Results tagged ‘ Francisco Liriano ’

Games 2/3: Twins earn split vs. Rays, Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins split Sunday’s games with a 5-3 win over the Rays in Port Charlotte and an 8-3 loss to the Red Sox in Fort Myers.

It marked the Twins’ first split-squad action of the spring, as they don’t play in any more split-squads until March 16, when they host the Orioles and travel to face the Red Sox.

What went right: Both starters for the Twins — Francisco Liriano and Terry Doyle — tossed two scoreless innings in their Grapefruit League debuts. Liriano allowed one hit and walked one with two strikeouts against the Red Sox. And Doyle didn’t allow a hit and walked one with a strikeout against the Rays.

First baseman Chris Parmelee and catcher J.R. Towles both hit two-run homers to help lead the Twins to their win over the Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Alexi Casilla went 3-for-5 and Trevor Plouffe went 2-for-3 in that game.

Ben Revere paced the offense at JetBlue Park, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including a leadoff single against Josh Beckett. Ray Chang went 1-for-1 with two walks, but left the 8-3 loss early after taking a knee the jaw in the seventh inning while trying to break up a double play.

What went wrong: Jason Bulger, who is trying to make the club as a reliever, struggled mightily against the Red Sox, allowing five runs on four walks and two hits — including a Lars Anderson grand slam — while recording just one out.

The Twins made several sloppy plays against the Red Sox, including an error by third baseman Sean Burroughs and an ill-advised throw home on the same play by Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Revere also made a baserunning gaffe late in the game.

What they said: “The first batter I was kind of all over the place but after that I kind of made some adjustments,” said Liriano, who threw 13 of his 25 pitches for strikes. “I was throwing the ball down and working the fastball better.”

What’s next: The Twins play their first and only night game of the spring on Monday, as they play host to the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium at 6:05 p.m. CT in a game that will be televised on FS North. Right-hander Jason Marquis is set to make his Grapefruit League debut with the Twins against Red Sox right-hander Clay Buhholz. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span, Ryan Doumit and Josh Willingham — who didn’t play on Sunday — are expected to return to action Monday night.

Injury update: Right-hander Joel Zumaya elected to undergo Tommy John surgery later this month, according to assistant general manager Rob Antony. He hasn’t decided if he will rehab on his own or with the Twins. … Infielder Luke Hughes (strained right shoulder) made his Grapefruit League debut against the Red Sox, going 0-for-3 as a designated hitter. He also took infield practice and threw to first base without any issues. … Infielder Ray Chang took a knee to the jaw trying to break up a double play, but said after the game he was OK.

Day 11: Twins hold simulated game, “B” game

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was a busy day at the Lee County Sports Complex, as the Twins held their first simulated game of the spring this morning before hosting the Red Sox in a “B” game at Hammond Stadium.

In the simulated game, right-handers Jason Marquis and Jeff Gray each pitched, while hitters such as Trevor Plouffe, Chris Parmelee and Alexi Casilla batted with different scenarios laid out for the defense.

It allowed Twins defenders to work on relay throws, positioning and decision-making while also allowing the hitters to face live pitching.

The big scare was Denard Span running into the center-field fence, but he said he was OK. But I’ll definitely check with him tomorrow to make sure he’s still doing OK.

As for the “B” game, the Twins picked up their first victory with a 6-5 win over the Red Sox.

Twins right-handers Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn got through without any issues, and were followed by Jeff Manship, Liam Hendriks, Jason Bulger, Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson, Brendan Wise and Deolis Guerra. Of the group, only Gutierrez really struggled, allowing two runs on hit and three walks while only recording two outs.

Offensively, the Twins were paced by first baseman Aaron Bates, who hit a two-run homer, and designated hitter Brian Dinkelman, who had two hits and two RBIs. Shortstop Brian Dozier also had two hits, while J.R. Towles and Joe Benson added RBI singles.

But the Twins no longer are playing for the Mayor’s Cup, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, now that the Red Sox moved into the new JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. The Cup used to be a battle between the Red Sox, representing the city, and the Twins, representing the county, but they now both play in unincorporated Lee County.

“There is no more Mayor’s Cup,” Gardenhire said. “We took the Cup; we got the Cup. The Cup’s in somebody’s cabin now, in Minnesota.”

Other notes:

- Gardenhire said Carl Pavano will start the Grapefruit League opener against the Rays on Saturday at 12:05 p.m. CT. The Twins also have split-squad action on Sunday with left-hander Francisco Liriano scheduled to start against the Rays in Port Charlotte at 12:05 p.m. CT and right-hander Terry Doyle slated to pitch against the Red Sox at their new park in Fort Myers at 12:35 p.m. CT.

