Getting Down To The Nitty Gritty

Only a few days of Spring Training remain for the Twins and the Red Wings. The Twins open next Monday, March 31 in Chicago, and the Red Wings are set to open Thursday, April 3 in Buffalo. Both the Twins and the Red Wings lost today at the Lee County Sports Complex. Pittsburgh edged the Twins 2-1 while the Wings were pounded by Pawtucket 10-1 next door on the Minor League side of things.

The wind was blowing out to left during the Red Wings game, and Pawtucket took advantage of it with five HRs including one by Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava who batted in every inning for the first half of the game for Pawtucket.

Brooks Raley started the game for the Red Wings. The lefty out of Texas A&M was claimed off waivers from the Cubs just before Spring Training and has pitched in the big leagues parts of the last two years. He only allowed one run–on an Alex Hassan HR–on four hits in four innings. Yohan Pino, Virgil Vasquez and Mark Hamburger also pitched for the Wings, and each gave up at least one long ball.

The Wings run scored in the seventh when Brad Nelson doubled and Evan Bigley drove him home with a single. The only Red Wings player with more than one hit was Dan Rohlfing who contributed two singles. Rohlfing is still technically on the Twins Major League roster right now and was playing in the Minor League game to get some at bats.

Former Twins GM and current Twins VP Bill Smith was kind enough to give the New Britain broadcast Jeff Dooley and I a tour of the Twins Minor League Academy they are building at the Lee County Sports Complex. It is really going to be something else. The plan is for this facility to house Twins Minor Leaguers during spring training and when they are playing at the complex during the actual season.  Currently, only Detroit and Pittsburgh have similar facilities. Here are more details.

Below is a picture of a field they are constructing behind the new building. The GCL Twins will play their games on this field.

GCL field

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other notes from today…

-It certainly looks like Kyle Gibson is landing a job in the Twins rotation. Reportedly, the Twins have placed LHP Scott Diamond on waivers.

-Speaking of Gibson, we chatted with him today about his Spring Training and his new fatherhood. Plus, he couldn’t wait to get in a late dig about my Jayhawks. You can listen HERE. Gibson is clearly jealous of Kansas’ success.

-Yesterday, it looked like Vance Worley would be in the Red Wings bullpen. (In fact, he looked good in a 1-2-3 inning a day ago.) The Twins traded him to the Pirates yesterday afternoon, however, so that’s not going to happen.

-Penfield High School product Jason Kanzler is a great story. He was lightly recruited out of HS, got cut by Northeastern, but wound up going to the University at Buffalo and having a great career. He was the Mid American Conference Player of the Year last season and was drafted by the Twins in the 20th round. Jason talked with me today about how his first spring training is going. That will really be something if he plays for the Red Wings someday.

-The Twins–and baseball’s–top prospect Byron Buxton has been sidelined by a left wrist injury that will keep him out for the start of the season. Buxon was slated to start the year at Double A New Britain. Let’s hope this doesn’t keep him on the shelf for long. Wings fans certainly would like to see him at Frontier Field later this year.

-Weird sighting of the day…Hall of Fame manager Tony LaRussa walking through the Minor League side of the Twins complex. I have NO idea what he was doing there, but it was definitely him.

-If you missed it yesterday, the Red Wings are installing a new videoboard in RF. 

-Finally, the Twins moved to Minnesota from Washington in 1961. However, they STILL use some old trunks that the Senators used on train trips back in the 1950s. Visual proof is below…

Senators trunks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Red Wings play Pawtucket on the Boston side of Fort Myers tomorrow. Trevor May will get the start for the Wings.

Remember, the Wings open at home Saturday, April 5 against Buffalo!

Go Wings!

Josh

Now This Is More Like It…

After all the rain yesterday, it was great to see the sun today in Fort Myers (as evidenced below by that lame picture of a palm tree.)

palm tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, the soaking rain from a day ago prevented the Red Wings from playing their regularly scheduled exhibition against the Norfolk Tides. Instead, they played a quasi-intrasquad game with Double A New Britain. I say “quasi” because no one was allowed to run the bases and infielders weren’t allowed on the dirt  because it was still so soft. However, pitchers were able to get some innings in and hitters were able to see live pitching.

The Wings used 6’9″ Alex Meyer for the first four innings, and he showed impressive stuff. As reported, he throws hard and has a wicked breaking ball. The Twins want him to refine his command and further polish his changeup, but there is little doubt Meyer could be dominant. No Wings pitcher has fanned more than 10 hitters in a game in a couple of years. Meyer should have a chance to change that.

Lefty Logan Darnell, who pitched on the same collegiate staff as Meyer at the University of Kentucky followed with three sharp innings. He kept the ball down and was very impressive. Vance Worley, the Twins Opening Day starter in 2013 who was recently outrighted to the Red Wings, then pitched a sharp 1-2-3 inning. It looks like Worley will open the season in the Wings bullpen.  Michael Tonkin pitched the final “inning” and looked good as well. All in all, the pitching for both sides look pretty good. Pat Dean who pitched a chunk of last year for the Red Wings pitched well for New Britain, in fact.

UPDATE: it looks like the Pirates have acquired Worley from the Twins for cash considerations.

