the box score says.   Here is every single pitch he made, and he made a lot of them, 69 in 4 innings.  And he was slow and deliberate about it.  After the game he said that part of the issue was that his split-change was not where he wanted it to be.   His curve was his best pitch today and his command with the fastball was mostly ok.  The other problem was that he was ultra-deliberate and took a lot of time between pitches...
  • Newcomers Addison Reed and Zack Duke followed with a clean inning each.  Reed was effective with an 88-91 mph fastball and a sharp breaking slider, while Duke relied on a 87-90 mph fastball and an 80 mph changeup.  A couple of times he dropped down and threw 72 and 75 mph Frisbee sliders that were devastating.   Ryan Pressly followed with a forgettable outing that was highlighted by a 3R HR, and Trevor Hildenberger and Tyler Rogers pitched their first clean innings of the Spring against the Phillies' minor leaguers to end the game.
  • Byron Buxton relied on his speed today and that should be more part of his game.  In his first plate appearance he had a bunt single that he followed with a stolen base and later had a stand up triple, that could had been stretched into an inside the part home run if needed.  Ehire Adrianza also had a triple.
  • One of the side effects of the expanded netting is that it will reduce the fielding plays into the stands by 90% or so...
  • This is a great "then and now" story about a former Twins top prospect from Ron Morris of Baseball America.

To see all the notes and coverage of the 2018 Twins' Spring Training, including my daily live reports from Fort Myers in the second half of March, please visit here

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