Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Spring Training Report: Games Nine & Ten

The Twins lone split-squad action of the season has come and gone. Here are the important things to take away from the day:

1.) The solid starts continue, with Johan Santana and Scott Baker both going 3 innings. Santana's start was (unsurprisingly) the more solid performance, as he gave up just 1 hit and walked 2 while striking out 3 and not allowing any runs. Baker did allow a run, but he gave up just 3 hits and struck out 4 in a start that was significantly better than his first two performances of the spring. Baker helped himself out today, but he still is likely well behind Sidney Ponson, Glen Perkins, and Matt Garza (if he's healthy enough to get back into Spring games soon). In the meantime, Kevin Slowey is creeping up behind Baker, as he had another solid outing today (2 innings, 2 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts). Further, in the "who-woulda-thunk-it" category, Jeremy Cummings also continues to pitch impressively, also going 2 innings with 3 K's. The Twins have to be happy with so many pitchers buckling down and pitching well. If this keeps up, the last 10 days of spring could get very, very interesting.

2.) Randy Choate pitched a perfect inning today, redeeming himself for Tuesday's horrifyingly bad performance. Unfortunately for him, Mike Venafro did exactly the same thing, and remains in the lead for the 7th reliever roster spot that may open up. Meanwhile, Dennys Reyes and Jose Mijares both made their spring debuts today, which means every player in camp has now played in a Grapefruit League game except Sidney Ponson, who should pitch tomorrow. (Ponson's lone appearance of the spring so far was in a "B" game against Boston on Monday - and that doesn't count).

3.) Nick Punto went 2-4 today, raising his spring batting average all the way up to .143. Jason Tyner and Luis Rodriguez continued to struggle, however, and are now both hitting .111. Let's get those bats going, boys!

4.) Matthew LeCroy hit a booming double today, but nearly got thrown out at second, and then DID get nailed at the plate later on while trying to score on a wild pitch. Take this for what it's worth . . .

Today's Big Winner: Scott Baker (keeps hope of a roster spot alive, but just barely)
Runner-Up: Nick Punto (2-4 is a good start - keep it up)

Today's Big Loser: Jason Tyner (0-4: could a bad spring cost him a roster spot?)
Runner-Up: Matthew LeCroy (Third of the Year! Baserunning left something to be desired)

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