Without a doubt, there will be plenty of storylines to monitor during spring training this year. One of the bigger ones that you should keep an eye on in Fort Myers is Francisco Liriano’s fastball.
Injuries took him out of the 2011 season but it was clear that the southpaw was not the same pitcher as he was the season before. Between a decrease in velocity, an inability to locate his fastball and regularly falling behind his opponents, Liriano posted a career high in walks (75) and
Hitting coach Joe Vavra recently shared some ideas behind what was causing the drought at the plate with the Pioneer Press’s Tom Powers. Plenty of factors played into the team’s offensive ineptitude but for those who did make it to the plate, Vavra felt that the approach was fundamentally lacking:
“Some couldn't grasp that they couldn't pull every pitch or that sometimes it was better to take a few. As a result, they struggled.”
Despite some fans objections to the contrary, Joe
Each spring fans are entertained by non-news news from the southern camps in Florida relating to how great of shape a player is in, how re-dedicated they are, etc, etc. Early February brings a lot of "I feel great" moments from players who were injured the previous season and, of course, wealthy catcher Joe Mauer is one such player who draws this kind of attention from the media.
In January, right around TwinsFest when Mauer made a quick circuit of local appearances, reports spread that the catcher had put on nearly 30 pounds
Before the spikes have even hit the turf at Hammonds Stadium, manager Ron Gardenhire has gone on the record as saying Denard Span is his 2012 center fielder."[Span's] going to lead off and be my center fielder. That’s my expectations. If somebody were to tell me that he’s not able to do that, then we’d have to ad lib. But if Denard comes in healthy, then he’s my center fielder, there’s no questions to me about that."Apparently, Ben Revere, who performed admirably in center in Span’s absence,
Joe Mauer has spent a substantial amount of time over the past few weeks on various media outlets attempting to erase memories of his contributions (or lack thereof) to the 99-loss season.
He’s working hard. He’s putting on weight. He’s eating Wheaties. He’s saying his prayers. He's drinking nothing but unicorn milk. He’s doing the Rocky IV training in Russia. He’s P90X-ing while Tae Bo-ing. Etc. Etc.
Merited or not, he has earned himself a reputation among the media types
This past week the Twins made several notable moves that affected their payroll – signing free agent reliever Joel Zumaya and coming to terms with several arbitration-eligible players including Glen Perkins and Francisco Liriano.
The Twins signed Zumaya to an incentive-laden deal that can be as little of a commitment as $400,000 if he fails to break camp with the team all the way up to $1.75 million if he reaches certain performance bonuses.
Shortly thereafter, the team
On Monday, the Star Tribune’s Patrick Reusse recounted the tale of Sean Burroughs, a recent Twins minor league signing this winter, whose life was derailed by drinking and drugs in his twenties.
In his first four seasons of professional ball in the Padres organization, Burroughs hit a remarkable .324/418/.453 in 1,653 plate appearances. Baseball America anointed him the seventh best prospect in 2000 then the sixth best in 2001 and finally the fourth best in 2002. He was the proverbial
The Twins have frequently been accused of not catering to power arms and also not taking risks on their offseason signings. On Sunday, they may have made inroads in both areas by agreeing to a deal, pending a physical, with former Tigers flame-thrower Joel Zumaya.
According to Joe Christensen, the Twins and Zumaya have agreed to terms of a deal worth $800,000, with the potential of adding another $900,000 of incentives based on innings pitched, pending a physical.
Updated 01-15-2012 at 11:39 PM by Parker Hageman
According to Phil Mackey at 1500ESPN.com, the Twins have been in contact with a potential bullpen arm:
“On Thursday, a baseball source confirmed the Twins have been in talks recently with the agent for right-hander Todd Coffey, who owns a 3.68 ERA with 167 strikeouts and 53 unintentional walks in 205 2/3 innings over the past three seasons with the Nationals and Brewers.”
On paper, backend depth in the bullpen was supposed to be a strength for the 2011 Twins as they