"You want to work on your weaknesses, but you can't forget to work on your strengths."
Wise words from Trevor Plouffe, and ones that can be forgotten amidst all the spring talk of ironing out wrinkles and fixing flaws.
Plouffe knows the weaknesses that he needs to work on, but he's not forgetting about the strengths that have made him the Twins' principal third baseman for two years running. And the greatest of those strengths isÖ well, strength.
The Twins made the short trip up to Port Charlotte Thursday night to take on the Rays. Scott Diamond, making his case for the fifth spot in the rotation, faced the same team that effectively knocked Vance Worley out of the running two nights earlier.
The Twins fell 5-4, their third loss in three tries since I arrived in Florida on Monday. There were a few interesting tidbits to be gleaned from the contest so let's dive in.
* Diamond looked
Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch
Every year I wait to watch the Twins in Spring Training before I form an opinion about how they will do this coming season. And I like to watch them in person to do this, just trying to see little signs here and little clues there. A bit before I did that, my arm was twisted to give a number of wins and position of finishing for the Twins this season, and I predicted that the Twins will go 81-81 to finish third in AL Central.
To begin, I like Ron Gardenhire. A lot of it stems from nostalgia, but I appreciate his candor, as well as his general stewardship of the Twins during his tenure with the team.
Like many, I have been confused and befuddled by many of his in-game decisions and substitutions, but ultimately, I donít necessarily believe that a baseball manager has the impact that coaches in other sports
Updated 03-21-2014 at 01:18 PM by DreInWA
The vibe down here in Ft. Myers is that the pitching will definitely improve this year. Although Vance Worley's ugly outing on Tuesday may still be fresh in your mind, various coaches and media types have commented on how sharp guys like Phil Hughes, Mike Pelfrey and Ricky Nolasco have looked. Kyle Gibson and Samuel Deduno have both been cruising.
There's less confidence that this club is going to score enough runs.
Last year, the Twins tallied 614 runs to rank 13th in
Content originally posted at Kevin Slowey was Framed!
I wrote a preview for each AL Central team this week. The Tigers preview appears in full below this section. If you are interested in the other four teams, just click on the team name below:
5. White Sox
That's how I think the teams will finish as well. You can read why if you'd like. Here's my Tigers preview:
Excellent read and I think does a good job of explaining player development processes from Radcliff of the Twins and the player development manager of the Angels.
* The Twins' lineup on Tuesday looked an awful lot like one we might see in the regular season, and that makes sense since we're less than two weeks from Opening Day and everyone was rested following a rainout on Monday.
I asked Ron Gardenhire after the game if we should make anything out of Alex Presley's presence in center field with this group of potential regulars.
"Gotta play everybody," he said, downplaying any significance. "Gotta see how they do against lefties,
It was only a minor-league start against Single-A hitters, but still the reviews of Phil Hughes on Tuesday were glowing.
"I thought he looked really good, really sharp," said assistant GM Rob Antony.
"Hughesy threw the [expletive] out of the ball," said Ron Gardenhire.
There's a palpable buzz surrounding Hughes this spring. If you ask anyone who's been down here for positive signs they've seen in a camp that has featured its fair
Obviously you want Joe in the lineup wherever you can get him. The problem is he is playing the one position we can reserve for far less talented players.
Colabello should come North, but where do you play him? Yes he can DH, but why wouldnt you put Mauer in the outfield or 3b, talk about competition for Plouffe...Another issue now with Sanos arm, can he play 3b? He might have to play first...yes I keep Joe in line up no matter what, but we are wasting him at 1b
There's really no way to put a positive spin on Vance Worley's start Tuesday night. With his chance of making the team very much on the line after back-to-back clunkers, the righty came out and delivered the worst outing of this spring -- for him or any other Twins starter.
The final line: 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 11 H, 2 BB, 1 K. Six doubles allowed. ZERO swinging strikes on 61 pitches.
Reflecting on the game, a dejected Worley couldn't find words to explain
I awake with sore hands and forearms, worry and stress cause me to clench my fists while I sleep-an outward manifestation of an inward feeling. My body tenses up in a reaction to the stresses of life. The only way I am able to defend against my stress reaction is through letting go, through surrendering. The truth is-open hands are always better than clenched fists.
I cut through the Florida morning fog on the way to the complex and see the sun rising over empty fields. I walk into
Overcast skies in the morning gave way to a bright sun, and this Tuesday has turned into a beautiful one here in Ft. Myers, where the Twins are getting set to face off against the Orioles in a couple hours.
To tide you over until then, here are a few notes gathered from wandering around the complex this morning and afternoon:
* Phil Hughes got his work in on the side fields earlier today, facing off against Orioles minor-leaguers under
1) Would you rather have player (A) who averaged 1 hit per game while going 1 for 4 every game during his season, but got on base at a .250 OBP and had a .527 Slugging Percentage. (30 HRs / 10 Triples / 30 Doubles / 92 singles / 302 Total Bases / 104 Runs Scored / 124 RBI)?
2) Would you rather have player (B) who through an entire season, got on base at a .405 OBP and had a .468 Slugging percentage. (10 HRs / 4 Triples / 28 Doubles / 168 singles / 276 Total Bases