Good morning Twins fans. Isn't it great that we again have baseball to listen to every day?
It was announced earlier this week that the Twins signed another right handed pitcher, Yoslan Herrera. Herrera is a former Cuban defector who was 11-1 with a 3.23 ERA at AA Altoona last year. He was also 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA at AAA Indianapolis. The former Pittsburgh Pirate (made 5 starts in 2008), will likely take one of the five spots in Rochester's starting rotation.
As you already know, KFAN is reporting that Joe Mauer will be signing an eight to ten year contract before the weekend is over. Hopefully, KFAN is correct so the Twins and Joe can put this behind us and all fans will know that our local hero will be with the Twins his entire career!
A couple other items regarding the minor leagues were also reported. Matt Bashore, who is rehabbing a torn ligament in his elbow, has been throwing bullpen sesssions. Joe Christensen reported that Loek VanMil threw one pitch before deciding he needed another MRI on his shoulder. Finally, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle beat writer Jim Mandelaro's family grew one larger on February 22nd with the birth of their daughter, Sophia Hayden.
Although the spring season is only two games old, the young bullpen prospects have been nearly perfect. Kyle Waldrop was the first to see action in Thursday's spring opener, pitching 1.0 inning with all zeros. Lefty Jose Lugo didn't do as well, picking up the loss while allowing 2 hits and a run in his first inning of the spring. Yesterday we saw all three of the top prospects we have been hearing about the past couple years. Rob Delaney pitched 1.0 inning with 2 hits and 2 strikeouts. Anthony Slama followed with a perfect inning with one strikeout. Alex Burnett was the third man in, pitching 1.0 inning with no hits and no runs. All indications are that the Red Wing bullpen will be loaded and excellent help will be available should the Twins bullpen need a shot in the arm this summer.
Several young prospects saw action on Thursday, including Trevor Plouffe, Rene Tosoni, Ben Revere, Steve Singleton, Brian Dinkelman, Luke Hughes, Juan Portes, Chris Parmelee and Danny Lehmann while Drew Butera and Brock Peterson were both starters. Hughes was the only player of the group to get a hit on a very cold night in Florida.
Isn't it great seeing Peterson, who is a former 49th round draft pick, in his second spring training with the Twins? Look for Brock to return to Rochester where he will be in the middle of a strong line-up that could make the Red Wings contenders this season.
In Friday's home opener, the Twins went with a starting line-up that will be very close to the Target Field opener next month. The one prospect in the lineup was third baseman Danny Valencia, who by getting the start confirms that the Twins are taking a serious look at this young prospect. It is likely that Valencia, who was 0-2, will be assigned to Rochester before returning to the Twins sometime this summer. Wilson Ramos, Roby Gardenhire, Chris Parmelee, Brian Dinkelman, Jair Fernandez, Luke Huges, Juan Portes and Danny Rams all saw action later in the game. Portes and Parmelee both had hits while Rams had a double and scored a run. After a huge month in Elizabethton last summer, Rams moved up to Beloit where he continued to hit for power (14 doubles and 7 home runs in 40 hits and 175 at bats), however, his average dropped to .229. All indications are that this young man has the tools to be a very good hitter, will this be his break-out year?