Wednesday, March 23, 2016

2016 Twins Spring Training Coverage from Fort Myers. 3/23: Nolasco cements a job in the rotation

Today was the last live game from Fort Myers.   Yesterday, I shared some thoughts about the Twins 25-man roster and based on what I have seen previously, Rickey Nolasco should be the Twins' fifth starter.    With another stellar performance today against the Rays, going for 6 innings allowing only 3 hits, no earned runs, walking 2 and striking out 7, he cemented that position, especially when in Field number 2 his only competition, Tyler Duffey, allowed two home runs among other hard hit balls this afternoon.   Pending a trade, I can see no way that Nolasco will not be in the Twins' rotation, and arguably has pitched pretty well this spring, earning a spot.

Glen Perkins' appearance today and the rest of the Spring has been worrisome.   His fastball barely reached 91 and his slider 81, and has been batter all over Hammond Stadium without finishing an inning.  In 2/3 of an inning he allowed 2 hits and a walk with no strikeouts, adding up to 3 runs.   I hope Terry Ryan has a plan B in his back pocket for a closer, because Perkins is continuing his decline from last season second half.

As far as position players go, Eduardo Nunez was horrible today:  Two errand throws to the first and a dropped ball on a base steal attempt did not help the Twins' cause.  Let's call it a hick up and hope that it will not continue to happen.

Byron Buxton has a lackluster performance a couple days ago,  but today, he made up for it.  He has a great running catch in the first innings and also got an infield hit in a ball hit deep in the shortstop, in the same situation he did not previously.  I think that he also might be cementing a spot in the 25 man roster.

So is Danny Santana, who got an infield hit in a drag bunt, then stole second, and in a play that featured 3 errant throws by Rays scored.  Great heads up play, plus his speed and versatility will help.

Oswaldo Arcia likely won the last 25 man spot over former hated White Sox player Carlos Quentin.  Arcia has been better on the field that Quentin, making some difficult plays, whereas Quentin has no position, and has been better with the stick and the basepaths, stealing a couple of bases so far.   I think that Quentin was brought in as a plan B if Byung Ho Park did not pan out right away as a 1B/DH, but this is not the case.   So it looks like the Twins' position player side in the 25 man roster is about set.  There are still some question-marks in the bullpen, as I indicated yesterday

Next: Catching an airplane up North tomorrow and either later this week or early next will will give my Spring Training Redux and my prediction for the Twins' 2016.  Still need to chew on this a bit... 


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