If I could type this in all caps, I would. I mean I could, but I don’t think TJ would be happy with it. Now that I think about it, it’s a game thread. Anything goes, right? Okay, here:
BASEBALL GAMES ARE BACK TODAY! WOO HOO!
We’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel, friends. The snow is melting and baseball games have returned to our lives. Even if it’s just spring training games, it’s a milestone in the year and it’s just one step closer to the regular season.
This game thread will be used for tonight’s and tomorrow’s games. I think it’s only fair that we get spring training for our writing and game thread commenting, right?
Neither game will be on the tube, but MLB.com does carry the games for free if you’re not in range of a TIBN affiliate (or if the affiliate is not carrying it, which happens a lot during ST). The stream will carry TV and radio feeds of the teams that provide it, if any, for free throughout Spring Training.
Tonight: Minnesota Golden Gophers at Minnesota Twins
First pitch: 5:05p Central
Radio: Treasure Island Baseball Network, MLB.com
Know Thine Enemy: The Daily Gopher
The Twins will start off the spring with an exhibition game against the Golden Gophers baseball team. Superstar Randy Dobnak will start for the Twins and it’s expected that lefties Blaine Hardy, Danny Coulombe, and Civil War veteran Sam Clay along with righties Trevor May, Tyler Duffey, and Matt Wisler will get some time on the mound as well.
On the batting side, well, might as well call it a “Turn the Clock Forward” game to maybe 2025?
- Royce Lewis, SS
- Ryan Jeffers, C
- Trevor Larnach, DH
- Brent Rooker, LF
- Travis Blankenhorn, 2B
- Gilberto Celestino, CF
- Zander Wiel, 1B
- Jack Reinheiemer, 3B
- Jimmy Kerrigan, RF
Alex Kirilloff was batting second in the lineup and playing right field according to a lineup card yesterday, but has been scratched for tonight’s game as his wife gave birth today. Rocco Baldelli also has bunch of bench players that look to get in some time tonight and some additional arms in the bullpen for the contest:
Tonight’s lineup vs. the Gophers features a lot of the Twins’ top prospects. pic.twitter.com/GIl3mClExb— Betsy Helfand (@betsyhelfand) February 21, 2020
The Gophers of Gold just started their season at the Angels College Classic in Arizona, coming away with a 2-2 record. Their last game was a 5-2 victory in their favor against the Arizona Wildcats. After this, they’ll head on home to host a 14-game homestand at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. College baseball scheduling is weird.
U of M head coach John Anderson is giving freshman Trent Schoeberl the nod this evening. The righty is a product of White Bear Lake. He has one appearance this season, which came on Sunday against the San Diego Toreros. He closed out the game with a three-inning performance, allowing a hit and striking out two batters en route to a Minnesota loss by a score of 7-3.
The Maroon and Gold’s lineup is as follows:
- Andrew Wilhite, LF
- Zack Raabe, 2B
- Jack Kelly, C
- Ronald Sweeny, 1B
- Jack Wassel, 3B
- Jordan Kozicky, SS
- Drew Hmielewski, CF
- Gabe Knowles, DH
- Easton Bertrand, RF
Saturday: Minnesota Twins at Pittsburgh Pirates
First pitch: 12:05p Central
Radio: W-C-C-O 830 AM, Treasure Island Baseball Network, MLB.com
Know Thine Enemy: Bucs Dugout
Baldelli will have Devin Smeltzer start Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener for the Twins. Smeltzer pitched to a 3.86 ERA and 4.58 FIP in 11 games (six starts) for Minnesota last season. 38 strikeouts and 12 walks lead to a 3.12 K/BB ratio. He’ll be battling for the open spot in the starting rotation.
Former Twins coach Derek Shelton will send out Mitch Keller for the Pirates. Keller, a top pitching prospect for the Bucs, started 11 games in the majors last year, pitching to a 7.13 ERA and 3.19 FIP in 48 innings of work. Most impressive was his 12.2 K/9 rate. He’ll also battle for a spot in the Pittsburgh rotation this spring.
Here are the lineups, courtesy of Do-Hyoung Park. The Twins are giving some prospects a start for a second game in a row:
Lineups today for Twins vs. Pirates. Nice mix of Major League depth and top prospects for Minnesota behind Devin Smeltzer. pic.twitter.com/Zi3ECjXJl8— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) February 22, 2020
GO TWIMS GO!