Wednesday Notes from Hammond: Offense, Worley and Buxton
Greetings from surprisingly chilly Hammond Stadium. I know it is below freezing back in Minnesota but for the locals here, this means breaking out the heavy gear. The good news is it is sunny and the team has had an opportunity to have a full day of workouts.
The Twins traded Vance Worley to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash after last night’s game (and there will be more on that later). Interest in the right-hander who cleared waivers the previous week was lukewarm but there were several teams that called on him.
The Twins ability to score runs has been a looming concern but the front office did not go into the winter with the idea that the offense was complete. “We did not go into the offseason saying we just need to get two or three starting pitchers and we will be right where we want to be,” said Antony. “That was not the case.” He acknowledged the team made efforts to obtain other position players but those targets ultimately signed elsewhere.
Antony also reiterated there will be no cuts today; Ron Gardenhire said after yesterday’s game that the roster will be finalized on Friday -- likely after that day’s game.
On the minor league side, Byron Buxton’s wrist sprain is going to likely keep him from starting the year on time at New Britain. There is no indication of when he will be ready but the likelihood is he will remain at camp for the extended spring training until his wrist is healed. That decision needs to be made by Twins’ minor league farm director, Brad Steil.
The opening series rotation has been set for Chicago. Ricky Nolasco will take the opener opposite Chris Sale while Kevin Correia and Phil Hughes will follow in the next two games. Nolasco is starting this afternoon’s game and looking to finish spring strong after he was knocked around for seven runs in three innings in his last start.
The wind is really whipping up down here. Yesterday, the wind was blowing strong from left to right field and today it is just the opposite. Prior to the game, the major league catchers were taking pop fly practice by means of a pitching machine set up at home plate. The ball’s trajectory would shoot towards the pitching mound but the wind would push it all the back towards the backstop and first base dugout. Approximately one out of every ten balls were fielded cleanly.
More after the game. Be sure to follow the TwinsDaily twitter account for in-game and in-camp updates.