Results tagged ‘ Darin Mastroianni ’

Game 15: De Vries sets tone in win over Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. — Right-hander Cole De Vries turned in another solid outing and Ray Olmedo provided the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning to help lead the Twins to a 5-4 win over the Pirates on Saturday at McKechnie Field.

The Twins improved to 9-6 with the win and play the Pirates again tomorrow at Hammond Stadium.

What went right: De Vries was solid again, as he’s yet to give up an earned run this spring.

De Vries, making his fourth Spring Training outing, allowed one unearned run on one hit and a walk over three innings against the Pirates. He’s allowed just two hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings so far in Grapefruit League play.

He’s in the mix for the final spot in the rotation but the Twins only need four starters to open the year with a day off after Opening Day. Left-hander Scott Diamond could open the year on the disabled list, however, as he’s not expected to start his first Grapefruit League game until March 18.

Pitching prospect Alex Meyer, who was acquired in the Denard Span trade, was also impressive. He struck out three in three scoreless innings in his second Grapefruit League appearance. He’s expected to start the year at Double-A New Britain but has really turned heads so far in Spring Training.

Darin Mastroianni, in his first game back since suffering a strained left hamstring on Feb. 28, went 2-for-3 with an RBI single. But he was also picked off at first base in the first inning after leading off the game with a single off right-hander A.J. Burnett.

Eduardo Escobar went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. He’s been solid this spring with a .375 average while providing solid defense at second, short and third and has a legitimate shot to make the club as a utility player.

And Ray Olmedo, who is also competing for a utility role despite being a non-roster invite, had another good day at the plate by going 2-for-3 to raise his average to .364.

Clete Thomas brought home a run with an infield RBI single with two outs in the ninth. He’s hitting .318 this spring.

What went wrong: Center fielder Joe Benson had another rough day, as he dropped a fly ball in the first inning that eventually led to a run scoring and went 0-for-3 at the plate while leaving four runners on base.

Benson, who is competing for the center field job with Aaron Hicks and Mastroianni, is hitting just .097 this spring with a team-high 11 strikeouts in 36 plate appearances. But he is tied with Joe Mauer for the team lead in walks with five.

Hicks, though, is in the lead in the center field competition while Mastroianni is firmly in second, as he’s hitting .429 but in only six games.

Right-hander Casey Fien fared fine in two innings in relief of De Vries but did serve up a solo shot to Ivan DeJesus Jr. in the fifth.

Fellow right-hander Anthony Slama couldn’t close the door in the ninth inning, as he gave up a two-run single to Brad Hawpe with two outs after loading the bases. Right-hander Virgil Vasquez, who made the trip despite being in Minor League camp, recorded the final out to pick up the save.

What they said: “I take it as though it’s my spot and my spot to lose. I want to go out there and attack and pitch as well as I can. If they staff is looking at it like it’s not my spot and somebody else’s, I want to make it as hard as I can on them. And if it is my spot, I want to prove that there’s no doubt that I deserve it.” — De Vries.

What’s next: The Twins play the Pirates for a second straight day with right-hander Liam Hendriks set to take the mound in a 1:05 p.m. ET start at Hammond Stadium. Hendriks, who is competing for a spot in the rotation, has a 3.38 ERA in three Grapefruit League appearances. Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez is scheduled to start for Pittsburgh.

Injury update: Right fielder Chris Parmelee (tight right groin) isn’t expected to return until Wednesday. The Twins are being cautious with him. … Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia (strained intercostal) could make his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday if all goes well doing his workout on Saturday. … Right-hander Anthony Swarzak (ribs) is expected to throw his first bullpen late this week.

Game 4: Center field candidates lead Twins to win

FORT MYERS, Fla. — All three Twins players competing for the center field spot this spring started against the Blue Jays and made an impact in the Twins’ 8-4 win on Tuesday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Darin Mastroianni, Aaron Hicks and Joe Benson started in left, center and right field, respectively, and combined to go 4-for-12 with four RBIs, three runs and a walk.

What went right: Mastroianni, Hicks and Benson all looked good at the plate and displayed plenty of speed in the outfield tracking down fly balls.

