Hello Twins fans! We’ve played a little over half of the Grapefruit League Schedule so far. I thought I’d give an update on how some players have been doing this spring . The thing to keep in mind is I don’t think stats are not the most important thing to come out of spring training. However, I think they can be of some indication of how someone is doing especially when they might be competing for a roster spot. I also believe that if a player is doing well in spring training, that may help him to have a solid season.
The Twins so far this spring have a 9-7 record. I think the three most important storylines that have been coming out of camp are: the injuries to four of the regulars, Luke Hughes’s attempt at making the roster and who will be in the bullpen. I think before we go any further, let’s update you on the injury front.
Both Delmon Young and Justin Morneau are now back playing for the Twins. Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer should be returning soon. Mauer could possibly dh as early as Wednesday when the Twins take on the New York Mets after their day off tomorrow. Cuddyer is close to being ready to play in games as he recovers from an operation that removed a wart from his foot. He’s currently taking batting practice.
And as long as we’re telling about the injury front, let’s update you fans on how Joe Nathan is doing. In his first 4 appearances, he allowed no runs. Yesterday, he allowed 6 runs in 1/3 inning of pitching against the Phillies. However, if it weren’t for a couple of miscues in the field yesterday, Nathan’s stats would be a lot better.
Luke Hughes is certainly making a statement that he should be on the big league club. He hit a 2 run homerun in the Twins 9-0 win over the Florida Marlins earlier today, extending his club leading home run total to 4 and 13 RBIs. I won’t discuss Luke Hughes much because you can read about it on my previous blog where I deal with this topic.
I think What I should do is spend a little time discussing some of the possible bullpen candidates that could be filling the two remaining bullpen spots. Glen Perkins has been pitching pretty well this spring. In 6 innings of pitching, he’s allowed 2 runs. I think because he’s out of options and that he can start, Perkins will more than likely be on the team as the remaining left hander. He still needs to keep pitching the way he is.
Scott Diamond has allowed only 1 run in 6 innings of pitching. However, he’s a Rule 5 draft pick which means that he would have to be on the big league club for the entire season. If the Twins don’t keep him, he would have to clear wavers and eventually be offered back to the Atlanta Braves. Because Diamond doesn’t have as much big league experience as Perkins, I don’t see him being on the Twins at the start of the season.
Pat Neshek is pitching well this spring. He’s only allowed 1 run in 5 1/3 innings of pitching. I could see him being on the club to start the season. Jeff Manship, who can also start games could also take that last spot. However, the down side for Manship is he’s allowed 4 runs in 7 innings of pitching. Alex Burnette has allowed 3 runs in 5 innings of pitching. Jim Hoey has allowed 5 runs in 5 2/3 innings of pitching.
And while we’re on the subject of pitching, let’s mention that Blacburn is in the Twins starting rotation. Right now, the rotation is Pavano, Liriano, Blackburn and Duensing. That’ leaves Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey battling for the remaining spot. Slowy has allowed 3 runs in 9 innings of pitching while Baker has allowed 3 runs in 8 2/3 innings of pitching.
In a previous blog I asked a Trivia question. The question was name the 7 players that were on both the 1987 and 1991 world series teams. The answer was Kirby Puckett, Kent Herbec, Dan Gladden, Greg Gagne, Al Numan, Randy Bush and Gene Larkin.