- Gardenhire said he’ll announce his lineups for Saturday’s game tomorrow morning. Morneau, Mauer and Span are all expected to play, but all said they have yet to be notified if they’ll be in the lineup.

- Scott Baker joked about third-base coach Steve Liddle being forced to be the home-plate umpire early in the “B” game: “I thought maybe the umpire was squeezing me a little bit,” Baker said with a grin. “We’ll work through it.”

Here’s video of Plouffe hitting a double against Marquis in today’s simulated game.

And photos from today:

Day 10: Twins hold day of review

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins reviewed everything they’ve gone over so far in camp today, as they prepare for Thursday’s “B” game against the Red Sox on Thursday at Hammond Stadium.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said right-handers Nick Blackburn and Scott Baker will each throw an inning during that game, but he wouldn’t reveal the other seven pitchers he plans on using. Garenhire said he’ll announce the other pitchers tomorrow, but I expect it to be young pitchers such as Liam Hendriks or non-roster invites.

The Twins also still haven’t announced who will start their Grapefruit League opener against the Rays on Saturday, but Francisco Liriano said he’s slated to pitch Sunday in one of the split-squad games against the Red Sox or Rays.

Liriano threw his third live throwing session — against Justin Morneau, Danny Valencia and Drew Butera — and fared well, as he worked on locating his fastball while mixing in five sliders. But he made a couple of mistakes, as he plunked Valencia on the shin with a fastball and served up a homer to Morneau on another fastball.

But Liriano said he’s feeling great, and is looking forward to making his first start on Sunday.

Other notes from today:

- Joel Zumaya has yet to inform the Twins whether he will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair his torn ulnar collateral ligament, according to general manager Terry Ryan: “I have not heard from Joel Zumaya and I don’t know if that will be in the next day or two or in a week,” Ryan said. “I don’t know if his agent will call us or if he’ll call me and give us his decision. But I’m still waiting.”

- Valencia said he was fine after getting hit by Liriano’s errant fastball. He iced his shin after the workout, but appears to be OK.

- Gardenhire on his office at Hammond Stadium: “We’re working on it. We’re going to remodel here pretty soon. We’re going to a smaller brick (laughs). Eventually we’re going to remodel. I’m just happy I’ve got a new chair. I think Boston sold a lot of their stuff so we bought some of it.”

Here are some videos of Liriano throwing a bullpen and Morneau facing Liriano in a live batting practice session.

And here are photos from today’s workout:

Day 6: First official day of full workouts

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins held their first official workout with position players today with all but one of the 67 players in camp taking part in the action.

Only infielder Michael Holliman — who was out with flu-like symptoms — missed the initial workout. Even infielder Luke Hughes, who had a cortisone shot injected into his strained right shoulder on Wednesday, caught some throws at first base.

But the big news, of course, was the arrival of Justin Morneau and his first day of working out. Morneau got through the workouts just fine, as he fielded ground balls, threw and took batting practice at Hammond Stadium.

He also talked with the media before the workout, and had some very interesting things to say. Here’s the full story here, and the money quote about how if he continues to suffer from concussion-like symptoms, he could walk away from baseball:

“I don’t think there will be a career if it’s something I’m dealing with,” Morneau said. “That’s the reality of the whole thing. I’m obviously not going to continue to mess around with this if it continues to be a problem. There comes a point where you can only torture yourself for so long. It’s something I love to do but you keep preparing and you keep being left out, that’s something that nobody wants to go through.

“It’s been a tough winter that way. I try not to think about that kind of stuff. Obviously it’s crossed my mind and it’s something I’ve had to think about but when that stuff comes into my mind I continue to look for something positive, and look how far I’ve come in the last week or in the last month and just hope it continues to go well.”

Other notes from today:
– Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said his opening speech this morning went well. He joked that he was like a preacher out there, and never got fired up. The overall message was that the club needs to focus on what it can control and not worry about outside influences and media expectations.

- Reliever Glen Perkins, who is the club’s new union representative this year, said he was troubled by the fact that Ryan Braun’s initial positive test results were made public before he ultimately appealed and saw his 50-game suspension overturned: “He appealed and won, but he still lost. For me, the shame is the worst part, so it stinks that he has to go through everything as if he got busted; he just doesn’t have to serve the 50-game suspension. I guess the flaw is that somehow, some way it got out. I don’t know who leaked it. He got exonerated from the suspension but he didn’t get cleared.”

- Unlike the early workouts only 15 pitchers threw on Friday, including Francisco Liriano. But several pitchers including Aaron Thompson and Phil Dumatrait threw live batting practice sessions. Some hitters such as Danny Valencia and Drew Butera took swings, but others such as Justin Morneau and Josh Willngham just stood at the plate to work on their timing and to track pitches.

