Notebook: Andrelton Simmons Arrives
Image courtesy of © Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY SportsFinal: Braves 4, Twins 0 (7 innings)
Box Score ǀ Savant
Standout Pitcher: Matt Shoemaker (2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)
Standout Hitter: Keon Broxton (2-2 2B)
Twins’ Spring Training Skid Continues
After two one-run victories in their first two Grapefruit League games, the Twins have hit a cold spell, dropping the last four contests. A common thread through their defeats has been a lack of offense, as the team has put up 0, 6, 2, and 0 runs in their last four games respectively Today, they had fewer hits (3) than the Braves had runs (4). Worry not though, because a lot at-bats have been going to minor league players and the guys who are expected to big bats in the major league lineup have shown mostly good signs at the plate (such as Cruz and Garver’s bombs). In fact, only Arraez and Cave represented the big club in the lineup for today’s game. Still, it’s easier to get excited about prospects when you get to see them succeed.
Shoemaker and Dobnak Impress
There’s a Spring Training battle brewing for the fifth rotation spot, and both combatants pitched well today. Matt Shoemaker started the game and crafted 2 1/3 perfect innings with two strikeouts. It’s hard to imagine a better start for the new Twin; he retired the centerpieces of the Braves franchise in order, getting guys like Albies, Acuña, Freeman, and Ozuna to strikeout or create weak contact.
If Shoemaker gets an A for the day (which he does), then Randy Dobnak gets an A-. The Uber Driver started the fourth and also hurled 2 1/3 scoreless but allowed three hits, including a double to Johan Camargo in the fifth inning to put men on second and third. Dobnak struck out Guillermo Heredia to get out of the inning unscathed.
Shaun Anderson and Luke Farrell also had scoreless outings, but Brandon Waddell didn’t fare as well. Waddell came in with one out in the sixth and faced six batters, allowed three hits (two for extra bases), walked two, and threw a wild pitch. Waddell never got the third out as the Twins called for an end to the inning with two outs and a man on second.
Keon Broxton Stays Hot
Broxton was by far the best Twins hitter today on a day where that’s not much of an accomplishment. The recent minor league signee had a single to left and a double to deep right in his only two at-bats. His knocks were two of the three Twins hits and two of only five instances where the Twins got a man on base. Broxton is now 4-for-7 this spring. Last week, Tom Froemming wrote in his Sire of Fort Myers Preview that Broxton was a front-runner for the prestigious award, and his prediction is looking good so far. Might have to start calling him Nostra-Tom-us.
Tomorrow: Twins at Red Sox, 12:05 CST, Pineda vs. Eovaldi, game is scheduled for 5 innings
Simmons Reports to Camp
Andrelton Simmons’ visa debacle has reached a conclusion. The new Twins shortstop reported to camp today and will enter the COVID-19 protocols to join the team on the field. The Twins seem to think he can get playing relatively soon.
Simmons, who is a native of Curaҫao, has been missing from Twins camp with visa issues for the past two weeks. For a detailed explanation of the visa process for big-league ballplayers, check out Cory Caouette’s article here.
Astros, Jays Looking at Odorizzi
The Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly among teams looking into signing former Twin Jake Odorizzi. The Astros interest comes after news broke that starter Framber Valdez may be sidelined as much as a whole season with a fractured finger on his throwing hand.
Odorizzi has been sitting on the market all offseason, waiting for a big multi-year contract. Whether Houston offers him that remains to be seen (and seems unlikely), but injuries like the one to Valdez will help Odo find a deal that satisfies him, even if it is on a short-term contract. Odorizzi looks like he may find a home soon.
Former Twin Dyson Suspended
Former Twins reliever Sam Dyson was suspended today for the entire 2021 season after breaking MLB’s domestic violence policy.
More Good COVID-19 Testing News
It seems the first week of games went safely – let’s hope this continues.
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