Saturday Twins Pre-Game Blog
Image courtesy of Seth StohsJames Beresford was on the field about five hours prior to the start of tonight's game, taking ground balls at third base. He was wearing his green Mr. 1000 shirt that his teammates in Rochester gave him. He had found out that he was going to make his Major League debut. He will be hitting eighth and playing third base tonight.
In the clubhouse before the game, he said he was very excited but not nervous. He thought that would come later on.
I asked him if he truly did not know that his parents were flying in from Australia or not. He said he didn't know anything about it, although the fact that he didn't hear from either of them after his first game was very surprising. It did make him wonder a little bit. He said when Brian Dozier told him to follow, he did.
Dozier said it was a lot of fun to surprise James that night. It was the first time he had met the Beresford family. At tonight's game will be Beresford's family, his brother Simon and his wife. His girlfriend arrived in town on Friday. So, there will certainly be a cheering section for Beresford in the family section tonight.
I chatted briefly with lefty Pat Dean in the clubhouse. Players were starting to head out for their pregame stretch, so I said, "I better get going and write something."
He responded, "Keep it positive!"
I laughed and said, "Hey, I'll try."
- Let's start with Dean. He said he has enjoyed his time in the big leagues this year and by season's end, it will be a half-season. He said it was a little different coming out of the bullpen, something he had to adjust to. I asked if he had come into a game with runners on. He smiled and noted that he allowed two of Pat Light's runners to score. "that is an awful feeling." That was positive, right Pat? It was a positive learning experience.
- Byron Buxton was really happy with how he's playing right now. A quiet, humble guy, Buxton said there were times he was frustrated after being sent down the second time. But he said it's nice seeing the hard work paying off with numbers and stats finally. He said, "The key has been patience."
- Alex Wimmers said that big league life has been everything he thought it would be and more. He said "After all the things I've come back from, injuries and such, it's really rewarding to get this opportunity. I was at the point where I didn't know what would happen at the end of the year."
- Wimmers also said that becoming a father this season has been instrumental in his success on the mound too. He said it's provided him with a proper perspective on the game and everything.
- The other thing he enjoyed was being a co-closer in Rochester with JT Chargois. He said it put him into the mindset of the pitchers before him did a great job to put the team in position to win, and he didn't want to let the whole team down, so it really pushed his focus on the mound to a different level.
- I verified with Andrew Albers that he is NOT on Twitter. There is a twitter account that has his name with a number and the profile picture is of the southpaw, but it is not him.
- Cory Provus said that he'd be doing college football and basketball on the Big Ten Network again this offseason.
- Tonight there is a Brian Dozier blaze orange winter hat giveaway with certain, special tickets to get them. In the clubhouse before the game, he had a duck call that he sounded off a few times. Dozier's obviously a big outdoorsman who spends a lot of his offseason hunting, in addition to traveling to third-world countries helping as he can. Some of the proceeds from tonight's event will go to Pheasants Forever.
- 1987 Minnesota Twins World Series hero is at Target Field tonight. Before the game, he was seen talking with former teammates like Bert Blyleven, Dan Gladden, and Tom Brunansky, as well as Tony Oliva.
- It was good to catch up with Jose Berrios as well. He talked a little about how frustrated he was when he was optioned to Rochester the first time. He said it took him almost a week to kind of get over the disappointment and feeling like he let people down. He said, "Once you go to the big leagues, you don't want to go back to the minor leagues." He said he got back to work and figured some things out. He knew why he was optioned and what he needed to do. He said he never lost confidence or the drive to be great. He also understood why he was optioned again in late August, but he said that time he was able to go to Rochester and be successful right away, pointing out the 14 strikeout in eight-inning outing. He's excited to be back.
- David Laurila from FanGraphs is at Target Field for this three-game series. Be sure to follow him on Twitter. @DavidLaurilaQA.
- When I got to the stadium and was approaching the clubhouse, I saw lefty Taylor Rogers walking through the halls with his Twins brother Tyler to his side. It's a good thing Taylor was in his Twins garb or there's no way a person could tell the two apart. How fun would it be if the two decided to swap for a day. Frew would notice, at least not until Tyler got on the mound and threw right-handed, and submarine. What a story that would be!
- Byron Buxton and Ryan Pressly had their eyes on one of the clubhouse TVs watching the end of the Oklahama State/Central Michigan game. When the "hail mary/lateral/TD" was completed, giving Central Michigan the upset, Pressly and Buxton leapt in amazement, and understandably so. I was talking to Alex Wimmers at the time and we looked up at the monitor. A minute later, Wimmers sat and pointed to the TV right across from his locker, perfectly situated so he could watch. "That's my game" It was showing Ohio State.
- Trevor Plouffe was officially placed on the 15-Day Disabled List before the game.
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