Sire of Fort Myers Final Update: Ode to Ryne Harper
Image courtesy of © Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY SportsUPDATE: The polls are officially open.
Last we checked in, Harper and 35-year-old infielder Adam Rosales had established themselves as the favorites. Well, Rosales cooled off and was released Friday evening. Still, his .278/.350/.694 batting line, a 1.044 OPS, makes him a finalist regardless. He was by far the most impressive hitter among those who qualified for the title.
Among the other five names listed in the last update, Lucas Duda was let go and has since signed with the Royals, Tim Collins was also just released Friday night and LaMonte Wade was reassigned to minor league camp.
A month ago, I didn’t even list Harper among the top 10 candidates for Sire of Fort Myers. Though most of his competition is no longer in big league camp with the Twins, there are still a few other candidates lingering. They’re also right-handed relief pitchers.
Mike Morin has also had a strong spring. While Harper’s big, slow curveball has dazzled, Morin has really turned heads with his changeup. He’s given up four runs on nine hits and two walks over 9 ⅔ innings, striking out nine batters in the process. Preston Guilmet is also still in big league camp with the Twins. He’s given up four earned in 8 ⅔ innings but has an eye-popping 14 strikeouts, which leads the team. Prospect Ryan Eades has also shined. He's only yielded one earned run in seven innings while striking out nine batters.
But you can’t get lower than a 0.00 ERA.
Harper hasn’t given up an earned run in 10 innings, he’s only surrendered seven hits and hasn’t walked a single batter. He’s also racked up 13 strikeouts. Here’s his outing from Friday night:
Harper is now the clear favorite for Sire of Fort Myers, but what about those odds of making the Opening Day roster? Well, it would certainly make for an amazing story.
Harper has pitched in more than 300 games in his professional career. He was called up to the Mariners for a couple days in 2017 but did not make his major league debut. He turns 30 on Wednesday. Opening Day is Thursday.
Can you imagine what it would mean to him to hear his name announced during intros at Target Field? I’m getting chills just thinking about it!
Fernando Romero has already been optioned to the minor leagues. Addison Reed and Matt Magill haven’t pitched in well over a week. A path has been cleared. I’m rooting hard for Harper to break camp with the Twins, but it’s undeniable that those 186 career MLB appearances look really good on Morin’s resume.
The final vote for Sire of Fort Myers will take place in the forums section here at Twins Daily on starting on Monday. Make sure your voice is heard.
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