Benson absolutely crushed a two-run homer in the second inning off Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero. Hicks also picked up two hits and just narrowly missed a homer, as he doubled off the right-field wall in the fourth and came around to score on a single from Mastroianni. Hicks later added an RBI single to center in the fourth.

Prospect Eddie Rosario also smashed a two-run blast in the seventh inning off Dave Bush. It was the first career Grapefruit League homer for Rosario, who is only in camp because he’s going to play for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau both fared well offensively, as Morneau went 2-for-4 with an RBI double while Mauer went 1-for-2 with two walks. Trevor Plouffe added an RBI single and a walk in his debut after missing the first three games with a sore right calf.

Relievers Ryan Pressly, Tim Wood, Josh Roenicke, Michael Tonkin and Luis Perdomo combined to throw 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Wood tossed two scoreless while Tonkin was overpowering in the eighth inning.

What went wrong: It’s hard to be too critical about just the first outing for right-hander Mike Pelfrey since he underwent Tommy John surgery on May 1 but he did give up three runs on five hits over 1 2/3 innings.

Pelfrey, whose fastball usually averages about 92 mph, was throwing his fastball at about 88 mph but said he’s not worried about velocity at this point in Spring Training. He said that he was only 82-84 mph in his first spring start last year before getting to 92-94 mph by the time the regular season started.

Mastroianni made a baserunning mistake in the in the fourth inning, when he tried to steal third with two outs and Morneau at-bat. He was caught stealing on the play and ended the inning. He’s an aggressive baserunner but he has to know the risk of getting caught at third with two outs outweighs the benefit of stealing third, especially with Morneau at the plate, as he’d score from second on a single with two outs anyways.

Left-hander Tyler Robertson served up his second homer of the spring on a solo blast to Andy LaRoche in the seventh inning.

I wouldn’t call it something going wrong but something very unusual happened in the first inning, when Romero got Mauer to pop up to catcher Henry Blanco. It’s an extremely rare thing considering Mauer has only popped up once over the last two seasons in 974 plate appearances, according to Fangraphs.com. For perspective, Jimmy Rollins popped out 42 times last year in 699 plate appearances.

What they said: “It was good. The defense played well. Couple balls out of the ballpark. Caught the ball. Only had one play that wasn’t great, Mastroianni trying to steal third there with Mornie up, in front of Canadian fans and everything. He just lost his head. So we straightened that out, and we’re OK.” — Gardenhire said.

What’s next: Right-hander Kevin Correia is set to take the mound for the second time this spring, when he starts against the Phillies in a 1:05 p.m. ET start at Hammond Stadium. Correia, who gave up a run on two hits over two innings in his first start, is scheduled to fly home to San Diego after the game to attend the birth of his third child. Left-hander John Lannan starts for the Phillies.

Injury update: Plouffe said he’s 100 percent and won’t be limited by his sore calf moving forward. But he said he’s hoping to test it out more, as no one hit the ball his way in his four innings at third base.

Twins claim Mastroianni off waivers

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins claimed outfielder Darin Mastroianni off waivers from the Blue Jays, the club announced today.

Mastroianni, 26, was designated for assignment by Toronto last week to make room on their roster for reliever Francisco Cordero.

He made his Major League debut last season, going 0-for-3 against the Royals on Aug. 24. It was his only big league appearance, as he spent most of the year split between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Las Vegas.

He combined to hit .268 with a .353 on-base percentage and .377 slugging percentage with three homers, nine triples, 26 doubles and 34 stolen bases in 123 games in the Minors last year.

His best season came in ’10, when he led the Double-A Eastern League in stolen bases with 46, tied for the lead league in hits with 156 and was second in runs with 104 and walks with 77.

Mastroianni, who was selected by the Blue Jays in the 16th-round of 2007 First-Year Player Draft, has a career .279/.370/.372 line in four Minor League seasons. He’s served mostly as a center fielder in the Minors with 377 games played there, while he’s played 78 games in left field and four games in right field. He also played 63 games at second base in ‘07.

Update: I just got word that right-handed reliever Esmerling Vasquez was designated for assignment to make room for Mastroianni on the 40-man roster. Vasquez was claimed off waivers from the D-backs on Sept. 27 but never made an appearance with the club. The Twins have 10 days to trade Vasquez, release him or pass him through waivers.

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