FORT MYERS, Fla. — Justin Morneau hit a three-run double and Chris Colabello provided the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the eighth inning to help lead the Twins to their first Grapefruit League victory of the year in a 5-4 win over the Pirates on Monday at Hammond Stadium.
Morneau laced a bases-clearing double to left-center field off of Pirates right-hander Jeanmar Gomez in the fourth inning, after Jamey Carroll singled and both Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham walked with nobody out. Morneau later came around to score on an RBI single from Brian Dozier off of right-hander Brooks Brown.
What went right: Morneau hit two balls hard, as he lined into a double play at first base in his first at-bat before bringing home three runs with a double in the fourth. He’s feeling healthy and is set to play in his third straight game tomorrow against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. He’s currently scheduled to bat fourth and serve as designated hitter but texted Twins manager Ron Gardenhire during his media session that he wants to play first tomorrow. So we’ll see where he plays.
Carroll has looked solid this spring, and went 1-for-3 while sparking Minnesota’s four-run rally in the fourth with a leadoff single. Josh Willingham went 1-for-2 and is batting .500 this spring. And Colabello had the game-winning RBI single in the eighth a day after tying up the game the day before with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth in Minnesota’s eventual 10-7 loss to the Rays.
Right-hander Vance Worley looked sharp in his debut, throwing two scoreless frames despite not throwing his split-finger or his changeup. He’s going to be a big key to the rotation this season after joining the club via the trade that sent Ben Revere to the Phillies.
Samuel Deduno, Cole De Vries and Pedro Hernandez each threw a scoreless inning in relief. Hernandez tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the save.
What went wrong: Alex Burnett, Casey Fien, Bryan Augenstein and Esmerling Vasquez each gave up a run in relief. Vasquez gave up the hardest hit ball, as he served up a game-tying homer to Jose Tabata in the seventh inning.
Eduardo Escobar dropped pop-up hit by Lucas may in foul territory in the eighth inning with Cole De Vries on the mound. The play would’ve ended the inning and May ended up capitalizing by doubling on a bloop to left. But De Vries was able to get out of the jam.
What they said: “I liked it. He looks like a gunslinger out there with his windup. He looks like he’s going to draw a pistol. I always like guys like that. And then he delivered, too. He was as advertised.” — Gardenhire said about Worley.
What’s next: Right-hander Mike Pelfrey, who is coming off Tommy John surgery in May, is set to make his Twins debut on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Mauer and Morneau are also set to play against Toronto, as they’re gearing up for the World Baseball Classic. The Blue Jays are set to start left-hander Ricky Romero.
Injury update: Third baseman Trevor Plouffe (strained right calf) is scheduled to play in his first Grapefruit League game tomorrow against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Twins fans will get their first chance to see right-hander Vance Worley today at Hammond Stadium.
Worley was acquired in the trade that sent Ben Revere to the Phillies, and has a solid track record as a starter with a career 3.50 ERA despite pitching at Citizens Bank Park. He’ll definitely be worth watching this season, and here’s a story I did on him earlier in spring about where he was when he was traded.
I also talked with Trevor Plouffe, who said he’s totally healthy but they’re just taking it slow with him. He’ll play tomorrow when the Twins play the Blue Jays up in Dunedin.
Ex-Twins reliever Kyle Waldrop could also pitch against his former team today, as he made the trip with the Pirates down from Bradenton.
Here are the lineups for both teams:
1. Alex Presley, CF
2. Jordy Mercer, SS
3. Travis Snider, LF
4. Jerry Sands, DH
5. Garrett Jones, 1B
6. Matt Hague, 3B
7. Tony Sanchez, C
8. Felix Pie, LF
9. Anderson Hernandez, 2B
RHP Kyle McPherson (Jeanmar Gombez, Phil Irwin, Chris Leroux, Kris Johnson, Kyle Waldrop)
1. Joe Benson, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Wilkin Ramirez, RF
8. Brian Dozier, 2B
9. Ray Olmedo, SS
RHP Vance Worley (Alex Burnett, Casey Fien, Cole De Vries, Samuel Deduno, Esmerling Vasquez, Pedro Hernandez, Michael Tonkin, Bryan Augenstein)
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins rallied for five runs in the ninth inning to force extra innings but the Rays scored three runs off Deolis Guerra in the 10th to hand Minnesota a 10-7 loss in the Hammond Stadium opener on Sunday.
