Hendriks to start Hammond Stadium opener
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Right-hander Liam Hendriks is scheduled to start the Grapefruit League home opener against the Rays at Hammond Stadium on Sunday, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.
Hendriks, 24, is set to pitch a day after right-hander Kevin Correia starts against the Orioles in the Grapefruit League opener in Sarasota.
Hendriks, who is competing for a spot in the rotation, posted a 5.59 ERA in 16 starts with the Twins and a 2.20 ERA in 16 starts at Triple-A Rochester.
The Twins are also set to play in an instraquad game on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. The game is expected to be six innings and will feature P.J. Walters, B.J. Hermsen, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Caleb Thielbar, Jose Berrios and Andrew Albers.
“A lot of the kids are going to be throwing in the intrasquad game,” Gardenhire said. “So that’ll be good.”
Here are other notes from camp:
— Third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who is dealing with sore right calf, is participating in running and fielding drills but isn’t expected to make his Grapefruit League debut until next week. Jamey Carroll will see time at third in his absence.
— Gardenhire said he’s not locked in to carrying three catchers like he did most of last season. Here’s what he said about the bench: “We’re going to figure that out as we go here. I know we want a little more something off the bench instead of two utility guys and a backup catcher. I’m going to have a better bench and have a little more weapons.”
— Gardenhire wasn’t pleased with the effort of some pitchers in drills. He said he plans on tightening up practice tomorrow, as only six pitchers are scheduled to throw live bullpens. “Some guys were not locked in. But that happens after doing it for eight days. So we had to stop it and yell.”
— I had a nice conversation with Anthony Slama, who is in big league camp after spending last year in Minor League camp. The Twins need to give him a shot at some point this season, if only because he has a career 1.99 ERA in the Minors and had a 1.39 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 39 innings at Triple-A Rochester last season. Look for a story on him soon.
And here are a few photos: