March 22, 2008

Twins lose in 9th

Livan Hernandez put together his best performance of the spring yesterday, but it was still far from great. He did manage to strike out 6 batters, but allowed 2 runs in the 5 innings that he worked. It's not bad, by any means, but I sure would like to see him put together a stellar outing his next time out to make me feel more comfortable with him on the mound this season. Brian Bass, Dennys Reyes and were great between the 6th and 8th innings, but things fell apart a bit in the 9th as Casey Daigle gave up 2 hits and a walk while allowing the game-winning run to score. The Twins lost the game 3-2, it was Daigle's first loss of the Spring.

Michael Cuddyer carried the team offensively with his 8th and 9th RBI's of the Spring. He also hit his 6th double of the Spring off of former Twins southpaw, J.C. Romero. The Twins carried two minor league position players yesterday, with Trevor Plouffe and Dustin Martin getting the opportunity to play with the "big boys." Plouffe went 1-1 at the plate and helped turn the only double play ball of the afternoon.

Next, the Twins will travel to Jupiter to play against the Cardinals. Ex-Twin Kyle Lohse is set to make his Spring Training debut against Boof Bonser.

Center field competition: Denard Span lead off the game yesterday with a hard single to right field, but he was thrown out trying to steal second base later in the inning. It was his first time he's been caught stealing all spring. He only had one hit, but raised his average to .293 on the spring. And to put it into more perspective, if the game against the Rays wasn't called because of rain a few weeks ago, he would be hitting well over .300 as he was 2-2 in that game. Unfortunately those stats don't count, as official stats, but I'm sure that Ron Gardenhire has made a mental note of it. I assume Carlos Gomez will start in center field today.

Something that I have not previously mentioned before, but I probably should have since it's lingered into my though process on several occasions, but Brian Bass has really impressed this season. He has a 1.59 ERA this spring, and has gained praise from management.
"That bodes well for a guy out of options,'' Gardenhire said. "That's always a good thing.''
That's Gardenhire's response to the aggression that Bass has shown on the mound this spring. The Twins likely won't be able to retain him if they try to send him through waivers, so there's a very good chance that he could make the club as the infamous "12th pitcher" that I've seem to talk about to no end.

Nathan Update: According to La Velle E. Neal III, Joe Nathan's agent left Ft. Myers on Friday to visit his other clients in Florida, but he's scheduled to arrive back in Ft. Myers sometime today. I think that we should know by Monday morning (when I'm sure he'll be gone), what the decision is. I think it's very unlikely that if a deal doesn't happen within the next 48 hours, that it won't happen at all. Nathan and his agent seem to have set a season opener "deadline" on a new deal, as they don't have any desire to work on a deal during the season.