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  • Notebook: Long Ball Powers Twins to Win in Port Charlotte

    Andrew Luedtke

    The Twins win again, a Sire of Fort Myers update, and there's a new reporter on the Twins beat. That and more in today's edition of the Offseason Notebook!

    Image courtesy of © Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

    The Twins continued their undefeated Spring Training campaign on the road today in Port Charlotte. They defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 in six innings.

    Twins 6, Tampa Bay 5 (6 innings)

    Box Score


    Standout pitcher: Lewis Thorpe (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 K)

    Standout hitter: Brent Rooker (1-for-2 with a solo HR and Sac Fly)

    A stronger, harder throwing, Lewis Thorpe got the start for the Twins today. His performance did nothing to slow down the “Hype Train”. Unlike in the Twins game yesterday at Hammond Stadium, the Rays facility was not equipped with Statcast so fans were unable to reference any of the data. However, it was noted from the Rays radio broadcast that Thorpe was hitting 93 mph.

    After an adventurous first inning that included a scary moment when Thorpe hit Joey Wendle in the helmet (Wendle was OK), Thorpe settled down and had a 1-2-3 second. He struck out Yoshi Tsutsugo and Taylor Walls.

    On the other side of the hill for the Rays was Tyler Glasnow and his 100 mph fastball. Glasnow threw 35 pitches and didn’t make it out of the second inning. While working on a new slider grip, Glasnow struck out Cave, Larnach, and Garlick but had three walks. He allowed two runs.

    One was a home run to Brent Rooker.


    The other was this very impressive at-bat by Luis Arraez which resulted in a bases loaded walk, leading to a 2-0 Twins lead.


    For more detail, be sure to check out John’s Report From the Fort feature on today’s game.

    Other Notable Efforts:

    Some other notable performances by the Twins today included:

    Kyle Garlick went 1-for-3 with a go-ahead two run homer. As a right handed hitting corner OF, could him and Rooker be competing for a spot on the roster? He had a 1.057 OPS in 304 PA’s in 2019 at AAA.


    Luke Farrell threw one inning. He struck out the side. Speaking of Luke Farrell, he would like everyone to know he didn’t give up a HR to Buxton in live batting practice last week :)


    He went 0-for-1 today with a BB, but it should be noted that Travis Blakenhorn started at first base. According to Baseball Reference, Blakenhorn has only played 15 innings at 1B in his minor league career. That was in 2015. Clearly, the Twins are trying out some things this Spring. Blakenhorn figures to be in a battle for the second utilityman spot on the Twins roster. Other names in competition include Nick Gordon, Willians Astudillo, JT Riddle, Tzu-Wei Lin, and Andrew Romine. Something to monitor ...

    Sire of Fort Myers Update!

    If you’re not following the most coveted award this side of the Mississippi, you’re missing out! More details, here.

    Speaking of Andrew Romine, he helped his case today in his quest for the #SireOfFortMyers crown. He started at SS and went 2-for-3 at the plate.

    Bullpen Woes?

    I couldn’t write this headline without laughing a bit since it’s literally the second game of Spring Training but, another projected piece of the Twins bullpen struggled today.

    Shaun Anderson made his Spring debut and it wasn’t pretty (1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). He joins Tyler Duffey and Cody Stashak, who pitched yesterday, in tough starts.

    This means very little, if anything at all. In fact, it’s already been pointed out that Shaun Anderson is working on a splitter. It’s hard to tell without Statcast data which pitches were thrown today, but assuming this was part of his mix. I wouldn’t be too worried because, you know, these games don’t matter.


    New Twins Beat Reporter!

    The Star Tribune announced LaVelle E. Neal’s replacement on the beat today. Megan Ryan will be covering the Twins this season and you can follow her here!


    One less suitor for Jake Odorizzi?

    Still a free agent, Jake Odorizzi has been linked to several teams this offseason. The Phillies were one of them and it appears they are “holding off” on spending anymore. The Blue Jays and Angels have also shown interest. We’re all curious to see where he ends up.

    Eddie Rosario in a Cleveland Uniform is Weird

    Eddie Rosario made his Spring debut today against the Royals. He batted 3rd and went 1-for-3 with a single. Yeah, it’s going to take me a while to get used to seeing this too.


    That is it from today’s edition of the offseason Notebook. Make sure you are following Twins Daily on Twitter all Spring Training long for exclusive look-in’s and footage of the Twins in Florida.

    Tomorrow: Twins at Braves at 12:05 pm CST


    Minnesota’s 5 Best Players Under 25

    AL Central Rundown: Relievers

    The Odd Man Out?

    You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here.

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    I know, I know it is just spring training and it means nothing but my bleeding heart can’t let it go.  So meaningless first impressions of todays game are as follows.

