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Twins Spring Training Gazette: Perez, Bauer, Berardino, Bourn, the Pope and So Much More

Actual news items from spring training. Finally.

Your new fifth starter?
Your new fifth starter?

Pitchers and catchers have reported, sparing you, the reader, from further fake oral histories about former Twins infielders and user's guides to portly Phillies outfielders, and subjecting you to actual news and shit. Here we go:

  • The Twins signed longtime Cleveland reliever Rafael Perez to a minor-league deal on Thursday. The lefty was non-tendered by Cleveland in the off-season and is coming off shoulder surgery. As noted by leading Kate Mara enthusiast Aaron Gleeman, Perez was a very effective set-up man prior to the hurty arm, with an ERA under 3.60 in four of his first five seasons. The intriguing part of this comes from's Rhett Bollinger, who was told by Twins assistant GM and Friend of the Blog Rob Antony that Perez will be stretched out to start in spring training. Perez was a starter in the minors, but has been strictly a reliever in the majors. Honestly, why not? The Twins already have Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing and Tyler Robertson as bullpen lefties, while the rotation can be politely called "in flux." May as well see what he's got.
  • Speaking of potential starters, will Mike Pelfrey be ready for opening day? Per the Strib's Phil Miller, Pelfrey thinks so. Friend of the Blog Parker Hageman also considers the question and how it relates to fellow rehabber Scott Baker.
  • Cleveland signed Michael Bourn to a 4-year, $48 million deal. They still have a starting rotation that compares to the Twins in "what is this, exactly"-ness, but still.
  • Also in Cleveland, pitcher Trevor Bauer recorded a dis rap to respond to criticisms from his former Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero. If you think I haven't started a Joe Mauer dis rap post for a rainy day, you would be wrong. It will be about milk and being polite.
  • The Pioneer Press has finally announced their Twins beat writer for 2013: former South Florida Sun Sentinel columnist Mark Berardino. He's on Twitter, so follow him as per your own personal beliefs.
  • Via the Washington Post, former Twins outfielder Denard Span is being pelted with fish by evil birds, and is not happy about it or the rest of the natural world. I swear I'm not making this up, as the linked video shows.
  • I haven't heard if the Twins are in on him, but you have to be impressed with the power potential of Polish prospect Karol Jozef Wojtyla. I haven't done swing analysis, but to the naked eye it looks like he keeps his hands back and squares up the ball like a seasoned veteran.