There isn't a great deal of noteworthy items regarding the local nine in recent days. The latest player movements involve the Mike Pelfrey signing, the Kurt Suzuki signing, and the subsequent outrighting of Darin Mastroianni. Eddie Rosario was officially suspended (50 games/non PEDs), and Miguel Sano and Josmil Pinto still have the slightest of injury worries - OK, maybe Sano's is a bit more than slight -- but ultimately, pretty much all is quiet on the Twins front.
Here are some lower-profile news and notes items from the past week or two:
The Twins released the official list of spring training invitations. Here are some of the notable names getting invites to rub elbows with big leaguers and the big league hopefuls:
The club also announced that Eddie Guardado, Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, and Tom Kelly would be joining the staff as guest instructors down in Fort Myers
The 54th annual Twins Winter Caravan kicks off today, with two groups -- led by someone from the Treasure Island baseball network -- going out most days, and three groups on Tuesday and Wednesday (Jan. 21-22). View the details and complete itineraries here, including dates and times broadcasters, personalities, and players may be coming to a city near you. The Caravan will run straight into TwinsFest, which will be held at Target Field Jan. 24-26. Tickets are available at a much more limited quantity than years' past -- available here -- but as of this afternoon it appears there are still tickets available for each day.
One of my favorite memories of high school was senior year, when I as a captain got to meet up with the Caravan contingent dispatched to my hometown (Roseau, Minn.). We got to tour the Polaris Industries plant with Dick Bremer and Corey Koskie, and briefly got to pepper them with questions afterward. I remember Bremer telling me his favorite park was Safeco Field, and that he had the best job in the world. Also, Koskie sort of drug his feet through the Polaris plant tour. "You've been here before, haven't you," I asked him quizzically. "Yeah," Koskie lamented. "We did the same tour last year." He was a pretty good guy to chat with, however.
One of my favorite Caravan stories that has nothing to do with me. I don't want to ruin it too much, but I'll link to it here. Let's just say it involves the manager, former Twins Nick Blackburn and Scott Baker, and the phrase "Thanks a lot, Bin Laden."
At the risk of a bit of self-promotion, I created a tool over at my personal website that lists the Twins 40-man in order from oldest to youngest. I'm not sure how much practical utility it has, but it sure is neat to see some weird age pairings. For instance, Joe Mauer and Samuel Deduno are nearly the same age. So too are Anthony Swarzak and Andrew Albers.
Former Twins farmhand Yangervis Solarte inked a minor league deal with the Yankees over the weekend per Ken Rosenthal, and it sounds like he could be squarely in the spring training mix for playing time at second and third base for the Bombers. Solarte is a former Seth Stohs favorite if my mind recalls correctly, and he's spent the last two seasons with Triple-A Round Rock (Rangers affiliate, PCL). Last year, he hit .276/.323/.403 while playing second, third, short, and a little bit of left field.
Per Baseball America, here are where some other former Twins have landed on minor league deals this offseason:
LHP Pedro Hernandez - Rockies
SS Ray Olmedo - Rays
OF Jordan Parraz - Diamondbacks
OF Antoan Richardson - Yankees
OF Clete Thomas - Phillies
RHP P.J. Walters - Royals
OF Joe Benson - Marlins
2B Alexi Casilla - Orioles
IF Brendan Harris - Dodgers
RHP Phil Humber - Athletics
OF Dustin Martin - Braves
OF Darnell McDonald - Cubs
C Corky Miller - Reds
1B Brock Peterson - Nationals
LHP Tyler Robertson - Nationals
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith - Diamondbacks
RHP Kevin Slowey - Marlins
2B Matt Tolbert - Phillies
IF Steve Tolleson - Blue Jays
Furthermore, BA lists the following minor league deals for the Twins:
That list can't be totally complete, however, as I'm sure the Twins have also inked Wilkin Ramirez, Lester Oliveros, Jason Bartlett, Jason Kubel, James Beresford, Deibinson Romero, and probably a few others as well.
Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com reported that Carl Pavano is working out in an attempt to come back to the MLB. Pavano last pitched for the Twins in 2012, in an injury-plagued/shortened campaign in which he posted a 6.00 ERA. Pavano suffered a severe spleen injury last winter in a snow shoveling-related fall, but appears to be fully recovered and on the comeback trail. At 37, the odds are stacked against him, though.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels announced that the Kernels foundation would be administering a scholarship on behalf of Nick Adenhart's family in the amount of $1,000. While Adenhart was never part of the Twins organization, his brief career path included a trip through Cedar Rapids in 2006 when the club was an Angels affiliate. Adenhart was killed tragically when the car he was riding in was hit by a drunk driver on April 9, 2009. He was just 22 years old.
The deadline to submit applications is March 28, 2014, and the forms can be found at www.kernels.com.