Results tagged ‘ Lester Oliveros ’

Twins make first roster cuts of Spring Training

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins made their first roster cuts of Spring Training this morning, as they reassigned right-handed pitchers Bryan Augenstein, Nick Blackburn, Alex Meyer, Lester Oliveros and Esmerling Vasquez to Minor League camp.

Blackburn, who underwent surgery on his right wrist in January, and Oliveros, who had Tommy John surgery in August, are both currently out with injuries. Blackburn is expected to return in May while Oliveros is likely out until August, but neither pitcher is on the 40-man roster.

Meyer, who was acquired in the trade that sent Denard Span to the Nationals, was the most impressive pitcher of the group before being reassigned. Meyer, ranked as the No. 40 overall prospect by MLB.com, tossed five scoreless innings in Grapefruit League play with three strikeouts and two walks.

Meyer, 23, is expected to start the season at Double-A New Britain after posting a combined 2.86 ERA with 139 strikeouts and 45 walks in 129 innings split between Class A Hagerstown and Class A Advanced Potomac last season.

Vasquez, who had a 5.68 ERA in six starts with the Twins last season, had a 6.75 ERA in 2 2/3 innings in Spring Training. He’s not on the 40-man roster and is expected to start at Triple-A Rochester.

Augenstein, meanwhile, made only one appearance in Spring Training. The non-roster invite, who pitched for Tampa Bay’s Triple-A affiliate last season, gave up a run in one inning against the Pirates on Feb. 25.

Also, here are the lineups for the Pirates and Twins with Oswaldo Arcia set to make his debut after missing the first 15 games with a strained intercostal muscle.

Pirates (4-10)
1. Starling Marte, LF
2. Travis Snider, RF
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
5. Brandon Inge, 3B
6. Clint Robinson, DH
7. Ivan DeJesus Jr., 2B
8. Tony Sanchez, C
9. Jordy Mercer, SS

LHP Jonathan Sanchez (Mike Zagurski, Stolmy Pimental, Vic Black, Brooks Brown, Bryan Morris)

Twins (9-6)
1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Eduardo Escobar, 3B
3. Josh Willingham, DH
4. Ryan Doumit, C
5. Oswaldo Arcia, RF
6. Darin Mastroianni, LF
7. Jeff Clement, 1B
8. Brian Dozier, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

RHP Liam Hendriks (Alex Burnett, Jared Burton, Pedro Hernandez, Luis Perdomo, Caleb Thielbar, Tim Wood)

Game 9: Valencia powers Twins to victory

BRADENTON, Fla. — Danny Valencia helped the Twins get out of their offensive slump with a three-run homer to lead the Twins to a 4-2 win over the Pirates on Saturday at McKechnie Field.

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Twins, who improved to 4-5 in Grapefruit League play.

What went right: Valencia looked good at the plate, hitting an opposite-field double in the fifth inning off Jo-Jo Reyes before crushing a three-run shot off Reyes in the sixth.

The homer was set up by a two-out walk from Josh Willingham and a single from Justin Morneau. Morneau, who served as designated hitter, went 1-for-4 at the plate, including a deep fly ball to center field in the first. Willingham went 1-for-2 with a walk.

Right-hander Anthony Swarzak tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of right-hander Terry Doyle, who struggled. Jared Burton, Matt Maloney, Kyle Waldrop, Lester Oliveros and P.J. Walters each tossed a scoreless inning.

“They’re doing fine,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of the relievers in camp. “We’re just looking at different guys. We see some guys we like a little bit. We like their arms. We see the ball coming out, but still, they’ve only been out once or twice. I think, let’s give them a couple more times out and see where we’re at.”

What went wrong: Doyle didn’t have his best stuff, as he allowed two runs on seven hits — including three doubles — and a walk over 2 2/3 innings.

Doyle, a Rule 5 Draft pick who must remain on the active roster all season or be offered back to the White Sox, didn’t exactly help his case to make the club. It was also Twins manager Ron Gardenhire’s first time seeing him pitch.

And while Valencia certainly had a good day offensively, the rest of the Twins combined for just four hits — singles from Willingham, Morneau, Rene Rivera and Alexi Casilla.

Also, despite 14 hits, including a homer from Oswaldo Arcia and two doubles from Chris Parmelee, the Twins also lost 8-2 in a “B” game to the Pirates earlier in the day. Scott Baker pitched in two innings, but recorded just four outs, surrendering six runs (five earned) on six hits, including a two-run homer by Matt Hague.

“Baker was not very good at all,” Gardenhire said. “He got beat around pretty good. He threw the ball. We’ll see how he does from there. Maybe that “B” game format, he might need a little more preparation than that riding the bus and all that trying to pitch. He didn’t react well to that.”

What they said: “We had two good ballgames today,” Gardenhire said. “We had 13 or 14 hits in the first one, then out here today we came up with some big hits too. A better day.”

What’s next: Right-hander Nick Blackburn is set to make his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday against the split-squad Yankees at 12:05 p.m. CT at Hammond Stadium. Blackburn has tossed three scoreless innings in two “B” games against the Red Sox this spring. Brian Duensing, Liam Hendriks, Jeff Manship, Tyler Robertson, Brendan Wise and Deolis Guerra are also scheduled to pitch for the Twins. Right-hander Phil Hughes is slated to start for the Yankees.

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