The Twins saw a couple of familiar faces on the other side of the diamond when they squared off against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday afternoon in Ft. Myers. However, at the end of the day, er.. game, there was no winner. The game ended after nine innings with a 1-1 tie in front of a Hammond Stadium record crowd of 8,764.
Ben Revere reminded Twins fans of what they missed in the bottom of the fourth inning. Josh Willingham lined a ball to left-centerfield. Revere ran toward the gap and left his feet. He made one of his patented diving catches, parallel to the ground. It warranted cheers from the home crowd. He went 1-4 in the game.
It comes as the Twins still have a question at centerfield. “(Aaron) Hicks hasn’t been out there. (Alex) Presley’s been fine. (Darin) Mastroianni’s out there today,” Rob Antony continued before the game, “You’d always like the players to determine it for you if you’ve got an open competition. It’s a little tougher when no one separates themselves.”
Also, former Twins pitcher Jeff Manship started on the mound for the Phillies. He is currently in a bit of a battle for the 5th
starter job with Philadelphia. He gave up one run against the Twins, a first inning, RBI single off the bat of his former battery mate, Joe Mauer. It would prove to be the lone run for the Twins on the day.
Mike Pelfrey was good through three. He uncharacteristically walked two, but did not allow a run or a hit over his three innings. Sam Deduno gave up only a bloop single and a walk. Kyle Gibson pitched better than his line. He gave up an unearned run on just one hit. He also walked a batter. Seven of the nine batters who put the ball in play against him hit the ball into the ground. He was sitting at 93-94 mph with the fastball with a slider in the mid-80s. Michael Tonkin pitched a scoreless ninth and struck out two on fastballs. He touched 97 a couple of times.
Replay was again part of the storyline. In fact, Ron Gardenhire asked for replay twice in a matter of two batters. The first play was whether a Brandon Warring wild throw went out of play. The second was a play at home. Danny Santana threw home and Chris Herrmann thought he applied the tag. The home plate umpire disagreed.
In both cases, the calls were not reversed. It wasn’t because of conclusive evidence, just that there aren’t as many cameras and angles at the spring training games as there would be in a regular season big league game.
Sunday Twins Notes:
I talked to lefty Logan Darnell shortly before he was told he would be sent down to minor league camp. He was very excited to have been added to the 40 man roster and has enjoyed his time with the Twins. He hopes to return to Rochester where he ended the 2013 season. In his first start with the Red Wings, he had a blister pop, said it was bleeding all over. At New Britain, he had finally reached a point where he was consistent, and consistently eating innings and succeeding. When he got up to Rochester, he had to make an adjustment. He said he just struggled with that consistency at the new level. He wants to correct that and hopes to debut sometime in 2014.
Chris Colabello and I chatted a little this morning as well. I asked him about decision to remain with the Twins instead of signing in Korea where he would have been guaranteed (reportedly) about double the amount that he would make with the Twins in 2014 if he was on the roster the full season. However, he said it wasn’t about the money. “I basically paid to play independent league ball for all those years.”
It reminds me of a guy in a similar situation who had the same opportunity. A year before he made his big league debut with the Phillies, Chris Coste was offered the opportunity to play in Korea. He said the money made it something to consider. However, he told me, “My goal isn’t to play in Korea, it’s to play in the big leagues.”
You have to admire the sentiment.
Aaron Hicks said that his elbow felt fine. Likely would be another day. Rob Antony said that with the day off tomorrow, he will likely play on Tuesday. The same is true for Oswaldo Arcia who took batting practice on Saturday.
Pedro Florimon took a full round of infield on Saturday. On Sunday, he took a round of batting practice. Rob Antony said, “He’s going to hit off of live pitching in the next day or two and will likely be in games by the end of the week. His first game will probably be in three games or something.”
Dan Rohlfing was the Twins 14th
round pick in 2007 out of high school near St. Louis. He was a project. He played third base in high school and the Twins made him a catcher. He slowly worked through the Twins system. In recent years, he’s logged time in the upper levels of the minor leagues, splitting time between catcher and the outfield.
He could have become a minor league free agent following the season, but when the Twins told him right away they wanted him back, he didn’t give it a second thought. He and his agent worked out the details to get him to the Dominican Republic where he was part of a championship. Once that was set, he was thrilled to sign back with the Twins.
I talked to Adam Walker down at minor league camp for a while. The Wisconsin native spent some time around the holidays at his parent’s place. There was a big snow storm. He had to shovel. He soon returned to Jacksonville (where he went to college) where he spent the rest of his offseason.
Talked to Luke Bard, who was married in January. Although he is listed on the DL on the minor league rosters, he says that his arm feels really good.
The Twins have an off day on Monday. However, the minor leaguers will play their first games of the year. It will be Rochester against New Britain and Ft. Myers against Cedar Rapids.