Twins Spring Training Report from Fort Myers: 3/18/15

Edit Artikel
Today was my first full day at Fort Myers and the Twins had a split squad duo of games, with the half of the team hosting the Orioles at Hammond Stadium and the other half a few miles away playing the Red Sox at Jet Blue Park.  This was the second year in a row as far as renovations went for the facilities, and the Hammond Stadium looks really great.   The front facade is extended to both broaden the concession place plaza and put a roof over it and to host a couple new elevators and gift shops.  There are 4 gift shops in all now, which are much better than the single closet-size one that was there 3 years ago.  The main one, which about the size of an average AA ballpark gift shop, even had Miracle T-shirts.

For some reason there was no pregame batting practice on field number six, as it has been the norm the seasons before; I suspect that it has to do with the split-squad games today.  Joe Vavra was throwing batting practice to someone's kid in the under-stadium cages.   Not much activity in the minor league parks also;  Sporadic batting practice at the Chattanooga, including Miguel Sano and DJ Hicks hitting some good ones off Stew Cliburn, who looks scarily like Rick Anderson these days.  Jorge Polanco and AAA infielders had bunt practice at the Rochester field.  Nothing much there as far as minors go, other than Nick Burdi was surrounded by a whole slew of autograph seekers when he showed up.   No home game tomorrow, so I will be able so spend a full day with the prospects.

As far as the game today went, there were a few things of note: 

In the first inning, Joe Mauer hit a routine soft grounder to the shortstop, who had a hard time fielding it, dropped it, recovered it and threw to first to get a slow trotting Mauer out.   This was not a great thing to see from the Twins' highest paid player.  Had he run full speed, he would had been safe. I hope that these kind of plays do not happen again.   On the other hand, the subsequent inning Eduardo Nunez beat out a non-trivial cleanly fielded infield single to the shortstop; hard not to see the contradictions between someone who has a job and someone who is fighting for one.

Torii Hunter is a yeller at the outfield.  And this is a good thing.  And he does not only yell "I got it".  In  couple of situations, a fly ball to right center and a shallow fly to the right, he yelled for Schafer and Dozier respectively to go and get it.  And it worked.  That was a good thing to see.  Eddie Rosario was great with the glove at left.  He did throw out Delmon Young when he tried to stretch a single, but even more importantly (and you cannot see that on the scoreboard) he took a triple away from an Orioles hitter with a great route and a great below the knee catch.  He made it look so easy, that I bet that most of the Stadium thought that it was a routine play.  It wasn't.   Speaking of routes, I am not sure that Jordan Schaefer is the best one out there.  Had a long fly really misjudged and hit the wall, allowing eventually Torii Hunter to make the throw to the infield.  That ball was catchable.  Being a left hand throwing Centerfielder might have some disadvantages.

As far as pitching went, Stephen Pryor really surprised me.  He pitched fine, but there were earlier reports about him being healthy and being back with his mid- to high-90s velocity.  He topped at 92 in Hammond Stadium's (fast) radar today, which is not extremely thrilling, to say at least.  For comparison's shake, Ervin Santana hit 93.

Back there tomorrow morning and expect a full report on the prospects, tomorrow evening.

Next Post »
Show comments
Hide comments