Blake Parker is saying all the right things about his role with the Twins. In other words, he will be happy to accept whatever role the team gives him. My hope: “bullpen ace.” If Parker can lock down the highest-leverage innings, it will go a long way towards ending the Twins’ problems with walk-off losses, which haunted them last season. There’s a lot more insight into Parker as well, in his recent conversation with Judd Zulgad.
Jake Cave isn’t even hitting his weight this spring, but he has still impressed Rocco Baldelli with his hustle and drive. Cave has focused primarily on staying healthy this offseason, and has the opportunity to grab a roster spot this spring. No word on the dampness-level of his blanket, but the reports make it sound pretty dry.
Marney Gellner (deservedly) made a little history as the first woman to call a Twins game. Technically, she did it a couple years ago during FSN’s 9-positions-in-9-innings stunt, but this time was the first stint of longer than an inning. C.J. Cron even gave her the opportunity to debut her home run call.
Remember Alexi Casilla? To be honest, I had kind of forgotten about him, lost in a long string of mediocrity up the middle of the diamond, interspersed with occasional bouts of truly awful baseball, before the Twins settled on the combination of Dozier and Polanco. Anyway, over at Call to the Pen they dug up the fact that Casilla is still actively playing baseball in the Atlantic League.
Who was the best manager in Twins’ history? At Twins’ Daily, Mike Link took a look at a couple of metrics in an attempt to decide. Does your vote go to TK, Gardy, Molly, or someone else? Personally, I’ll go with Ron Gardenhire. He might have never won the big one, but he saw a lot of sustained success.
Speaking of Gardy and Alexi, Kyle Yost at Bless You Boys looked into Gardy’s use of a “utility” player, and it just confirmed what I remembered. Plus, this gives me an excuse to bring up Nick Punto, and any excuse to bring up LNP is a good one. Gardy’s most likely utility guy this season is another old friend, Niko Goodrum.