Live from Fort Myers: Twins Spring Training Notes: 3/23/2018

This is my daily live report from Fort Myers on the Twins' Spring Training:
  • The big news of the day is that Miguel Sano was cleared from any wrongdoing in the recent allegations against him by the MLB, due to "insufficient evidence" and "the absence of contemporaneous substantiation".  I hope that both parties in this situation, and the rest of the world put this thing behind them, and move their attention onto the upcoming 2018 season, and we hear nothing else about it.  Here is the MLB and Sano's statements on the situation. 
  • The Twins faced the World Champion Houston Astros at Hammond Stadium today with a lineup that looked a lot like the opening day lineup.  Unfortunately, it was held to a no-hitter until the bottom of the 9th when Ryan LaMarre broke it with a double and Twin for a day Tanner English hit a 2-run HR to tie the score.  It is more than a bit disappointed that the Twins' bats did not show up esp. when last year's World Champion was visiting.  Spring or not. Winners win and want to beat teams that beat them last season.
  • Lance Lynn had a good day today, allowing only one hit, a HR in his 4 innings of work.  He threw 65 pitches.  Here is a chart of all his pitches today.  As you can see, he worked a lot on the cutter (green highlights) throwing it in blocks and threw 2 curveballs (red highlights).  His fastball, his bread and butter pitch, was effective all day.
  • Trevor Hildenberger had yet another shaky appearance allowing a 84 mph cookie to go for a HR, and had another HR on a 89 mph fastball saved by Max Kepler with a fantastic grab over the right field fence.  Not sure that he will make the team at this point.
  • Eddie Rosario has no issues since he returned on the field after taking some time off with tricep tendonitis. 
  • The Twins starting OF,  Rosario, Byron Buxton, and Kepler, all featured high socks this Spring.  I hope the trend continues through the season.
  • A couple of notes from the minor league fields:  Twins' number 14 prospect 2B Louis Arraez who has been recuperating from a surgery to repair a torn ACL and is listed on the DL, was in uniform and took batting practice today.  Happy to see that.  He is one of the purest hitters in the organization.
  • Color me impressed by the Twins' 19th round draft pick last season from Coastal Carolina IF Jordan Gore. He makes solid contact, has doubles power and has good hands and defensive instincts, at least at second base where I saw him play.  Another prospect to note.
  •  The Twins reassigned catchers Bobby Wilson and Willians Astudillo and 1B/OF Brock Stassi to minor league camp and released IF Erick Aybar officially;  OFs Robbie Grossman, Zack Granite, and Ryan LaMarre are fighting for the last two bench spots. With Jorge Polanco's suspension the Twins 40-man roster is at 39, so there is the potential for someone not on that roster (or even in the organization) now to land that spot.
  • Every season the Cardinals Conclave is doing a round robin Q&A with bloggers of all other MLB teams.  Today was the Twins' turn and I was more than happy to participate along several other Twins' bloggers.  It is very interesting to see how close all of our answers were, perhaps for the first time in many years I participated.  You can find this Q&A session here.
  • Former Twins' RHP Pat Dean will spend a second season with the KIA Tigers of the KBO, after he signed an 1 year, $925,000 contract.

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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