Guerra gave up an RBI single to Leslie Anderson with two outs before serving up a two-run blast to Mark Thomas. It ruined a late rally by the Twins in the ninth inning. Brandon Boggs started it with a three-run blast off reliever Jim Patterson with nobody out in the ninth before Wilkin Ramirez brought home a run with an RBI ground out. Chris Colabello tied it up with an RBI single to score Darin Mastroianni, who served as a pinch-runner and stole second base.
What went right: Twins starter Liam Hendriks was mostly solid in his spring debut, as he gave up a run on two hits and a walk over two innings. He gave up the run on a double to Fontenot and said it came because he slowed his arm too much on a changeup.
Closer Glen Perkins tossed a scoreless inning and struck out the first two batters he faced on just six pitches. He worked in his slider, which he usually waits to develop later in camp, because he wants it to be sharp for the World Baseball Classic.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson threw two scoreless frames and looked very impressive. It was the first time he’d pitched in a Grapefruit League game since undergoing Tommy John surgery and hit 96 mph on the Hammond Stadium radar gun. It impressed Ron Gardenhire so much he joked that he doesn’t want him to pitch again this spring so that it won’t affect his innings limit this season.
Jamey Carroll brought home a run with an RBI double in the second while Chris Parmelee doubled on his 25th birthday. Prospect Eddie Rosario added an RBI single in the fifth.
Boggs crushed a three-run homer in the ninth inning against Rays left-hander Jim Patterson with nobody out to help jump start Minnesota’s late rally.
What went wrong: Brian Duensing struggled in his debut, giving up three runs but wasn’t helped by his defense either. Justin Morneau made an error at first that led to a run.
Anthony Slama also didn’t fare well, as he wasn’t able to get through the eighth inning. He gave up three runs on two walks and two hits. But he also wasn’t helped by his defense, as Rosario made an error early in the inning.
Guerra got the last out of the ninth inning but was forced to come back out for the 10th after the Twins tied it up and struggled. He gave up three runs on two hits and a walk over 1 1/3 innings.
What they said: “What did I like out there? That question could blow up the internet. It was a long day and a lot of baseball. So we got a lot of innings and pitching in. We got some swings and had a nice rally there. And some kids threw the ball pretty well over in the intrasquad today and over here. So there were a lot of good things but a lot of long things, too.” — Gardenhire.
What’s next: Right-hander Vance Worley is set to make his Twins debut on Monday, when they host the Pirates at 1:05 p.m. at Hammond Stadium. Worley, who was acquired in the trade that sent Ben Revere to the Phillies, is expected to throw two innings or about 40 pitches. Right-hander Kyle McPherson is scheduled to start for the Pirates.
Injury update: Trevor Plouffe (calf) is expected to make his Grapefruit League debut on Tuesday, according to general manager Terry Ryan. He didn’t suffer a setback and the Twins are just taking it slow with him. … Oswaldo Arcia is expected to be out about a week with a strained intercostal muscle. … Anthony Swarzak (ribs) ran for the first time on Saturday and could start playing catch on Tuesday or Wednesday.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Hammond Stadium opener is this afternoon at 12:05 p.m. CT but the Twins are also set to host an intrasquad game on Field 3 at 9 a.m. CT.
Just about every position player in camp is expected to play today except outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, who is out with a pulled intercostal muscle.
Trevor Plouffe was expected to play in the intrasquad game but wasn’t in the lineup. But he is taking batting practice on the main field so there’s a chance he could come in later in the game. But I didn’t get a chance to talk to him so I’m not sure if they’re just giving him an extra day off. So I’ll do my best to keep you posted on Plouffe.
