Live from Fort Myers: Twins Spring Training Notes: 3/22/2018

This is my daily live report from Fort Myers on the Twins' Spring Training:
  •  No games on Tuesday but RHP Kyle Gibson pitched six innings throwing 95 pitches at the AAA game and he seems ready for the season.   Probably the best Spring of any Twins' pitcher.
  • The likely Twins opening day lineup took against the Pirates of Wednesday night with Jose Berrios starting.  Berrios was not very smooth, requiring quite a few pitches to get through innings; he needs to be more efficient.  Maybe he is working on something, since he threw plenty of (average) change ups.
  • Byron Buxton had a stand up triple off the glove of Pirates' RF Polanco.  I think  that the Twins might be served better having Buxton on the lead off spot, instead of Brian Dozier who struck out his first 2 PAs and grounded out the third.  Buxton, unlike Dozier can provide a spark plug on top of the lineup and occupy opposing pitchers, distracting them and helping the PAs of the following hitters.  
  • Not sure how much his contract situation and the current free agent compensation has been a distraction for Dozier, but he has had an awful spring hitting a pitiful .162/.244/.324; this does not bode well for someone who is a notoriously slow starter.
  • On the other hand Miguel Sano has done his best shut up his critics, including both the BMI police and the self-proclaimed judges and jury of his alleged charges, by letting his bat talk to the rate of .323/.432/.742   
  • Looks like the Twins have not found a trading partner for 1B/OF Kennys Vargas and placed him on waivers.  He was claimed by the Cincinnati Reds.
  • Phil Hughes had a decent outing against the Yankees, but seems that the Twins will go with a 4 man rotation of Jake Odorizzi, Gibson, Berrios, and Lance Lynn, utilizing Hughes as the long man/spot starter.
  • The Twins have optioned RHPs Tyler Duffey and Alan Busenitz, meaning that RHPs Tyler Kinley, and Trevor Hildenberger, and LHPs Gabriel Moya, and Taylor Rogers will be fighting for three spots.  All but Kinley have options.  
  • The Twins announced today that they have cut OF Jake Cave and released OF Chris Heisey.  It also appears that IF Erick Aybar was told that he did not make the roster.  The Twins have 36 players,  13 pitchers and 23 position players, on camp now and they will take 12 pitchers and 13 position players up North.
  • RHP Trevor May recovering from Tommy John surgery is a couple weeks away from throwing live batting practice.
  • One Twins player made Keith Law's 2018 breakout candidate list.
  • The Twins second overall prospect SS Wander Javier has been held out of games with discomfort in his glove shoulder.  It does not sound serious.
  • David Dorsey at Fort Myers Sun Sentinel has a great article on new Rochester manager and long time Twin Tommy Watkins who is only one of nine African Americans holding part of the 160 MiLB manager positions.
  • The Twins have the second easiest schedule in the AL, based on fangraphs projections.  Guess who has the easiest?  Here are the latest fangraphs projected 2018 records and probability of making the postseason list.
  • The Twins are using the Blast Motion tools for player development and swing analysis.  Press release here.

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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