Photos from today’s workout:

Day 2 of pitchers and catchers working out

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins held their second day of workouts between pitchers and catchers on Monday with roughly the same schedule as yesterday.

Most of the pitchers on the roster threw off the mound, including left-hander Francisco Liriano, who tossed his first official bullpen of Spring Training. He tossed more than 50 pitches — throwing his fastball, slider and changeup — and said he was throwing at about 80-85 percent.

Joe Mauer also was behind the plate for drills, and caught nearly 90 pitches in bullpen sessions with Scott Baker and Brendan Wise. Mauer and the other seven catchers also took batting practice for the second straight day.

Several position players also showed up to camp today such as outfielders Ben Revere and Rene Tosoni. Infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka also made an appearance and took some swings in the batting cage.

By my count only four position players on the 40-man roster aren’t here yet — Justin Morneau, Denard Span, Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia. Position players are scheduled to report on Thursday with workouts starting on Friday.

The Twins also announced they are hosting a “B” game against the Red Sox on March 1 at 1 p.m. at Hammond Stadium. They’re also working on adding another one because they have 33 pitchers in camp.

Other notes from Day 2:

- Nick Blackburn said his right forearm is a non-issue and that he doesn’t have any restrictions this spring. He had surgery on Oct. 1 to decompress the radial nerve in his right forearm.

- Shortstop Brian Dozier took some swings today after suffering a cut on his left hand and reported no problems.

- Infielder Luke Hughes, who suffered a right shoulder sprain in Australia, had his MRI exam results sent to a doctor for a second opinion. The Twins will hear more tomorrow.

And here are some pictures from today’s workout:

Mauer set to catch in Sunday’s first workout

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Spring Training officially started for the Twins today, with 41 pitchers and catchers reporting to the Lee County Sports Complex.

Several pitchers participated in light workouts such as Glen Perkins, Scott Baker, Brian Duensing, Nick Blackburn, Carl Pavano, Matt Capps and Jason Marquis, but the Twins don’t hold their first official workout until tomorrow morning.

The first workout begins at 8:30 a.m. ET, with catchers going over signs with manager Ron Gardenhire. Later in the morning, pitchers are scheduled to work out and throw bullpen sessions with the eight catchers invited to camp — Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit, Drew Butera, Chris Herrmann, Danny Lehmann, Dan Rohlfing, J.R. Towles and Rene Rivera

Mauer is expected to be in full gear, which is a change from last year, when he didn’t start catching until early March because he had offseason surgery on his left knee.

“I’ve been catching a little bit,” Mauer said. “It’ll be good to get the gear back on, running around with the guys. I caught Baker a little bit the other day. I try to limit as much bending down as I can, but I’m feeling good and I’m ready to go.”

Other notes from today:
– Capps and his wife, Jennifer, welcomed a new addition to the family on Feb. 8, as she gave birth to a baby boy named Maxwell Martin Capps. Maxwell weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces.

- Baker said his right elbow is a “non-issue” and is fully healthy headed into camp. He said coming back to pitch in relief at the end the season helped him get into a normal offseason routine.

- I still haven’t seen Francisco Liriano at Hammond Stadium, but I’m told he’ll be here for tomorrow’s official workout.

- Look for a full notebook later today. For now, here’s the full story on the pitchers and catchers officially reporting.

Twins, Perkins avoid arbitration

WAHPETON, N.D. — The Twins and left-hander Glen Perkins avoided arbitration today, as they agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.55 million, according to a Major League source familiar with the negotiations.

Perkins, 28, had a career year in 2011, posting a 2.48 ERA with 65 strikeouts, 21 walks and just two homers allowed in 61 2/3 innings. He made $700,000 last season.

Left-hander Francisco Liriano and second baseman Alexi Casilla are also eligible for arbitration, with the deadline for exchanging contracts today at noon CT.

Liriano, who posted a 5.09 ERA with 112 strikeouts, 75 walks and 14 homers allowed in 134 1/3 innings in ‘11, avoided arbitration last season by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $4.3 million. And Casilla also avoided arbitration last year, signing a one-year, $865,000 contract. He batted .260 with a .322 on-base percentage and .368 slugging percentage in 97 games in ’11.

The Twins have avoided arbitration hearings in recent years, as they haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since going to arbitration in 2005 and 2006 with Kyle Lohse.

Mauer likely to play first tomorrow (Game 85 vs. Rays)

MINNEAPOLIS — Catcher Joe Mauer was held out of the lineup today against the Rays after taking a foul tip to his shoulder, but is expected to return to action tomorrow in Chicago and will likely play first base for the first time in his big league career.

Mauer, who has been taking ground balls at first base during batting practice since June 27, hasn’t played first base since playing one game there with Class A Fort Myers in 2003.

