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Front Page: The Defensive Future of Royce Lewis

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:29 AM
Royce Lewis has been lighting up the Arizona Fall League with a 1.066 OPS which ranks second in the league. He helped the East to win the...

Yankees Post-season FAILURES

Other Baseball Today, 08:27 AM
This has been rehashed time and time again so I won't get into the Twins failures against the Yankees. Instead, this is about the Yankees...

Front Page: Excellent Plate Discipline Emphasizes Why Lui...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:26 AM
In a season where records were set with the long ball, Luis Arraez made a name for himself with his discipline at the plate and contact h...

Front Page: Dealing with Wheeler Gets Minnesota an Ace

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:19 AM
This offseason the Minnesota Twins chief focus is going to be on acquiring impact pitching. The front office has suggested as much, and w...

Front Page: A Relief Ace Rotation, Part 2: What Does A Re...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:52 AM
Yesterday, we looked at some of the Twins’ best relievers’ struggles with zero days rest. Is it time to consider scheduling the Twins' ac...

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Hammond Notes - March 23

Posted by ashbury , 23 March 2015 · 1,227 views

Here is a photo of Stephen Wickens warming up this morning. Are you sad to see this? I'm not, and you shouldn't be either:

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Why? Because: No One Mourns The Wickens.

Hey, we went to Miami the other night to see Wicked, and I had to get this groaner out of my system once and for all. :)
(Really??? He leads off with THIS?)
So. After missing a couple of days of spring training Friday and Saturday, and then Sunday's minor league activities cancelled for a well earned day off, I was back at the fields at last today. Had nice chats with fellow TDers Halsey Hall, Thrylos, and Stringer Bell. Our youngest son AshburySteven is now with us for the remainder of the trip, and that added to the atmosphere for me.

After watching the stretching and the drills at the back fields, we came back front and saw batting practice in the major league cages - mainly Hunter, Rosario, Schafer and Mauer.

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Tony O was around the cages but I didn't get a good picture of him except his back. Kneeling and resting against a bat, almost as though he knows he'll get photographed. :)

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Then the hitters went to the adjacent field for a bit of fresh air and some swings against a live backdrop. Vargas put on his usual show with several very loud flies beyond the fences in all directions. I'm hoping to see him nick the top of the nearby cellphone tower one of these days - that would probably be only about 1400 feet total, seemingly within his reach.

Meanwhile, May and Milone were getting their throwing sessions in. I snapped this shot just after they were finished and were chatting with their coach:

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Then it was back to the back fields: games against Baltimore's young'uns commenced at noon, and a pickup game between what I took to be divided between low-A and high-A Twins prospects was on the remaining field began at one pm.

In the AA game there were early homers by Gonzalez, AB Walker and Kanzler, interrupted only by a loud out by Paulino. The wind wasn't yet as much of a factor as it later became, and I think all these were probably legitimate.

Goodrum booted a routine grounder that should have been a DP. Not good.

Meanwhile on the AAA field, Ervin Santana was getting some innings in. This is him warming up to start the first:

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He wasn't especially sharp in the first couple of innings, but after a while I saw that the batters were having a difficult time and getting fooled frequently.

Back on the AA field, Baxendale proved to be little mystery to the Baltimores and I didn't keep track of the actual score to know if he gave back all the runs he'd been provided. Here he is during his warmup tosses:

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And later ABW hit another home run for the good guys. I don't think anyone doubts his power, and his success will hinge ultimately on not striking out so much, but watching this was pretty cool.

Levi Michael reached first base, and then a pitch or three later he headed for second base a little too soon and looked like a dead duck. But the Orioles' pitcher, Bobby Bundy I think, inexplicably threw to first base; by the time his fielders had it all sorted out Michael was in at second safely. I guess the official scorer calls it a SB - the runner never deviated from going to second - but geez.

PA of the day for me was a humble walk by Sano. It started with a called strike and then a foul down the third base line for 0-2, and I decided at that point it was worth watching even more closely. Sano showed remarkable pitch recognition, I thought, and took four presentable pitches calmly and without drama, yet without leaving me in doubt that he would have tried to smack one in the strike zone. A very professional appearance at the plate.

Later in the AA game Meijia was in for Goodrum at SS, and I thought he also acquitted himself poorly on one play, a deep grounder where a good arm would have gotten the runner but he arced it.

There was a long HR, possibly wind-aided by this point, by a Webb (Brenden?) for Baltimore. I made a note to myself to look him up, but I see now that he spent his age-24 season in high-A and combines decent power with a low BA. Not a prospect to watch, after all.

And back again to the AAA game, I note sadly that Buxton still hasn't done anything at the plate my entire time in Florida so far. On the plus side, I believe Meneses made a very fine catch (racing over from second base) in foul territory.

Rain clouds had been building this entire time, with the wind picking up, and by the time I noticed that the other (intrasquad) game was going, we had just walked over to see a couple of pitches from Jorge Felix (or is it Felix Jorge?) when the rain started in earnest. All three games were summarily halted, and within three minutes had been called. The Orioles players trotted toward their buses, and I headed for my car. We thus missed an hour or so of more baseball, but it was a very fine time nonetheless.




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lightfoot789
Mar 23 2015 04:13 PM

In the AA game there were early homers by Gonzalez, AB Walker and Kanzler, interrupted only by a loud out by Paulino.

 

And later ABW hit another home run for the good guys. I don't think anyone doubts his power, and his success will hinge on not striking out so much, but this was pretty cool. 

 

All three games were summarily halted, and within three minutes had been called. The Orioles players trotted toward their buses, and I headed for my car. We missed an hour or so of more baseball, but it was a very fine time nonetheless.

 

The crazy part about AB Walker and AA line up this upcoming season, is that he could actually end up batting 7th or 8th in the line up.  I hope the rest of his camp is progressing like today.  Meaning good ABs.

BUXTON CF

POLANCOSS

ROSARIOLF

SANO3B

KEPLER1B

HICKS  DH

WALKER RF

TURNER C

MICHAEL2B

BERRIOSP

    • ashbury likes this
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stringer bell
Mar 24 2015 09:35 PM
I'm nearly certain that Rosario will start the season in AAA. Otherwise, it really looks like that lineup will be dominating for AA.
    • ashbury likes this