March 5, 2008

Span, Twins Can't Catch a Break

The Minnesota Twins had their game against the Tampa Bay Rays called short yesterday afternoon due to rain. The game was called in the top of the fifth inning as the Twins held a 3-0 lead.

Boof Bonser pitched three scoreless innings while striking out three before Nick Blackburn pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning. The Rays got another good performance from Edwin Jackson, pitching three scoreless innings of his own, before Al Reyes gave up all three of the Twins runs in the fourth inning.

Denard Span lead the way for the offense with a 2-3 performance with his first extra base hit of Spring Training. However, despite his great game, his stats will not count towards his total stats from spring training. That doesn't mean that Ron Gardenhire (or the rest of the coaches) won't take this game into consideration for the center field competition.

Mike Redmond drove in the first run of the game with a single to right field which scored Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer, Redmond and Garrett Jones all scored while going 1-2 at the plate.

Today, the Twins will send Kevin Slowey to the mound to face Ian Kennedy of the Yankees. The first pitch is scheduled around 12:05 (CT) and remember that the game is on ESPN for all of you that are hoping to get a glimpse at some of the newest members of the Minnesota Twins in action.

And for those of you who may be wondering, it's supposed to be partly cloudy and in the upper 60's around game time. So at least it doesn't look like there's any chance that this game will be rained out. But then again, weather men (or women) are not the most reliable professions out there. But hopefully, they're correct and we get to watch some good baseball.

Francisco Liriano update

Francisco Liriano threw his fourth throwing session since he arrived in camp last week, and it was his second time throwing live batting practice. He reportedly had no pain in his newly repaired elbow and all indications are that he will make his Spring Training debut this Friday when the Twins face both the Red Sox and Blue Jays in two split-squad games. It's not known which team he'll face.

After throwing around 45 pitches in his session on Tuesday, Liriano said, "I didn't feel any pain, any soreness at all," Liriano said. "I feel real good."

He also admitted to holding back a little bit on his slider. "I feel a little different with my slider, like I'm sacred to throw it, let it go," Liriano said. "I'm going to take it easy and keep working on it to get better."

However he has been working more and more on his change-up which will (hopefully) allow him to use his slider as an out pitch instead of making it a common pitch in his repertoire, like he did in 2006.

Unless he experiences any soreness before the game, this will be a big step for him, however I'm sure after all that he's gone through over the last 18 months, it's probably just another baby step in a very long process to get back from surgery.


Perhaps I've been out of the loop, but I didn't know that Kevin Slowey had his own blog. Call me crazy, but I haven't seen that before. Definitely check it out.