“Joe Mauer will probably play first base with Jim Thome at DH and Drew Butera catching,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Joe’s not going to play today. He’s a little beat up, which is understandable. I saw his swing last night and looked a little sore. That’s going to be expected.”

Mauer is being called to action at first with Justin Morneau out until at least mid-August after undergoing surgery to remove a herniated disk fragment from his neck last week. It will be a change of pace for Mauer, who last saw extended time at first when he played 13 games there with Class A Quad Cities in 2002.

“He’s fine,” Gardenhire said. “But you won’t really know until you get him into a game. He’s pretty fluid over there to tell you the truth. He has soft hands and moves around pretty good. All the fundamental parts of it will be a learning experience for him.”

With Mauer out of the lineup today, Rene Rivera makes the start, as he has worked well with left-hander Francisco Liriano this season. Liriano entered Wednesday with a 1.91 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 10 walks in 33 innings with Rivera behind the plate this season.

Lineups for the 12:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field:

Rays (47-39)

1. Johnny Damon, DH
2. Ben Zobrist, RF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. B.J. Upton, CF
5. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
6. Casey Kotchman, 1B
7. Justin Ruggiano, LF
8. Kelly Shoppach, C
9. Eliot Johnson, SS

RHP Wade Davis (7-6, 4.20 ERA, 4.94 FIP, 1.31 K/BB)

TWINS (38-46)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Rene Tosoni, LF
7. Jason Repko, RF
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

LHP Francisco Liriano (5-7, 4.76 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 1.66 K/BB)

Liriano’s impressive June (Game 80 vs. Brewers)

MINNEAPOLIS — Francisco Liriano gets another chance against the Brewers tonight after struggling in his last outing in Milwaukee on Monday, when he allowed six runs, five earned, over just 3 2/3 innings.

Even though he didn’t have his best stuff in his last start against the Brewers, Liriano still showed signs in June that he turned the corner from his slow start.

In June, the left-hander posted a 3.27 ERA in 23 2/3 innings with 27 strikeouts compared to just seven walks and one homer allowed.

With those impressive peripheral stats, Liriano had a 2.09 FIP and 3.86 K/BB ratio, which was similar to last season when he posted a 2.66 FIP and 3.47 K/BB ratio in 191 2/3 innings.

So while four starts last month constitutes a small sample size, it’s still a positive sign that Liriano can get back to the ace starter he was last year.

But as always, we’ll simply see how it goes, starting with tonight’s outing on the first day of July in the last weekend of Interleague play.

Lineups for the 7:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field:

Brewers (44-38)

1. Rickie Weeks 2B
2. Carlos Gomez CF
3. Ryan Braun LF
4. Prince Fielder 1B
5. Corey Hart RF
6. Casey McGehee DH
7. Yuniesky Betancourt SS
8. Josh Wilson 3B
9. Jonathan Lucroy C

RHP Yovanni Gallardo (9-4, 3.92 ERA, 3.96 FIP, 2.41 K/BB)

Twins (34-45)

1. Ben Revere CF
2. Alexi Casilla 2B
3. Joe Mauer C
4. Michael Cuddyer RF
5. Jim Thome DH
6. Danny Valencia 3B
7. Rene Tosoni LF
8. Luke Hughes 1B
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka SS

LHP Francisco Liriano (4-7, 4.98 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 1.56 K/BB)

Valencia out of action (Game 70 vs Padres)

MINNEAPOLIS — Danny Valencia is out of the lineup today against the Padres with soreness in his right arm stemming from a throw in the eighth inning of yesterday’s 1-0 win.

Valencia originally felt the soreness in his right biceps, but it moved to his triceps on Sunday. He said he remains hopeful he’ll return to action on Tuesday in San Francisco after Monday’s off-day.

“Actually it feels a lot better than I thought it would feel,” Valencia said. “It’s more in my triceps than my biceps right now. So it’s really day to day.”

Joe Mauer is in the lineup, but not at catcher, as he’s serving as the designated hitter and batting third. Matt Tolbert is starting at third base in Valencia’s absence, and Rene Rivera, who has worked well with Francisco Liriano recently, is behind the plate.

Padres (30-42)

1. Chris Denorfia, LF
2. Jason Bartlett, SS
3. Chase Headley, 3B
4. Ryan Ludwick, DH
5. Jesus Guzman, 1B
6. Cameron Maybin, CF
7. Orlando Hudson, 2B
8. Will Venable, RF
9. Ron Johnson, C

RHP Dustin Moseley (2-6, 3.16 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 1.76 K/BB)

Twins (30-39)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Nishi, SS
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Matt Tolbert, 3B

LHP Francisco Liriano (4-6, 4.67 ERA, 4.39 FIP, 1.43 K/BB)

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