It’s been two weeks since pitchers and catchers officially reported to Fort Myers for Spring Training. The Minnesota Twins have begun Spring Training games with a 2-1 record, and one might be tempted to roll their eyes and see it as an indication that the team will never see .500 in 2013.
However, it’s three games into an exhibition season, and it’s much too soon in the process to base individual or team predictions on a handful of Spring Training games. The players are still shaking off of some rust, so extreme disappointments or surprises might not be genuine at this point.
But, fans are still looking for glimmers of hope are trying to read the tea leaves for insight on what to expect from the team and from individual players in 2013. Here are a few news items and notes I ran across since Spring Training games began that are worth checking out.
A blast from the (recent) past: LaVelle E. Neal III of startribune.com blogs that the Twins may have interest in Jim Thome, who is yet without a team. While I think that another bat with homerun power might be lacking on the team, I seriously doubt whether Thome can propel the Twins into the playoffs, or meaningful September baseball, with his Paul Bunyan-sized swing.
Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweeted about the Thome talk:
#MNTwins official on reported interest in Thome: “Believe everything you read?” My hypothesis: Gardy wants. He’ll have to win fight w/ Ryan.
— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) February 25, 2013
Morneau hasn’t looked like this in years: Phil Mackey of 1500espn.com said on the air on Monday that Justin Morneau has three RBI so far in spring training. Mackey pointed out that it took the Canadian another month to get three RBI in 2011. Mackey talked extensively about Morneau’s early 2013 Spring Training and self-assessment here.
Worley-bird: Vance Worley, who came from the Philadelphia Phillies with Trevor May in December’s Ben Revere trade, is making his case for the nod as Opening Day Starter. Rhett Bollinger of mlb.com shared Worley’s take on his debut, as well as the pitcher’s attitude on Spring Training. Also, @VANIMAL_49 seems to have wasted no time in changing his Twitter avatar to an on-the field picture of him in his Twins uniform, shaking hands after pitching to Joe Mauer. (It looks like a practice jersey, so it was probably updated before today’s start.)
Faster than a speeding bullet: RHP Kyle Gibson has been raising eyebrows with his pitch speed, looking good as he throws post-Tommy John surgery. Neal and Phil Miller of startribune.com said Gibson himself was surprised at the number that came up on the radar gun.
Viva Italia: The Twins will have a representative on Team Italy for the World Baseball Classic, minor league player Chris Colabello. Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press (twincities.com) talked with the first baseman about his early Spring Training success.