Top Twins News
Twins' Nelson Cruz: Gets rare start in outfield
Cruz started in right field in Wednsday's spring training game. He could be used in the outfield when the Twins have two road trips to NL parks in April, MLB.com reports.
Cruz has started just nine games in the outfield the past two years, so it would be surprising to see the 38-year old play more than a game or two. Still, this shows he may not be stuck on the bench when the Twins play five games at Philadelphia and the New York Mets from April 5 to 10.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Michael Pineda: Continues strong spring
Pineda threw five scoreless innings with five strikeouts and one walk in Wednesday's spring training start.
Pineda, who had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee at the end of August while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, looks fully healthy and back to his prior form this spring. He has 13 strikeouts and three walks in 15.1 innings with a 3.52 ERA over five games.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Jonathan Schoop: Hits second spring homer
Schoop went 3-for-3 with his second home run of the spring in Wednesday's loss to the Pirates.
Schoop had a slow start to spring training, but looks set for the regular season as he's hitting .303 with a .976 OPS. He's likely to hit seventh in the order. He's a bounce-back candidate as the Twins say they spotted a flaw in his swing after he altered his approach last May to compensate for an oblique injury.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Fernando Romero: Not viewed as closer
Romero will be used in a multi-inning role to begin the season and is unlikely to close games, MLB.com reports. "I don't know that we were viewing him as the back-end guy right at the outset," said chief baseball officer Derek Falvey.
Romero has had two poor outings in a row as he gave up four runs while retiring two batters with two walks Wednesday. His spring ERA rose to 8.38. It sounds like he'll still make the 25-man roster, but it's still possible he could begin the season in the minors. While he may not be the closer initially, he still has upside to take over the role later this season after the Twins moved him to the bullpen this spring.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Addison Reed: Dealing with sore thumb
Reed hasn't pitched since last Thursday due to a sore left thumb, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.
The injury is on Reed's non-throwing hand so it wouldn't seem to be a major issue, but the fact he hasn't pitched in almost a week is cause for some concern. It remains unclear if his status for Opening Day will be impacted.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Gabriel Moya: Will open on injured list
Moya (shoulder) is expected to open the season on the injured list, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
The news is hardly surprising, as Moya has been out nearly a month with shoulder tightness. It's unclear when he's expected to return.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Alex Kirilloff: Begins transition to 1B
The Twins will start breaking Kirilloff in at first base this season, Twins Daily reports.
This makes all the sense in the world, as Kirilloff has filled out since his days as an amateur and the Twins have a crowded outfield already, without factoring in last year's first-round pick Trevor Larnach, who is a corner outfielder/designated hitter and on the fast track to the majors. A move to first base does not negatively impact Kirilloff's fantasy stock.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Justin Nicolino: Sent to minor-league camp
Nicolino was assigned to minor-league camp Wednesday, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.
Nicolino has allowed just one run in 5.2 innings this spring, though he was always a long shot at best to break camp with the team. The lefty has a 4.65 ERA in 201.1 major-league innings and spent the entirety of 2018 at the Triple-A level.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Martin Perez: Will begin season in bullpen
Perez said Tuesday he doesn't expect to be used as a starter until mid-April, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.