    I thought Thorpe did a nice job today he had a walk and hit a batter but he gave up no hits and no runs. After the slightly wild first inning it looks like he might live up to the early season hype.

    Rooker and Garlick with homers and Cave with a double all say high to Alex Kirilloff with extra base hits.  Letting him know there will be competition for left field this spring.  Larnach had a rough day but we are only two games in.

    Arraez was doing his normal routine, 1 hit, one walk, no K’s day, only to be outdone by possible Sire of Fort Meyers, Andrew Romine who went 2 for 3 today and out OPS’d Arreaz.

    Jeffers got a hit but also left three guys on base early on in the game. The surprising Blankenhorn showed a good eye at the plate with two walks.  Maybe there is hope for a good utility guy there yet.


    I know the conditions this early in the season are not ideal but Minaya with three walks did not help himself today.  He has time to turn it around but golly gee wiz he is in the basement right now.  At least Andrew Vaquez is back and although he didn’t have his K stuff today he made quick work of it with a double play ball.  Nice job Andrew good to see you back.

    He’s real wild one; Mr. Anderson might need the matrix to keep his ball in the strike zone.  Wes Johnson has his work cut out for him.  He has to throw strikes to get guys out so hopefully there is vast improvement soon.

    Jax did what Jax does pitch to contact and get guys out.  Not sure if he can continue to make that work but he has done well to this point so here’s hoping he continues to roll.

    And finally who the heck is Luke Farrell?  He got three K’s in his one inning of work and he put himself on the Sire for Fort Meyers map and I didn’t even know he was on our team.  Pretty dominant inning of work so will be keeping my eye on him hoping this wasn’t peak Ferrell and it is all downhill from here.

    That is what my heart says.  My brain says I am full of it and none of this matters at all.

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    Battle between Rooker and Garlik? Nope. Not unless Rooker spikes himself somehow. It's Rooker AND Kirilloff with only Arraez on the infield bench, OR, an extra infielder and ONE of Rooker and AK to BEGIN the season. Garlik is depth to begin the season.


    WAY, WAY too early to worry about any of the "extra" 5-7 bullpen options brought in to make any opinion. I'm just happy and excited that I can look at that many arms who have a chance to potentially contribute. It wasn't so long ago that the AAA pen was filled with guys to just help the AAA team. No BS, Anderson, Hamilton, etc, there is a collection of arms mostly 25-27yo that could work with Johnson and Twins instructors/coaches and actually improve and "find themselves" and contribute. That's where depth comes from. Remember a year ago when people were asking "who the hell is this Wisler guy"?


    So now we have 5-7 guys who could be "that guy" but we made a huge mistake letting him walk? Not sure that's true at this point.

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    The biggest puzzle in the Odorizzi saga is the Los Angeles Angels.  With a strong lineup and defense they have failed to make the playoffs for years because of pitching, but have done almost nothing in FA signings to fix this.  Odorizzi is an instant upgrade and yet they sit back.  

    Beyond Ohtani they have Heaney, Cobb, Quintana, Canning and Bundy.  Odorizzi would be number 2 or 3 in that rotation. 

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    I could care less how meaningless everything is right now.  I know the best 9 will be on the field come opening day, minus Arraez.  I love seeing the videos.  Keep them coming.  So much fun to see updates popping up on my phone from the games.


    I like Vanimal's Thorpe theory.  Seems like we push top prospect power pitchers to the bullpen with barely any innings logged in The Show (Graterol, Romero, Duran whisperings), but we absolutely extinguish every avenue for others before putting them in the pen, such as Duffey, Rogers, May.

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    Great news about Thorpe and his increased velocity. 


    While it would be optimal for him to still develop as a starter, I really dislike when the Twins lose the fringe starter prospects without giving them a full season to show what they can do in the bullpen. It seems like it's now or never for Thorpe, so I hope the yo-yo has stopped and they'll settle on him in relief this year.


    It would be really nice if Rooker unquestionably grabbed the LF gig this year. Just thinking back to early this century it seemed like success was contagious for the entire group of corner prospects. It was hard not to think Cuddyer, Kubel, Morneau, Kielty, Ford, Mohr, Restovich, Mike Ryan, Josh Rabe and Garrett Jones weren't all pushing each other trying to land one of the few available spots on the MLB roster.


    As for Odorizzi, if he has to settle for a one year deal, and with his injuries last year I don't think that's unreasonable, I could see the Twins jumping back in. But I'm not terribly comfortable with pitchers who hold out for a bigger deal and end up signing in the middle of spring training. Their track records are 50/50 at best.

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    My worst fears may be realized as Minnesota's minor-league cast offs may help rebuild the White Sox and Tigers into competitive teams. 


    Meanwhile, here's Harpo Marx playing Take Me Out to the Ballgame.



    The Marx brothers were all supremely talented, but none more so than Arthur.

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