Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Spring Training Report: Game Four

Boy, did things get ugly in a hurry today. I normally love listening to the Twins, win OR lose (especially in the Spring, when losses don't matter). Today felt like work, though - the game was just that bad. Final score: Reds 14, Twins 1. Ouch. On to the notes:

1.) Boof Bonser may have surpassed Carlos Silva for worst performance of the Spring. He threw 38 pitches in his one inning of work (just 21 of them for strikes), he started off almost every batter he faced with a ball, and he gave up five hits, including a big homerun by Scott Hatteberg. This is just one performance, and coming as it did in Bonser's first spring outing, I wouldn't worry too much. However, if he lays another egg like this, I'll have to reconsider my position that he's a lock to make the rotation.

2.) Most of the guys who pitched today (Julio DePaula, Jason Miller, Ricky Barrett, Alexander Smit, Errol Simonitsch, and Oswaldo Sosa) aren't competing for a spot on the Major League roster. We did get a second look at two of the lefties competing for the seventh bullpen spot, however, with Randy Choate and Carmen Cali both pitching. Choate started off great, striking out his first batter on three pitches. He followed that up by allowing two singles, and Chris Heintz was called for Catcher's Interference after that to load 'em up with just one out. Choate buckled down, picked up another strikeout, and then coereced an inning ending groundout to get out of trouble. It wasn't a great performance, but it didn't hurt him any, and he should still be about even with Mike Venafro in this competition. Carmen Cali, on the other hand, gave up 4 hits, 2 walks, and 3 runs in just 2/3 of an inning before being taken out of the game. He was already behind Choate and Venafro, and he just fell further out of the race.

3.) Matthew LeCroy got a chance to DH again today, and once again was unimpressive, going 0-3 with two K's. If it wasn't for the terrible pitching performances, LeCroy would have won his third Runner-Up Big Loser of the Day award.

4.) The mystery of how Brad King came to be in Twins camp was solved by Dan Gladden in the 9th inning of today's game. Apparently, former Twins pitching coach Dick Such was serving in that role for the independant Long Island team that King played for last year. Such contacted Jim Rantz, the director of the Twins minor league system, and suggested that the Twins should take a look at King if they needed a catcher. Since the Twins aren't satisfied with their organizational catching depth, they brought King in to take a look at him this spring. Most of the evaluation of King will probably be outside of game action, but he has picked up two plate appearances this spring, and has gone 0-1 with a walk.

5.) After telling Garrett Jones that he should concentrate on his outfielding skills this spring, and using him as a right field replacement late in the first two games, Jones has now played two consecutive games at 1B. He replaced Justin Morneau there midway through yesterday's game, and today he got the start at 1B and spent the whole game there. I suspect that this tells us two things about the Twins right now . . . (1) they're short on infielders, since Ken Harvey, Alejandro Machado, and Luis Castillo are suffering from mild injuries, and (2) they don't want to use Matthew LeCroy at 1B. As a result, Jones is being used back at 1B while the Twins recover. I suspect that once Harvey and Machado return (thus freeing Glenn Williams up to play 1B instead of 3B), Jones will return to being used primarily in the outfield.

Today's Big Winner: Glenn Williams (2-4 with an RBI double)
Runner-Up: Chris Heintz (2-2 with a couple of singles)

Today's Big Loser: Boof Bonser (another bad start and he loses his status as a lock)
Runner-Up: Carmen Cali (might have already pitched himself out of the lefty fight)

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2 Comments:

  • At Sat Mar 03, 02:47:00 PM , Blogger Twins Territory said...

    The good news is that most of the players that played today aren't going to be on the major league roster this season.

     
  • At Sun Mar 04, 12:55:00 AM , Blogger Marty said...

    Glen Williams is one of my favorites. He's one of the best signers in the Twins org. He normally returns requests in a matter of days; this year he was the quickest signer of anyone in the Twins camp.

    Not that it means he's making the majors with his .240 career minor league average...

     

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