Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’

Twins officially begin Spring Training workouts

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins held their first official workout of Spring Training today, as pitchers and catchers performed a variety of drills at the Lee County Sports Complex.

The day started with the eight catchers on the roster meeting with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire before the pitchers worked on fielding practice on two different fields. All of the 33 pitchers invited to camp also threw off the mound in the bullpen. And the catchers finished the day by taking batting practice.

“A lot of people, a lot of bodies, a lot of pitchers,” Gardenhire said. “Good participation, everybody was running around. I didn’t go down and see the position players down on the other fields, but they looked like they were doing their thing, and the pitchers were all into it, so it’s just always nice to get back out on the baseball field.”

Other notes from today’s action:

- Joe Mauer got through the day just fine, as he worked with pitchers while they participated in fielding drills, caught about 90 pitches in bullpen sessions with Carlos Gutierrez, Brendan Wise and Jason Marquis and took batting practice.

- Twins GM Terry Ryan said that none of the 33 pitchers in camp have any health problems that will limit them in camp. Right-hander Joel Zumaya will be monitored closely after missing all of last year after undergoing elbow surgery, but threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session without any problems.

- Shortstop Brian Dozier is day to day after cutting his left hand, and is restricted from swinging for the next few days. Infielder Luke Hughes (shoulder) likely won’t start swinging the bat until next week.

- The Twins announced a new policy this season, as all injury updates will come from general manager Terry Ryan or assistant general manager Rob Antony instead of manager Ron Gardenhire.

And here are a bunch of photo’s from today’s first official workout:

Twins’ 25-man roster breakdown/predictions

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Spring Training officially kicks off for the Twins on Saturday with pitchers and catchers reporting to the Lee County Sports Complex in Fort Myers.

Altogether, 66 players will be in big league camp with the Twins, and only 25 will be making the trip north once camp breaks on April 4.

Some players are assured to be on the Opening Day roster, but like every Spring Training, others are fighting for the chance to make the club.

It’s obviously still too early to make any definitive judgments on how the roster will shake out, but here are my predictions a day before pitchers and catchers report:

ROTATION

Locks: Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano (L), Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn and Jason Marquis
Spots open: None
Situation: The Twins appear set with their rotation, as left-hander Brian Duensing is heading to the bullpen after the club signed Marquis this offseason. Everyone but Pavano dealt with injuries last season, but all head into camp healthy. Right-hander Liam Hendricks and left-hander Scott Diamond are likely to start the year at Triple-A Rochester.

BULLPEN

Locks: Matt Capps (CL), Glen Perkins (L), Brian Duensing (L) and Joel Zumaya
Spots open: Three
Prediction: Anthony Swarzak, Alex Burnett and Terry Doyle
Other candidates: Jason Bulger, Jared Burton, Scott Diamond, Phil Dumatrait (L), Jeff Gray, Matt Maloney (L), Jeff Manship, Lester Oliveros, Esmerling Vasquez and Kyle Waldrop.
Situation: The bullpen competition could get interesting, but Swarzak is likely to make the club given his success last year and the fact he’s out of Minor League options. The Twins also like Burnett’s potential despite the fact he posted a 5.51 ERA in 50 2/3 innings in ’11. Doyle, a Rule 5 Draft pick from the White Sox, would have to be offered back to Chicago if he doesn’t make the team out of camp. But keep an eye out on Gray and non-roster invitees Burton and Bulger. It’s also worth noting that Gray and Maloney are out of options.

CATCHER

Locks: Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit
Spots open: One
Candidates: Drew Butera and J.R. Towles
Prediction: Butera
Situation: The Twins are going to keep three catchers considering Mauer caught just 52 games and Doumit caught just 60. Butera is the most likely to be that third backstop given his experience with Twins pitchers and the defense he brings behind the plate. But he did hit just .167 last year, and will be pushed by Towles, who has a career .286/.389/.443 line at Triple-A but just a .187/.267/.315 line in 484 big league plate appearances.

INFIELD

Locks: Justin Morneau, Alexi Casilla, Jamey Carroll, Danny Valencia
Spots open: One or two
Candidates: Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Luke Hughes, Chris Parmelee, Brian Dozier
Prediction: Nishioka, Hughes
Situation: The Twins might keep just one backup infielder, and if that’s the case, I believe Nishioka is the favorite because of his ability to play both shortstop and second base. But Hughes is out of options, so I think the Twins will give him another chance as long as he’s healed from the right shoulder injury he suffered in Australia. But it’s an important spring for both Nishioka and Hughes. And Parmelee and Dozier should called up at some point this year, even though they’re expected to start the year in the Minors.

OUTFIELD

Locks: Josh Willingham, Denard Span, Ben Revere, Trevor Plouffe
Spots open: One or none
Candidates: Rene Tosoni, Joe Benson, Darin Mastroianni
Prediction: No open spot
Situation: If the Twins decide to keep just one backup infielder, Tosoni would be the top candidate to make the club as a fifth outfielder. But I think the Twins are more likely to go with two backup infielders considering Doumit’s ability to play some right field. It’ll be interesting to see how Plouffe handles the transition to the outfield, and how much playing time he’ll get in the infield as the club’s utility player. Benson is an intriguing candidate, but needs more seasoning, as he’s yet to play at Triple-A.

Welcome from Hammond Stadium

FORT MYERS, Fla. — I just arrived in Fort Myers last night, and headed over to the Twins’ Spring Training complex this morning on the day before pitchers and catchers officially report.

A slew of pitchers threw off the mound today, including Scott Baker, Alex Burnett, David Bromberg, Scott Diamond, Anthony Swarzak, Liam Hendriks, Jason Bulger, Jared Burton, Jeff Manship and Hudson Boyd. And catchers Drew Butera, J.R. Towles, Chris Herrmann and Danny Lehmann also got some work in behind the plate.

Several infielders also took infield and batting practice such as Chris Parmelee, Aaron Bates and Ray Chang. Luke Hughes, who is recovering from a sprained right shoulder, also got in on the action, catching some throws at first base.

Left-hander Glen Perkins didn’t throw off the mound but did some long toss with Baker on the practice field. Other players showed up at the complex today, including Jamey Carroll, Alexi Casilla, Matt Capps and Brian Dozier.

It was a fairly informal workout, but things should ramp up once the club hosts their first official pitchers and catchers workout on Sunday.

One thing to look out for this Spring Training is much more coverage on the blog, as I plan on doing daily updates once Grapefruit League play begins and will be posting plenty of photos (and hopefully videos, too).

So for now, here are a few photos I took today:

Aaron Bates taking BP

Aaron Bates taking BP

Scott Diamond, Jason Bulger, Anthony Swarzak, Liam Hendriks and Hudson Boyd throwing bullpen

Scott Diamond, Jason Bulger, Anthony Swarzak, Liam Hendriks and Hudson Boyd throwing bullpen

Hammond Stadium

Hammond Stadium

Field at Hammond Stadium

Field at Hammond Stadium

Field at Hammond Stadium

Outfield at Hammond Stadium

View of pressbox at Hammond

View of pressbox at Hammond

View of infield at Hammond Stadium

View of infield at Hammond Stadium

Practice fields at complex

Practice fields at complex

Practice Field No. 5

Practice Field No. 5

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