There is live baseball now on going in southwest Florida. The games are still a haphazard collection of whatever players the organizations want to see get some work, rather than anything resembling competitive baseball, but it is still real baseball. The Twins played the Rays yesterday, losing 3-1. The most interesting part of the affair was the look at one of the more significant roster battles the Twins will have to sort out. Byung-Ho Park went 2-2 in his short appearance, including a double. He was designated for assignment over the offseason, in a gamble that paid off for the Twins. Park was not claimed by another team and has a chance to move back into the Twins lineup. The only other player with more than one hit was Park’s replacement Matt Hague, who is a very long shot for a spot on the roster.
The Twins are also apparently very impressed with Ehire Adrianza’s glove work so far in camp, which bodes well for his chances of making the team. He wasn’t expected to contribute much on offense, but if his glove is as good as was reported, that is likely bad news for Danny Santana’s future in the organization.
In the rotation, Justin Haley did not leave a good first impression, getting tagged for three hits and a run in one inning of work. If he fails to impress, he would be returned to the Angels as he was a Rule 5 draftee. Matt Belisle and Nick Tepesch were a bit more impressive in their first Twins outings of spring. Of course, with the very first appearance of spring, it’s important not to way the performance too heavily.
The Twins will be taking on the Red Sox very shortly this afternoon, with the Twins likely taking a great interest in the work of their starting pitcher. Phil Hughes will be making his first appearance since taking a line drive off his knee, and following that with surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. The Twins assume he will be a member of the rotation this year, but it will be important for Hughes to make it through spring unscathed.