Twins Quick Hits
(Live Twins Chat Tonight at 7!)
First things first, it was 14 degrees BELOW ZERO on my drive to work today. It just reminds me that, in six days, I will be in Ft. Myers!! And, to commemorate that (or just because), there will be a 5% discount the rest of this week on the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook Ė 2011. From what Iím told, the handbook is a great help for those that go to Ft. Myers, for people in the cities of the Twins minor league affiliates and for Twins fans anywhere who are looking for information on the Twins system.
Also, as of yesterday, the Maple Street Press Twins Annual 2011 should now be available on newsstands throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and in Ft. Myers. Let people know where they can get them in the comments. I know there are Twins fans all over the globe, so if you canít find them locally or if you live elsewhere, you can still get a copy directly from Maple Street Press.
Finally, at 7:00 tonight, I will again be hosting a SethSpeaks.net Live Twins Chat. I will answer your Twins (or other) questions until 9:00 when I would encourage people to try to listen to Fanatic Jackís Twins Talk podcast at 612sports.net. To sign up for an e-mail reminder, to participate in the chat or to read the transcript later, Click Here.
After a long, drawn out Yankees-related blog yesterday, I feel the need to just post a bunch of quick Twins thoughts today. I know several people were not happy with me writing about the Yankees prospects or somehow perpetuating the Francisco Liriano to the Yankees rumors. So when Ken Rosenthal wrote an article last night talking about how the Twins are holding strong that they would need Manny Banuelos in a trade for Liriano, it kind of validated the time I put into the article. Brian Cashman, and Terry Ryan, insist there is nothing going on. OK!
Here are a few more Twins notes:
∑ The biggest story on Thursday was that Joe Nathan returned to the mound in a game for the first time in a year. He pitched a scoreless fourth inning, only allowing a walk. His fastball was in the 86-90 range. In my mind, that didnít matter. Simply getting back on the mound was a big thing. To get that out of the way is huge for his confidence, and a good stepping stone to the rest of spring. He said later that he felt like ďa kid in a candy store.Ē
∑ The Twins mentioned that Francisco Liriano will pitch in the ďBĒ game on a back field on Friday rather than pitch for the Twins in a Major League game. This happens all the time, so no need to make much out of it.
∑ Justin Morneau saw a Doctor in Pittsburgh yesterday, but he was not cleared to play in games. Iím not certain how to take that. Iím sure they did some tests and talked to him about how things are going. However, he is practicing daily, live batting practice, fielding ground balls. Games may actually be even easier on him. The one area I would have concern about is if he is on first base and wants to break up a double play. Hopefully heíll have another visit in a week and get that clearance.
∑ On Tuesday, Michael Cuddyer had his wart removed by a doctor in Minneapolis. He is expected to miss a week or two. The feet are obviously a very important part of the human body if they affect things like, you know, walking. So, itís great that he got it done now. The question I have is why he had to go to Minneapolis to get the wart removed. Are doctors in Ft. Myers not capable of wart removals?
∑ The missed time by Morneau and Cuddyer has opened up an opportunity for additional playing time for Joe Benson, Chris Parmelee and Rene Tosoni this spring, as this News-Press article tells us.
∑ For those interested, and I know many arenít, here is #MyIdolBallot - 1. James, 2. Casey, 3. Paul, 4. Stefano, 5. Brett, 6. Clint, 7. Scotty, 8. Tim, 9. Jacob, 10. Jovany, 11. Robbie, 12. Jordan.
∑ Kyle Gibson, Carlos Gutierrez and David Bromberg each made their spring debuts yesterday afternoon. Two pitches into Gibsonís outing, he had given up a double, a single and a run. He struck out Mike Cameron on a slider before walking The Greek God of Walks (Kevin Youklis). Then he caught a line drive back to him and doubled a runner off of first base to end the inning. Gutierrez gave up a hit in a scoreless inning, although he threw a lot of balls. Bromberg got the first two batters he faced, but then gave up two runs on three hits before getting the final out. Gibson discussed his first outing, Blaine Gabbert and much, much more with Paul Allen in the 9:00 hour of the show today. Check out the podcast here.
∑ The Twins managed just four hits on the day against the Red Sox pitchers. Danny Valencia was 2-2. Danny Rams launched a long, opposite field double, and Chase Lambin hit a hard single.
∑ On Wednesday, the Twins travel to Bradenton to play the Pittsburgh Pirates.
∑ Minnesota native and former Twins minor leaguer Mark Hamburger, who was traded to the Rangers in the Eddie Guardado trade a few years ago, made his big league spring training debut yesterday. He and his upper-90s fastball threw eight pitches (7 strikes) in a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
∑ Nick Nelson wrote a tremendous article on the Twins ďCore Four.Ē
∑ Aaron Gleeman continued his Top 40 Twins series with #25, a player Twins fans from 1991 will remember well.
∑ Knuckleballs did a great service for Twins fans around the state by posting the Twins Radio Affiliates, including a map!
∑ North Dakota Twins Fan asks if spring success leads to regular season success. I most agree with Conclusion #5!
∑ Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau hanging out with Tim Kirkjan and John Kruk (photo from MN Twins). Baseball Tonightís Twins preview today at 2:30.