Here are the lineups:
Twins vs. Rays:
1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Chris Parmelee, RF
7. Jeff Clement, DH
8. Ray Olmedo, 3B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS
RHP Liam Hendriks (Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Brian Duensing, Kyle Gibson, Bryan Augenstein, Anthony Slama, Luis Perdomo, Deolis Guerra
1. Darin Mastroianni, CF
2. Eddie Rosario, 2B
3. Brian Dinkelman, RF
4. Wilkin Ramirez, LF
5. Mark Sobolewski, 3B
6. Chris Herrmann, DH
7. Drew Butera, 1B
8. Danny Santana, SS
9. Eric Fryer, C
10. Danny Lehmann (extra DH)
RHP Trevor May (Jose Berrios, Caleb Thielbar, Andrew Albers)
1. Eduardo Escobar, SS
2. Brian Dozier, 2B
3. Joe Benson, CF
4. Chris Colabello, 1B
5. Clete Thomas, RF
6. Josmil Pinto, DH
7. Brandon Boggs, LF
8. Dan Rohlfing (extra DH)
9. Kyle Knudson, C
10. James Beresford, 3B
RHP P.J. Walters (Alex Meyer, B.J. Hermsen)
SARASOTA, Fla. — Josh Willingham hit a two-run homer but Tyler Robertson gave up a two-run homer to Trayvon Robinson to hand the Twins a 5-3 loss to the Orioles in the Grapefruit League opener for both teams at Ed Smith Stadium.
Right-hander Kevin Correia also made his Twins debut, allowing one run on two hits and a walk over two innings.
What went right: It was only the first game but Willingham picked right up where he left off last year when he hit 35 homers en route to winning the Silver Slugger Award. He went 2-for-2, including a two-run blast off Tommy Hunter in the third inning.
Eduardo Escobar, who is known more for his defense, looked good at the plate by going 2-for-3 while Darin Mastroianni doubled to lead off the third before scoring on Willingham’s homer.
Clete Thomas knocked in a run in the sixth on an infield single to score prospect Eddie Rosario, who led off the frame with a single off T.J. McFarland. Thomas ended up going 2-for-2.
Correia fared well, as both he hits he gave up weren’t hit hard. He gave up a double to Matt Wieters on a ball that looped down the line and an infield single to Chris Davis.
Relievers Ryan Pressly and Tim Wood looked sharp, as they both threw scoreless innings. Both guys have big arms and will be worth watching this spring, as Pressly is a Rule 5 pick from the Red Sox while Wood is out of Minor League options.
What went wrong: Robertson gave up a two-run blast to Robinson after walking Russ Canzler to open the inning. He was falling behind in the count early but settled down after the homer.
Fellow reliever Josh Roenicke gave up a run on two hits and a walk in his one inning of work. He’s also worth watching this spring, as he’s out of Minor League options as well. He put up a shiny 3.25 ERA in 88 2/3 innings with the Rockies last season, which is impressive considering their home park, but his peripheral stats weren’t as good. He struck out 54 and walked 43 with a 1.44 WHIP.
Reliever Shairon Martis, who is in camp because he’s pitching for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, gave up a run on three hits over two innings.
Rosario had a chance to get two runners out at home plate on a relay play in the fifth but dropped his hands and looked before throwing home, so the Twins were able to only get one out at the plate.
What they said: “We actually put some nice swings on the ball. Some atom balls, which is a good thing. The pitchers did a nice job. But Robby did the Cardinal Sin, walking the first guy. So it stopped the game and they ended up hitting a home run off him after he fell behind. But it was just the first time out so we’ll get better,” — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.
What’s next: The Twins are set to host the Hammond Stadium opener against the Rays on Sunday with right-hander Liam Hendriks on the mound. Catcher Joe Mauer and first baseman Justin Morneau, who didn’t make the trip to Sarasota on Saturday, are also expected to make their Grapefruit League debuts. The Twins are also scheduled to host an intasquad game Sunday morning that will feature several younger players and prospects such as Alex Meyer, Trevor May, B.J. Hermsen and Jose Berrios.
