Twins Spring Training Notes: 3/2/2018

With Spring Training going strong for a couple weeks now, and the first cuts for the Twins looming, the battles for bench positions, one or two rotation spots and the bullpen, have become fairly muddled.

  • As far as the bench goes, after the Logan Morrison signing, there seems to be a fight for 2 spots among (alphabetically) Ehire Adrianza, Erick Aybar, Zach Granite, Robbie Grossman, and Kenny Vargas, as of now.  Each of them brings a different thing on the table.
  • So far Adrianza (1.078 OPS) and Aybar (1.035 OPS) have been the best of the group with the bat, with Adrianza experiencing some newly found power.  Granite (.413 OPS) and Grossman (.222 OPS) are not doing themselves any favors.  Vargas is right in the middle with .773 OPS.   Grossman did not do himself any favors when he indicated that he needed "about 10 PA" to get ready for the season.  He has 16 hitless PA right now
  • The bullpen battle is also interesting since several of the 2017 hold-overs, Ryan Pressly, Trevor Hildenberger, Alan Busentiz, and relative newcomers Dietrich Enns and Tyler Kinley have been struggling.  Being a "veteran" should not guarantee a position in the pen, since the Twins' pens have been horrible the past few years.  How horrible?  Their second half closer, Matt Belisle, could only get a minor league contract as a free agent this off-season. 
  • I feel that Myles Jaye might have a chance to making the Twins this season.  I like his presence on the mount and he has the stuff.
  • One of the pitchers who will not be fighting for a spot in the Twins' pen in Michael Kohn who tore his bicep.
  • The Twins have early health issues with their catchers. Mitch Garver is out with a knee problem that he suffered in a collision (I thought that those were illegal these days.)  There are no tears, but he will miss some time due to considerable swelling.   Meanwhile Jason Castro was scratched today due to migraines
  • Looks like the Miguel Sano drama might come to a conclusion soon.
  • BTW, can you identify these two former Beloit Snappers?
  •  Tyler Kepner of The New York Times has a great article on Fernando Rodney
  • Meanwhile, there is scientific evidence that balls are juiced the last few seasons.
  • The All time Award for the most vain Spring Training-related expression: "It's Spring Training for everyone", as an excuse for off-field screw-ups by non-baseball players.  Most jobs, including theirs, do not come with such mulligans. 
I will be making more such notes in somewhat regular intervals few times a week and daily when I am at Fort Myers. To see all the notes and coverage of the 2018 Twins' Spring Training, including live reports from Fort Myers in the second half of March, please visit here.

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