The news comes as little surprise as the Twins have no need for a fifth starter until that point due to several off days over the first couple weeks of the season. Perez has looked sharp in spring training as he has showcased increased velocity on his fastball after making some offseason tweaks to his delivery.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Jorge Polanco: Looks set to bat second in order
Polanco started at shortstop and batted second in Monday's spring training win over Boston in what was likely a dress rehearsal of the Opening Day lineup, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Polanco had been out since Tuesday for personal reasons, but the absence won't significantly impact his preparation for Opening Day. He went 2-for-3 on Monday and is hitting .296 (8-for-27) with a .752 OPS this spring.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Jason Castro: Looks set as starting catcher
Castro started at catcher and batted eighth in Monday's spring training win over Boston in what was likely a dress rehearsal of the Opening Day lineup, Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Castro is hitting just .217 (5-for-23) this spring, but more importantly he's looked fully healthy after season-ending knee surgery last May. He's set to be the starting catcher, but will likely platoon with Mitch Garver.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Jonathan Schoop: Looks set to hit seventh
Schoop hit seventh in the lineup in Monday's spring training win over Boston in what was likely a dress rehearsal for Opening Day, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Schoop is hitting .242 with one home run and a .699 OPS in 33 AB this spring. He's a bounce-back candidate as the Twins say they spotted a flaw in his swing after he altered his approach last May to compensate for an oblique injury. Hitting seventh in the order isn't great news for his fantasy value, but he may move up the order if he returns to his pre-2018 production at the plate.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Max Kepler: Looks set to bat leadoff
Kepler batted leadoff in Monday's spring training game that may have been a dress rehearsal for Opening Day, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. "He's taken to [hitting leadoff] very well, he's had very positive comments and remarks with all of us on the idea, and it's something we're going to see going forward," said manager Rocco Baldelli.
It looks like Kepler will hit leadoff most days, but Baldelli will likely alter his lineup frequently based on matchups. Kepler had an 11.6 percent walk rate last season, so he could improve on his .314 OBP last year if he has better luck on balls in play (.236 BABIP). Hitting leadoff should boost his fantasy value slightly with more at-bats and could lead to a few more stolen-base attempts as well.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Tomas Telis: Moves to minors
The Twins reassigned Telis to their minor-league camp Monday, Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Tomas was no higher than fourth on the Twins' organizational catching depth chart this spring, making it unsurprising that he didn't break camp with the big club. The 27-year-old will likely begin the campaign at Triple-A Rochester.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Fernando Romero: Struggles in Sunday's spring outing
Romero gave up five runs (four earned) and did not retire a batter while giving up three walks and a hit in Sunday's spring training loss to Toronto. "It's a good outing to wipe clean, because I've really enjoyed the way he's thrown the ball," manager Rocco Baldelli told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Romero, who has been moved to the bullpen after working as a starter last season, had given up one earned run in nine innings before Sunday's clunker. It sounds like he'll be given a mulligan, but he may need to impress in his final spring outing. It sounds like the Twins plan to use him as a reliever in many different spots. He could be in the closer mix as well; Baldelli hasn't indicated whether he'll use a single stopper or a bullpen-by-committee approach.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Jorge Polanco: Returning Monday
Polanco (personal) will return to the lineup Monday against Boston, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Polanco had been out since Tuesday for personal reasons, but the absence won't significantly impact his preparation for Opening Day. He'll play shortstop and bat second in a lineup that looks a lot like the one the Twins may use in the first game of the season.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Gabriel Moya: Has shoulder injury
Moya has been dealing with a shoulder injury and isn't currently throwing, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. "It's probably going to be a few days before he's going to be reassessed," said manager Rocco Baldelli.
It sounds like Moya will likely will begin the season on the injured list. Not much is known about the injury, although it sounds somewhat ominous.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Mike Morin: Continues strong spring
Morin threw a scoreless inning in Friday's spring training win over Baltimore. He's thrown seven scoreless innings with six strikeouts and one walk this spring.
Morin is a long shot to make the major-league roster, but his strong spring could get him consideration for a promotion early in the spring if he stays hot at Triple-A.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Jorge Polanco: Out with personal issue
Polanco has been out of the spring training lineup since Tuesday due to a personal issue, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
It doesn't appear to by anything that will put his Opening Day status in doubt. Polanco hasn't done much at the plate this spring by hitting .250 (6-for-24) with just two extra-base hits (both doubles), but he's set to begin the season as the starting shortstop.... See More ... See Less
Twins' Chase De Jong: Assigned to minor-league camp
De Jong was reassigned to minor-league camp Saturday.
De Jong put up solid numbers with the Twins last season, posting a 3.57 ERA in four starts. However, he was cast off the 40-man roster in late January and faces an uphill battle to get back to the majors.... See More ... See Less