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Thrylos

Random thoughts from the Twins' intrasquad game today

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Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch
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Today the Minnesota Twins unofficially had their first game of the Spring Training, which was an intrasquad contest. Here are some of my thoughts from what happened in this game:


  • Pitchers seem to be well ahead of hitters:
    • Phil Hughes pitched 2 scoreless innings throwing 21 out of 27 strikes, striking out 4 (including Buxton and Sano) and his FB was 91/92 mph
    • Kevin Correia also pitched 2 run-free innings with 14/26 strikes, a K and a BB.
    • Kyle Gibson hit 94 mph on the gun and also pitched 2 scoreless innings (18/25 strikes)

  • Phil Hughes said that he will not throw the slider (a pitch he primarily threw in 2013 and a lot, 21.3% of his pitches were sliders; but with not much success, resulting in -0.8 runs per 100 pitches) and will replace it with a slow curve (9% of his pitches last season with about average success) and a cutter, a pitch he did not throw consistently since 2011. The cutter was very good in 2009 and 2010 but not as good in 2011 and he abandoned it. A curve is a pitcher that he will throw primarily against LHBs and the cutter (and slider) against RHBs.
  • I am not convinced that Kevin Correia will be with the Twins for a long time. I can see Gibson pushing him to the trading block during Spring Training
  • Eduardo Escobar played 3B (replacing Sano) which is his worst fielding position, instead of Shortstop (his best fielding position; he won the Gold Glove for the Venezuela Winter League this off-season). I feel that Escobar can replace Florimon as the Twins' starting shortstop, if given a chance and it is frustrating to see Gardenhire playing him out of position.
  • The big boys did really well defensively
    • Miquel Sano had several good plays at third base including several strong throws, which is good news for the shape of his elbow
    • Kennys Vargas maybe made the defensive play of the game with a diving stop and throw to the pitcher (Worley) who was covering first. Both of these guys' defense is better than certain people might want you to believe

  • I hope that Byron Buxton's performance today (0-3, 3K, 1BB late in the game) will land on earth the fans who think he should be the Twins' starting Centerfielder in 2014. He has a great future, but patience is needed.
  • Josmil Pinto played today, which is good news meaning that his back is better, but Rob Antony said on the radio that the Twins think that he came to Spring Training "a bit heavy", which is bad news, because it sounds like the Twins' brass is preparing the ground for a demotion and going with Suzuki as the starter, a non-optimal situation.


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Comments

  1. Otwins's Avatar
    94 this early in camp from Gibson sounds like he came ready to win a spot. Appreciate the recap and the picture. I was wondering what number Buxton would switch to. I heard 7 was taken.
  2. Thrylos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Otwins
    94 this early in camp from Gibson sounds like he came ready to win a spot. Appreciate the recap and the picture. I was wondering what number Buxton would switch to. I heard 7 was taken.
    That's an old picture He is wearing 70 (Sano 72, Vargas 68, Kepler 67, Polanco 78, Meyer 66, May 65)
  3. jokin's Avatar
    Kennys Vargas. There are reports that he now is a Fielder-like 275 #s, which seems like a potential near-future red flag.

    Beyond a great play at first and the constant reports about his daily efforts at turning the Ft Myers BP batters boxes into his own personal launching pad, does Kennys pass the eye test as a an impact guy by 2015 in the Twins lineup?

    Escobar being out of options, it seems like Gardy is going to shoehorn him in to the utility role. Also, without Carroll, there really isn't any other current option behind Plouffe on the current roster at the Hot Corner.
  4. jokin's Avatar
    There has been speculation that Ryan has had a couple back-pocket trading partners for Correia's services for some time.

    ARe you hearing anything along those lines, or are your comments solely based on Gibson's first outing? It's hard to believe they will cut Correia loose, unless they're pretty certain that Gibson is ready to step up, plus, that the Twins are also reasonably assured that the #5 spot will be ably manned by Deduno, et al, while we all await a Meyer and/or May call-up at some point in the summer.
  5. Mike Frasier Law's Avatar
    Sano's elbow is barking again. http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/20...more-soreness/ Should I be scared?
  6. Thrylos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mhfesq
    Sano's elbow is barking again. http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/20...more-soreness/ Should I be scared?
    No. Worse comes to worse he has surgery, misses half a season and makes the team in 2015
  7. Thrylos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jokin
    There has been speculation that Ryan has had a couple back-pocket trading partners for Correia's services for some time.

    ARe you hearing anything along those lines, or are your comments solely based on Gibson's first outing?
    Correia's name was tossed around on the radio here in Philly more than once today...
  8. Thrylos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jokin
    Kennys Vargas. There are reports that he now is a Fielder-like 275 #s, which seems like a potential near-future red flag.

    Beyond a great play at first and the constant reports about his daily efforts at turning the Ft Myers BP batters boxes into his own personal launching pad, does Kennys pass the eye test as a an impact guy by 2015 in the Twins lineup?
    Kennys is about a foot taller than Fielder, which makes the 275 ok. Remember Mo Vaughn? He is lighter even than Mo Vaughn. Ryan Howard/Adam Dunn/Papi type of build. He will be a DH, with Mauer at first, which will be fine.

    He does pass my eye test Did you see how high I have him on my prospects' list?
  9. Thrylos's Avatar
    Just got this. This is how Vargas looked yesterday:



    Hardly Fielder-like
  10. Thrylos's Avatar
    This too:
  11. oldguy10's Avatar
    Vargas at first base in 2015? Hardly a sure thing I would venture. Please advise.
  12. Since71's Avatar
    Love Escobar! saw him here in Rochester 5 or 6 times last year. Plays with a love of the game and Twins fans will embrace him. He has versatility and I think of Nick Punto with better bat, slightly less glove and no head first slides into first when I watched him.
  13. Thrylos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10
    Vargas at first base in 2015? Hardly a sure thing I would venture. Please advise.
    Vargas at DH in 2015. First base is taken for a while
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