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Sunday Morning Baseball & Breakfast: Nathan, Slama, Liriano, Valencia, Hardy, Revere, Ramos & Butera

Which is more delicious:  breakfast or baseball?  They're both great any time of day.  Or night.  But unless it's my dad's breakfast, I think I have to go with baseball.

  • Today will keep a lot of people on edge as we wait to hear how Joe Nathan's throwing session has gone, but right now it's been very "hush hush".  As he's said, there will be no in-between--if it doesn't feel right, that's it.  If it feels okay, then we take it one day at a time and see how it goes.  Over at the Strib, Josephine Marcotty has more on Tommy John surgery.
  • As Cmathewson's FanShot mentioned late last night, Patrick Reusse wonders if Anthony Slama is the one new face who will break camp with the Twins in a couple of weeks.  Of course, a lot of his chances hinge on Nathan.  Slama has appeared in just four games this spring, including twice in the last three games, and has struck out eight in four innings of work while walking just one.
  • Something that will hopefully stop some pretty baseless speculationFrancisco Liriano will be a starter.  Nobody should be surprised.
  • Joe Christensen has more for those who question the logic of the organization optioning Daniel Valencia this week:

Players on the 40-man roster who did not finish the previous year in the majors need to be optioned before today (16 days before Opening Day), or, in the event of an injury, they must be kept on the major league DL.

Obviously that's not comforting to people who wanted Valencia to get the starting job at third, but it answers the question as to why the Twins moved so quickly in spite of a good last few days with the team.

I really don't have an issue with this.  Valencia will get his chances this season.

  • J.J. Hardy played in a minor league game yesterday and apparently feels fine.  He should be back with the Twins in fairly short order.
  • Ben Revere picked up five more at-bats yesterday and continues to be, far and away, the spring leader in playing time.  In 13 games and 38 at-bats, Revere is 12-for-38 (.316) with three doubles, a triple and a pair of stolen bases.  He's also struck out 11 times without taking a single walk, which is a rather large departure from his minor league track record.  But they'll come.  For a 21-year old kid getting his first taste, he's holding his own.
  • Nothing is becoming clear quite yet in the competition for Joe Mauer's April backup.  Wilson Ramos has played in fewer games but has picked up more at-bats than Drew Butera, and certainly seems to be the favorite of Ron Gardenhire.  I don't have much of a preference as for who goes north for a month, even though Ramos clearly is the better player; I can see both sides of the decision.

See you for the game this afternoon!