Hopefully you will enjoy this format from time to time, a place to discuss these types of stories. Feel free to discuss any of them and ask questions.1st Inning - Miguel Sano homers
On Tuesday night, Miguel Sano played his first game in the Dominican Winter League of the year, and his first game in the DWL in over three years. He DHd and batted third. He went 1-for-3 with two walks and the three-run homer. The homer came off of right-hander Tristan Archer who spent most of 2018 in the Brewers’ AAA bullpen.
He seemed to enjoy his trek around the bases as well as watching it while walking down the first base line.
You can’t help but love seeing the passion of the players in the Dominican leagues.
2nd Inning - Willians Astudillo homers
It’s fair to say that Astudillo admired his work on that one. The Venezuelan Winter League MVP candidate homered to give his team a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth. That proved to be the final score. The homer came off of former Twins prospect Deolis Guerra. Astudillo went 2-for-4 in the game.
You have to love Deadspin referring to Astudillo as the “Beefy Baseball Hero.”
3rd Inning - New Minor League Hitting Coordinator
On Twitter, Peter Fatse announced that he has been hired by the Twins as their new Minor League Hitter Coordinator.
Fatse was drafted by the Brewers in the 2009 draft out of the University of Connecticut. He spent two years in their system, peaking at High-A. He played two seasons in independent leagues.
He founded Advanced Performance Academy in western Massachusetts. If you’re looking for a minor league hitting coordinator, having this on your website is a good thing, “Developing Hitters that have the ability to compete at their peak potential is what I aim to do.”
Fatse takes over the job vacated by Rick Eckstein earlier this offseason when he was named the hitting coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
4th Inning - Twins to Sign Telis?
According to Carlos Rodriguez, the Twins may be close to signing catcher Tomas Telis. I would assume (comfortably) that it would be a minor league contract with an invitation to Twins spring training. Admittedly, he is a player I had not heard of in the past which is strange because he has spent at least part of each of the past five seasons in the big leagues.
Telis was originally signed by the Texas Rangers - make your Thad Levine connection here - and played in that system from 2008 through the July 2015 trade deadline when he was traded to the Marlins. He was with Miami through the 2018 season. He has about one-and-a-half years of service time over the five years. In 122 major-league games, he has hit .230/.267/298 (.565).
My assumption is that his role will be that of fourth catcher. Jason Castro and Mitch Garver will be the Twins Opening Day catchers, assuming health. Willians Astudillo should be the top catcher in Rochester, and then Telis could be the next guy. Astudillo’s ability to play several positions will help him, and it will get Telis more time behind the plate. Telis also played quite a bit of first base for the Marlins the last couple of years.
5th Inning - Caesars Palace Puts Twins at 84 Wins
According to the above tweet, Caesars Palace placed the over-under of Twins wins at 84. In my opinion, that is a pretty good number. If guys like Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton are healthy, and Max Kepler takes the next step, 84 could be low. If not, or other things go wrong, it could be under. But with the current roster, that feels like a good number. What do you think?
The 84 wins would place the Twins in second place according to Caesars. Their over-under for Cleveland is 91 ½. They have the White Sox in third place at 74 ½ wins. Kansas City’s over-under is listed at 69, and the Tigers are at 67.
6th Inning - Twins to Retire Mauer’s Number 7
The Twins announced last month that they would be retiring Joe Mauer’s number 7 at a ceremony sometime in 2019. On Tuesday morning, the Twins announced that the ceremony would be on June 15th.
7th Inning - Mauer Four-Pack Bobblehead Series
The Twins also announced that they will be having four Joe Mauer bobblehead games during the 2019 season. By purchasing the “Mauer Bobblehead Four-Pack” package, fans can also get a fifth Mauer bobblehead. Below are the dates of the four bobblehead games and what the bobblehead will depict. (per team press release)
- May 24 vs. Chicago White Sox – The first in the bobblehead series features Mauer’s signature swing, as depicted in the Cretin Derham Hall High School “Raiders” jersey in which he hit .567.
- July 19 vs. Oakland – The second takes us back to April 5, 2004, when a 21-year-old Mauer was the Twins’ starting catcher in his major league debut, going 2-for-3 in a 7-4, Opening Day victory over Cleveland at the Metrodome.
- Aug. 24 vs. Detroit – The third honors the legacy of Mauer’s sensational 2009 season, in which he captured the American League MVP, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards for the AL Central champion Twins.
- Sept. 7 vs. Cleveland – The last in the series commemorates the final game of Mauer’s career, Sept. 30, 2018 – a day that will forever be remembered in Twins lore.
For more information or to order tickets, click here.
8th Inning - Nelson Cruz on MLB Network
On Tuesday, new Twins DH Nelson Cruz appeared on MLB Network’s Hot Stove show with Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds. Cruz called in live from the Dominican Republic and talked about his preparation, his workouts, his routine and much, much more.
As interesting, he was just finished hitting, and you can see several 13-14 year old Domincan prospects working out. Maybe some guys that will sign in a couple of Julys.
9th Inning - Twins Birthdays
A new Twitter page, Twins Birthdays, started on New Years Day. Through the first week of the year, it has wished a Happy Birthday to Twins players from the past, the present and the future. For those on Twitter, it appears to be a good follow for Twins fans.
Click here to view the article