Injury update: Third baseman Trevor Plouffe (strained right calf) could play in tomorrow’s intrasquad game. He’s been cleared by Twins doctors, as they told Gardenhire he has no limitations. … Outfield prospect Oswaldo Arcia pulled his intercostal muscle yesterday and the Twins aren’t sure when he’ll return. But the injury is expected to be minor.
SARASOTA — Twins outfield prospect Oswaldo Arcia pulled his intercostal muscle on Friday, and the club isn’t sure when he’ll return, according to manager Ron Gardenhire.
Arcia, ranked as the club’s No. 5 prospect and the No. 93 overall prospect according to MLB.com, was expected to start in right field in the Hammond Stadium opener against the Rays tomorrow.
But he’s scheduled to meet with team physician Dr. John Steubs today instead to determine how long he’ll be out.
“He got hurt,” Gardenhire said. “He pulled a intercostal muscle. He did yesterday morning early working out. So they told me Dr. Steubs will check him today and we’ll know about the days [he’ll be out]. But obviously they don’t go away overnight. So there’s a chance it might be a little bit before he sees action again.”
Arcia, 21, is considered a long shot to make the club out of Spring Training, as the Twins plan on using Chris Parmelee as their starting right fielder to open the season. Arcia is expected to open the year at Triple-A Rochester but could be called up during the season if he hits like he did last year when he hit .320/.388/.539 with 17 homers and 36 doubles in 124 games split between Class A Advanced Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain.
“I wanted to get some looks at him so it’s kind of disappointing,” Gardenhire said. I wanted to see him swing. But those things happen. So we gotta get him well now.”
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins held their final workout of Spring Training before their Grapefruit League opener against the Orioles tomorrow in Sarasota.
It was a much shorter workout than in previous days, as only six pitchers — Mike Pelfrey, Michael Tonkin, Deolis Guerra, Caleb Thielbar, Samuel Deduno and Trevor May — threw live bullpen sessions.
Right-hander Kevin Correia is set to start in the opener tomorrow, and is expected to go two innings or 40 pitches. He’s one of nine pitchers set to make the trip to Sarasota, as Shairon Martis, Ryan Pressly, Josh Roenicke, Tim Wood, Anthony Slama, Luis Perdomo, Bryan Augenstein and Tyler Robertson are also on the travel list.
But the Twins will be without Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer as well as Trevor Plouffe, Jamey Carroll, Aaron Hicks and Joe Benson.
The Twins also just released their lineup for the first game against the Orioles. Here it is:
1. Darin Mastroianni, CF
2. Eduardo Escobar, 3B
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Ryan Doumit, DH
5. Chris Parmelee, RF
6. Chris Colabello, 1B
7. Brian Dozier, 2B
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Pedro Florimon, SS
RHP Kevin Correia
Here are some other notes from camp:
– Guerra was added to Team Venezuela’s official roster for the World Baseball Classic and will leave camp on March 3. He’s one of 13 Twins players set to participate.
– Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wouldn’t say who will bat second this season. Personally, I think it makes sense to move Mauer up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup given the club’s lack of top-of-the-order options but we’ll see what he decides.
– After Liam Hendriks starts on Sunday, other pitchers on the list to throw are closer Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Brian Duensing, Kyle Gibson, Bryan Augenstein, Luis Perdomo, Anthony Slama and Deolis Guerra. Augenstein, Perdomo and Slama are also making the trip to Sarasota on Saturday, so if they pitch in the Grapefruit League opener they won’t pitch on Sunday.
And here are a few photos:
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:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Right-hander Kevin Correia is slated to start Minnesota’s Grapefruit League opener against the Orioles on Saturday in Sarasota, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced today.
Correia, who signed a two-year, $10 million deal to join the Twins this offseason, is set to make the start because the club wants him to make two starts before he departs for San Diego on Feb. 27 because his wife is due to give birth.
“We’re going to get him out there a couple times before that,” Gardenhire said. “Then he’s going to head out. It’s all planned. He’ll come back after that. Right now,we’ll get him out there first and go from there.”
