Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring Training Notes-3/8

  • What came as a surprise to most, Justin Morneau suited up for the Twins 'B' Game today vs Pittsburgh. Just last week Morneau had not been cleared for game activity, but it seemed that it came to the point where the only move left was to play and see how it goes. Morneau played first and hit cleanup. He had two at bats, going 1-2, with a bases clearing double in the third and eventually scored a run. After the game he said he felt fine, and hopefully it feels fine in a few hours. This was great news for Twins Territory. But lets be real, he is not past this yet. He could have some lingering symptoms tonight and tomorrow which would signal a stop sign on his recovery. But if all goes well, he could be seen in a game on Thursday at the earliest. I will keep my fingers crossed for the next two days.
  • Also in the 'B' game, Delmon Young made his Spring debut getting a pair of walks before leaving the game. Young had missed time this spring with turf toe injury. But it appears he should also have this behind him and should be good to go for the remainder of spring. Young, to me, is crucial to the success of the 2011 Twins since they front office failed to acquire a right handed bat with some pop this past offseason. Last year Young batted .298 with 21 HR and 112 RBI (All career highs).
  • In the past week manager Ron Gardenhire noted that Brian Duensing and Nick Blackburn will begin the season in the starting rotation. They join Francisco Liriano and Carl Pavano with assured spots in the starting 5. The announcment leaves Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey battling for the final starters spot. Personally, I would rather see it go to Slowey, but my gut feeling says it will be Baker. Slowey is under team control for 2011-2013 and is arbitration eligible following the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Meanwhile Scott Baker is owed $5M and $6.5M over the next two seasons and has a $9.25M team option for 2013. Slowey's contractual status makes him a much easier move. And as Joe Christiensen tweeted today, many scouts were there to watch Slowey. So it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
  • Some players who have impressed me so far this spring is Danny Valencia, Ben Revere, and Luke Hughes. Hughes is a player who I would rather see make the opening day roster over Matt Tolbert (I'll have a post on this later on this week). Despite what everyone says about Valencia having a down year compared to a year ago, I have a gut feeling that he will have another good year at the hot corner. And Ben Revere probably won't make the opening day roster, but an injury to one of the outfielders could open the door for him as he looks to squeeze his way on to the MLB roster.
  • And for those who don't know, today was the release of MLB 11: The Show for Playstation. Joe Mauer once again graced the cover for the second year in a row. Here is a trailer for the game.

No comments: