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  1. Jeferson Morales was written up by Jeffrey Paternostro in BPro a couple months ago as a sleeper prospect for 2022 (Petty was named by someone else). Morales caught his eye with "an unusually pretty right-handed swing with above-average bat speed." Sneaky athletic, defense a work in progress but should stick at catcher.
  2. BPro has an article today that claims "The Diamondbacks' new pitching coach could help Gallen take the next step." I sort of doubt he will be traded.
  3. In other winter league news, Jermaine Palacios has an OPS of 1.01, is batting 2nd and mostly playing LF and 3B in Venezuala. Tomas Telis is 2nd in the league in OPS at 1.19. Aaron Whitefield is playing RF for Caguas in Puerto Rico, with an OPS of .753 in five games. There might be more who are not on the leaderboards or who I don't recognize.
  4. Wallner had another homerun today and three hits; Bechtold at DH had two doubles; Sisk gave up 4 runs with no outs.
  5. The 91 Twins started the season 2-9, and were being described as the worst team in the major leagues.
  6. ESPN describes some of the additional things they will be doing. "Baseballs taken out of play -- both randomly and prioritized, if they exhibit signs of foreign substances -- will be inspected by a third-party lab, according to the memo. Balls will be tracked back to whoever was pitching when they were taken out of play. Finally, game-day compliance officers will monitor dugouts, batting cages and bullpens for violations of the foreign substance rules while filing daily reports of their observations with the league office." Surely a number of Twins pitchers will be affected, not just Yankees and Houston.
  7. The corner OF that I believe (without any evidence) that Kirilloff is most comparable to is Michael Brantley, who continues to be valuable well past age 29. I think that by the end of spring training he will be viewed as a step above the alternatives the first month as well as at age 29. Even if Arreaz is the opening day LF, Kirilloff would play there often besides giving Kepler a day off and Buxton a day off with Kepler in CF. The goodwill argument for an extension in a couple years may be weak, but perhaps disregarding service time (if he is dominant in spring training) may help the Twins with other players.
  8. Miranda seems to save his best for the playoffs. He had a three run HR yesterday as his team won the championship, batted 400.
  9. Astudillo and Miranda are both batting 4th for their teams in the finals of the Puerto Rican and Venezuelan league that are starting. Astudillo has been playing LF and had a 1.223 OPS in the seven game semifinals. He tied for second in HR in the regular season. Tom Telis has been playing 1B. Jose Miranda is playing 3B and had 3RBI's in the last game as his team Caguas is leading 2-0.
  10. There is a nice story in The Athletic, Sept 17 about Hendriks' early years in Australia and the US: "I'm on an adventure": Why Liam Hendriks left Australia to chase baseball dreams. Starts with: The dining options were limited for Liam Hendriks and the rest of the Gulf Coast League Twins in the summer of 2007. The players lived in a hotel in Fort Myers, Fla., that, according to Hendriks, “has now been demolished, because it was a cesspool.”
  11. All the usual winter leagues are playing baseball, but there is not a lot of news. Jose Miranda has played 15 games for the Criollos de Caguas in the Liga de Roberto Clemente. He is playing third base, batting 3rd or 4th, .302 BA and 849 OPS. Celestino had started the year in the Dominican for the Gigantes and played 4 games in November. Then there was a league-wide Covid pause for over a week, and he hasn't played since. There are huge roster changes in this league, and there could be plenty of reasons why he is not currently playing. Fernando Romero played for the same team, but hasn't played since signing in Japan. Astudillo is playing mostly LF in Venezuela for the Caribes, batting 5th with 914 OPS. Tomas Telis plays for the same team as catcher or1B, bats third with 821 OPS. Lachlan Wells is pitching for Sydney (is he still our property?). They are just getting started, it seems. There could be others. With no minor league box scores last year, I am not as familiar with Caribbean prospects in particular. In the olden days you could just go to mlb/stats/offseason leagues and click on the Twins logo to see the stats for all the Twins players in the winter leagues. Apparently mlb has lost so much money they can't do that anymore (or there is something about my computer). I have heard it said that mlb tried to get funding for several full-time employees to do this work in the recent stimulus bill, but my sources deep within Congress said someone influential who lost his minor league team squashed it. And including the Venezuela stats raised alarms.
  12. BPro (Dec 23) likes Canterino and Winder (7 and 11), claiming both have added velocity the past year, and Canterino has developed a good change-up.
  13. He came to the USA last winter on a tourist visa. Was it to go ice-fishing in the great Minnesota northlands? No, it was to be part of Twins Fest. Did he get any compensation, such as room and board? If so, he violated immigration laws, and was subject to a 5 year ban. When he got to Atlanta on the way to spring training and was questioned, was he likely to lie about why he had come to Minnesota in January? When you read the comments on traderumours, it is mostly surmising about criminal conduct being the reason for the release. I don't know anything about Fernando Romero as a person, but I am much more inclined to blame ICE and the Twins than Fernando. Obviously, this opinion could be completely wrong, but I do know a fine young person who was even white that was banned for 5 five years for a similar offense.
  14. Romero was added to the Gigantes Dominican team and has pitched twice. Didn't get anyone out the first game, and loaded the bases in a mop-up role in the 9th the other day, but threw 6 straight swinging strikes to escape.
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