After Correia, Shairon Martis, Ryan Pressly, Josh Roenicke, Tim Wood, Anthony Slama, Luis Perdomo and Bryan Augenstein are on the list to throw against the Orioles.
The Twins, however, have yet to announce a starter for Opening Day against the Tigers on April 1 at Target Field. Left-hander Scott Diamond is the frontrunner but it’ll depend on his health, as he’s just starting to throw off a mound after undergoing surgery in December to have a bone chip removed from his elbow.
Diamond threw off a mound for a second straight day today and is scheduled to throw a full bullpen session on Friday before facing live hitters next week. And if all continues to go well, he could be pitching in Grapefruit League games by the second week of March.
So while he’s not ready to make any predictions about being ready for the season just yet, he’s happy with his progress.
“The ball is coming out good but it’s just about finding the mechanics and that release point,” Diamond said. “Everything is lining up, which is positive. I’m just trying to get out the kinks but structurally it feels awesome. I’m not having any discomfort or tightness the next day. So basically, the recovery is going really well.”
Other notes from Twins camp:
– Gardenhire was impressed by what he saw from Rule 5 Draft selection Ryan Pressly and Tim Wood. Both threw live bullpens at Hammond Stadium. “I got to see some new people I hadn’t seen throw,” Gardenhire said. “Pressly and guys like that. I changed fields today for that reason. That was kind of fun to watch. Wood, the ball moves around all over the place.”
– Trevor Plouffe, who is dealing with a sore right calf, took part in infield drills and took batting practice. He also was able to do some light running drills.
– Make sure to check out Training Days, which is the Twins’ new behind-the-scenes video series they are debuting this spring. Today is Episode 1 and new episodes are expected to debut every Wednesday.
– Also, if you’re on Instagram, make sure to give me a follow (@rhettbollinger). I take a lot of photos on there, including ones that don’t end up on Twitter. I also joined Telly to post videos there, including ones I took today of Justin Morneau and Chris Parmelee taking batting practice.
Here are some of those photos from today:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire got a glimpse of the future today, as he saw Vance Worley and prospects Alex Meyer and Kyle Gibson throw live batting practice to Twins hitters.
Of that group, Worley, who came over in the trade that sent Ben Revere to Philadelphia, is the only lock to make the rotation this spring while Gibson is competing for a spot.
Meyer and Gibson, however, are regarded as two of the better pitching prospects in baseball, as Meyer was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 40 overall prospect while Gibson was ranked No. 49.
“I saw some pretty good arms on my field,” Gardenhire said. “Kids throwing the ball, winging it. Pretty good angles with some pretty good arms. Always fun to watch, get a chance to see them versus hitters. But it’s still just versus our hitters. First time out there, throwing live BP in awhile for these guys, so you have to calm them down a little here and there. Most of them handle themselves pretty well. The younger ones want to show the world.”
Gardenhire said his goal this spring is to try and see as much as he can of the prospects and new additions in camp instead of just relying on scouting reports.
“I’m making my own decisions,” Gardenhire said. “I haven’t seen these guys enough to sit there and read reports and have somebody tell me this or that. I want to see them. I need to see these guys. I want to make my own decisions.”
Here are a few other notes from camp:
– Samuel Deduno was a late addition to the Dominican Republic’s preliminary roster for the World Baseball Classic. The roster is still only tentative but if he remains on the roster, he’ll leave camp in early March.
– Gibson said his live bullpen session went well. He was able to get several swings and misses even though he was telling hitters what was coming.
– I didn’t get a chance to see it but heard great things about the way pitching prospect Jose Berrios looked in his live bullpen session. He’s only in camp because he’s set to participate in the World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico.
– Trevor Plouffe is still limited by a sore right calf but it didn’t stop him from putting on a show in batting practice. I was told that one long homer to left field hit a car in the parking lot.
– I had a nice conversation with Worley, who explained how crazy it was for him when he was traded to the Twins. He was set to pick up his engagement ring the same day he was traded. You can read the story here.
– I also taped an interview with MLB.com’s video crew today so that should go up at Twinsbaseball.com at some point this week.
And here a few photos from camp: