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Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/18): Sands, Kernels...

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Article: Could the Twins Be the New 2015 Royals?

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Twins Blogosphere


Report From The Fort: Opening Day Stuff

FORT MYERS - It’s a weekend, we just had a big signing and baseball returns tonight, but digital ink is still free, so how about a notes column?

Get Here Early
This is the first time Twins Daily has covered spring training before games begin, and I have to say, we screwed that up. This is a great week to cover the team. Players have more time, more patience, and it’s fun to see what is being emphasized in the training drills.
All of those factors work in fans’ favor, too. Plus, the first day of full squad workouts (which was Monday) is an open house at Hammond Stadium. The team opens the stadium, serves half-price concessions, and fans can watch live batting practice (which is where we saw Willians Astudillo go deep on Jose Berrios) and then go play in the outfield.

Rocco’s Big (Long) Day
Usually on the first game of spring training, we see a packed house and something pretty close to the anticipated Twins starting lineup to start the game. It’s an electric atmosphere.

But that is complicated a little bit by a planned split squad today for the first day. In the afternoon, the Twins will send a group to Sarasota (about 1.5 hours away) to play the Orioles at 1:05 PM before their home opener tonight versus the Rays. MLB dictates that the visiting team needs to send several regulars to play at away games, so the home starting lineup may not be quite as robust.

But a topic of interest is how it also complicates new manager Rocco Baldelli’s day. The Twins have a tradition that on split-squad days, the Twins manager goes with the traveling team in solidarity. Baldelli will be honoring that, but then leaving midgame to race back to Fort Myers to also manage the home game at 6:05.

He said he would feel really good at the end of the day when it was all over. I didn’t have the heart to remind him that he has another game Sunday afternoon at 1:05 across town. It’ll be his third game in 24 hours.

Vegas Food
The winter meetings this offseason were in Las Vegas, and 23-year-old Nick Gordon, who is still the string bean the Twins drafted, attended them. I can relate to his favorite part of Las Vegas.

“Buffets,” Gordon exclaimed. “I loved the buffets. I’ve got a lot of room to grow. A lotta room to grow. I crushed them.”

(It is not apparent he crushed them. In fact, it’s not apparent he ate anything over the offseason.)

Your Daily Moment Of Zen (Adorable Category)

The Twins press corps’ collective hearts melted watching Justin Morneau play catch with his daughter Tuesday morning. She can’t be more than five years old, and he was tossing up short fly balls in Hammond Stadium’s foul territory. She would prance towards them in her little sun dress, miss several, catch some, and regardless gleefully throw the ball back back to him. The icing on the cake was about every five minutes she would run up to him with her hand out and he’d pour her a handful of sunflower seeds to chew on while she played.

Simple acts of pure joy, both for a father and daughter. Damn, but I love baseball. We’re back at it tonight. I can’t wait.

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12 Comments

I miss Justin Morneau, but I suspect he's pretty happy with his life right now. 

 

Go Twins!

So, I can infer from this that Nick Gordon didn't add a lot of obvious strength over the offseason? Or at least not a lot of apparent weight. 

 

Was hoping he'd get stronger to avoid the late season swoons the last couple. But maybe he's "wiry strong" now! 

 

We'll find out I guess...

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Tom Froemming
Feb 23 2019 07:46 AM

 

So, I can infer from this that Nick Gordon didn't add a lot of obvious strength over the offseason? Or at least not a lot of apparent weight. 

 

Was hoping he'd get stronger to avoid the late season swoons the last couple. But maybe he's "wiry strong" now! 

 

We'll find out I guess...

Power's not his calling card, but he's also not completely punchless. In 164 games at Double A, Gordon had 39 doubles, 11 triples and 14 home runs. He slugged .436 at that level. That's better than Eddie Rosario (.403 slugging in 149 AA games), Jorge Polanco (.380 SLG in 132 games), Jake Cave (.409 SLG in 225 games) and Mitch Garver (.419 SLG in 95 games).

    • birdwatcher, Monkeypaws, bluechipper and 3 others like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Feb 23 2019 09:27 AM

For the opener tonight my wife and I will be in seats 17 and 18, Row 13, section 113 (behind the Twins' dugout) Stop by and say hello. We'll be there early. David Benbow, Statesville, NC

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For the opener tonight my wife and I will be in seats 17 and 18, Row 13, section 113 (behind the Twins' dugout) Stop by and say hello. We'll be there early. David Benbow, Statesville, NC

Damn, I am jealous. Just finished snow blowing.....again!

    • brvama, tarheeltwinsfan, SF Twins Fan and 1 other like this

 

So, I can infer from this that Nick Gordon didn't add a lot of obvious strength over the offseason? Or at least not a lot of apparent weight. 

 

Was hoping he'd get stronger to avoid the late season swoons the last couple. But maybe he's "wiry strong" now! 

 

We'll find out I guess...

He's still young and growing.

I agree that Baldelli is busy right now, but does one really "manage" a ST game? I mean, everything is planned in advance isn't it, including pitching changes, substitutions, etc.

 

Besides Matt LeCroy as a pinch runner, of course.

    • Nine of twelve likes this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Feb 23 2019 03:27 PM

 

Damn, I am jealous. Just finished snow blowing.....again!

It is 84 in Ft. Myers. Temperatures are starting to lower to a low of 73 later tonight. Light breeze blowing. Blue skies with highfluffy white clouds. The crowd is starting to wander in for the 6:05 game. I'm on my way to purchase some nachos and cheese and hot peppers to go with my cold beverage. I wish every one of you TD readers and writers could join us tonight for our spring training opening game, honoring service members,and honoringAmerica with the National Anthem, as I stand at attention saluting the red, white and blue flag. Twins' fans welcome to "next year". The march to the World Series begins tonight. There will be fireworks after the game. I hope the Twins provide some fireworks during the game. I know I am "fired up"!

It is 84 in Ft. Myers. Temperatures are starting to lower to a low of 73 later tonight. Light breeze blowing. Blue skies with highfluffy white clouds.

flat,550x550,075,f.u2.jpg

    • Twins33 and tarheeltwinsfan like this
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Nine of twelve
Feb 23 2019 07:06 PM

 

Besides Matt LeCroy as a pinch runner, of course.

Wish I could have been at that game. One of my favorite spring training stories.

For those not aware, it must have been spring of 2004. Doug Mientkiewicz got a walk or a single sometime around the 6th inning and LeCroy immediately lobbied hard with Gardy to go in as a pinch runner and Gardy said, sure, what the heck. Mientkiewicz said something to the effect that it was the longest two and a half minutes of his life waiting for LeCroy to get from the dugout to first base.

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Buxton with a two-run single and a three-run homer.

 

World Series here we come!!!!

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tarheeltwinsfan
Feb 23 2019 09:20 PM

Royce Lewis did not play in the night game, but he was in the dugout afterb the 5th inning and he met eachTwins' player coming into the dugout after each inningwith a fist bump or high five or a pat on the back.. Lewis was being a leader, even though it was his first spring training game. He was encouraging the other players. I also noticed Rocco Baldelli do the same to a player who had warmed up the Twins' pitcher while waiting for theregular catcher to put on his gear. I liked the positive energy.

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