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Notebook: Berríos in Ace-Like Form, Twins Release MiLB Instructors

The Minnesota Twins continued their 2021 Spring Training slate with a 6-2 win over the Rays. Notes on that game and more in today’s Twins Daily Notebook.Twins 6, Rays 2 (7 1/2 innings)


Box Score


Twins Takeaways

Standout pitcher: José Berríos (3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K).

Standout hitter: Willians Astudillo (2-3, 1 R, 2 RBI)


After some early unevenness, the Twins pitching staff has found a groove in the last few games, including another impressive start from José Berríos


Berríos has dazzled so far this spring. On Wednesday, his fastball sat 93-95 mph but touched 97 mph on the stadium gun. Berríos was working effectively up in the zone with his fastball, a crucial detail to offset his curveball. Berríos’ curve was on song, with sharp vertical movement, a different shape and design to his typically slurvy curveball. A high fastball at 95 mph+ combined with greater vertical movement on his curve could be a devastating combination for Berríos in 2021.



If you want to enjoy more highlights of a dominant Berríos performance in all its glory, here they are.



Other Twins pitching performances were generally impressive. Cody Stashak, Derek Law and Jorge Alcala all had scoreless appearances in relief. Alcala walked two to get himself into trouble, but was throwing serious cheese, the best recap of which was offered by Do-Hyoung Park.



The offense was solid. Willians Astudillo paced the Twins with two hits, including a double and two runs knocked in. Ryan Jeffers, Tzu Wei-Lin and Nick Gordon all added hits, while Rob Refsnyder added a triple.


Tomorrow: Red Sox at Twins, 12:05 CST, E. Rodriguez vs. Shoemaker


Other News

On Wednesday, the Twins parted ways with MiLB instructors Donegal Fergus, Billy Boyer, and Michael Thomas, as first reported by Phil Miller.



All three coaches had a significant positive impact on player development for the Twins. They were apparently released for breaking team COVID-19 protocols.



Additionally, MLB.com reviewed it’s latest version of the Twins top 30 prospects, which can be found here. Jonathan Mayo ran a Twitter Q&A on Twins prospects, so be sure to check out his timeline today.


In Arlington, the Texas Rangers have announced plans to host a full capacity of fans on opening day. Approximately 40,000 fans will pack Globe Life Field on April 5. Masks are required. Common sense, apparently, is not.


More From Twins Daily

Twins Prospect Louis Varland Won't Stop at Pretty Good

Twins 2021 Position Analysis: Shortstop

Why Mitch Garver is Poised for a Huge 2021


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Berrios looked great, but, as always with Jose, what kind of stuff he shows up with can vary widely from game to game, including fastball command and sharpness of his curve.


So, we'll see. 


Great pitchers come with their good stuff 80% of the time, and the other 20%, they scuffle, scrap and pull it together through watching how hitters react and making do with what's working that night.


We gotta hope Jose learns to pitch like great ones do.

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I am not worried about our pitching staff, they are in good hands. I am worried about our bats though. If we are truly playing with a different baseball this year, Rocco and staff need to know how to play small ball at times and not wait for a HR

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If those minor league instructors were indeed valuable employees, the Twins should have found a better form of discipline than outright release. The instructors reportedly violated Covid protocols during what looks like the final weeks of this pandemic (as the vaccine supply increases). I hate to see the organization make decisions that will effect the team for several years based on rules

for a pandemic that likely not to be a significant health issue affecting the team sometime between April 15 to July 1, 2021.

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Has any starter given up an earned run this spring? Don't know if it will be a five or six man rotation, but the starters will be good, very good.


Count me among those surprised with the release of three key minor league coordinators.

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Moderator note:


Down the rabbit hole Covid discussion, inclusive of misinformation. If you want a covid discussion, there is a thread for that in the Sports Bar forum ... but be forewarned, it is moderated for outright grousing, bickering and misinformation. Otherwise, to post in the baseball forums, your comments need to directly correlate to the baseball discussion. And because you dislike someone or their comments, we still expect civil discourse. Rebut the post without attacking the poster, reporter, player, instructor, coach, writer, etc. Because you don't like a comment is not necessarily a reflection of a person's character. Oh ... and injecting politics in all of this, which is easy to do ... don't do it.


We are all exhausted. It's tiring. My industry ... the performing arts ... is in shambles and recovery will be far worse than most. But ... it is what it is ... whether or not you think this could have prevented is for a different discussion. So ... let's move forward. Keep your comments directly related to the article and don't go down the rabbit hole and off the rails.

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The Twins like most employers have protocols for Covid. They constitute a condition for employment whether anyone likes them or not. If you want to work for the Twins you follow their rules.


I find it interesting that they are not being replaced.

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We can assume, then that any player caught violating the protocols will be immediately released as well?


Or is this only the policy for employees with modest salaries/contracts for which the club would potentially be liable?


The latter, I’m guessing.

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