Before we get to some Odds and Ends, how about a couple of pictures of people you might recognize…

Former Red Wings manager Phil Roof

phil roof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And The Mayor…Tommy Watkins

tommy watkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the Odds and Ends…

-The Twins beat Baltimore 4-1 in an exhibition at Hammond Stadium.  Chris Colabello, still trying to land an Opening Day MLB job with the Twins, ripped a double and is hitting .351 now on the spring. Scott Diamond and Kyle Gibson are apparently having what the Cliburns used to call a “dance off” for the final spot in the Twins starting rotation, and both pitched well today. Diamond went three innings and allowed just one run on two hits. Gibson fired three shutout innings and gave up just two hits. Here’s a quick story on the game.

-I bumped into RHP Matt Guerrier who was released by the Twins yesterday. Well, he resigned a Minor League deal with the Twins today. Matt was in uniform and worked out on the Minor League side of the complex this morning. He is likely going to begin this year in Extended Spring Training in Fort Myers, but—if all goes well—is hoping to be in Rochester soon. He says he feels great, and I’ve heard he threw the ball well in Major League camp.

-Mike Pelfrey started the Twins exhibition today. Check out this prank the Twins pulled on him in the clubhouse recently.

-Twins Minor League Director Brad Steil sat down with us today and gave us a Spring Training report. Listen in here.

-We also visited with the aforementioned Alex Meyer today after his outing. He’s excited about coming to Rochester and his first chance to face Triple A hitters.

-Jonah Keri previewed the AL Central for Grantland. He’s not very optimistic about the Twins.

-Watched Kohl Stewart pitch in an intrasquad game today,and he was impressive. The 4th pick of the draft last year by the Twins won’t turn 20 until after the season. His fastball has excellent life, and he has a nice breaking ball. It might be a little while before he reaches Rochester, but he has a chance to be a good one.

-Last night enjoyed a terrific meal with former Red Wings trainers (now Twins ATCs) Dave Pruemer and Tony Leo, former Red Wings pitching coach (now Twins bullpen coach) Bobby Cuellar and the New Britain Rock Cats announcer Jeff Dooley. Bobby even bought! I know…I didn’t believe it either.

-Finally, back in Rochester the Wings unveiled plans for a new videoboard in right field. This should be great. Check out the story.

The Red Wings should be able to play their scheduled exhibition with the Pawtucket Red Sox tomorrow with no worries. So finally, I should be able to see a “normal” exhibition game.

Until tomorrow, Go Wings!

Josh

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainy Days and Mondays

In twelve years of coming to Twins/Red Wings Spring Training in Fort Myers, I think the weather today was probably the worst I’ve experienced. The day was almost a complete wash-out with the Twins game with the Tampa Bay Rays cancelled due to Mother Nature.

 

The Wings were supposed to play the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate Durham today, but the threat of bad weather threw those plans for a loop. Instead, the Wings played the Twins Double-A affiliate New Britain in an intrasquad game. It lightly drizzled throughout the game which was finally halted after six innings tied at 4.

 

Sean Gilmartin, the lefty acquired during the offseason from the Braves for Ryan Doumit, started on the mound for the Wings and lasted four innings. He gave up four runs on just two hits (one of them a 1st inning 3-run HR from hulking C.J. Ziegler). The former 1st rounder out of Florida State walked three and fanned three.

 

RHP A.J. Achter, who apparently has had an excellent spring, worked a scoreless fifth inning. LHP Edgar Ibarra then struck out the side in the sixth.

 

Offensively, former Norfolk Tides corner infielder Brandon Waring continued his hot spring with a HR for the Wings. OFer Evan Bigley added an RBI single. Guys like James Beresford, Eric Fryer, Brad Nelson, Darin Mastroianni and Danny Santana also chipped in hits.

The big news the Lee County Sports Complex today concerned a big round of cuts made by the Twins that helps sharpen the picture of the Red Wings Opening Day roster.  RHPs Ryan Pressly and Michael Tonkin along with catcher Chris Herrmann were optioned to the Red Wings. Plus, LHP Matt Hoffman and Aaron Thompson, RHP Deolis Guerra, OF Wilkin Ramirez and infielders Doug Bernier and Deibinson Romero were all reassigned to Minor League camp. All nine of those players would appear likely to be in a Wings uniform April 3 in Buffalo.

Additionally, the Twins released former Wings RHP Matt Guerrier who was in camp on a Minor League deal after coming back from arm surgery. The Twins are leaving open the idea of resigning Guerrier though so he still could end up in Rochester again at some point.

The Twins are now down to 29 players in Major League and need to trim down to 25 by the end of the week. A couple of those decisions should be interesting.

Other odds and ends from a rainy Monday in Spring Training…among the guys still battling for a spot on the Twins 25 man roster: Chris Colabello. Coming off one of the best Red Wings seasons in decades, Colabello still isn’t sure if he is going to make the team. He’s put up big numbers this spring though…a scout told me he thinks Michael Tonkin could be dominant. He said Tonkin just needs to develop better consistency with his slider and that Tonkin’s fastball has been “just about unhittable” this spring…that same scout likened probable Wings shortstop Danny Santana to former Wing Alexi Casilla, and he meant it as a big compliment. Sounds like Santana will be fun to watch…Wings manager Gene Glynn was in his normal upbeat mood. His son Chris is going to be serving the Red Wings in a variety of rolls this year. Chris will be catching in the bullpen, throwing batting practice and also working as the Wings video coordinator…former manager Phil Roof looks great in the Major League clubhouse where he is helping out. He also made a point of mentioning how highly he thinks of Gene Glynn as a manager…How’s this for a sighting in Minor League camp? Baseball great Pudge Rodriguez…the Twins are converting his son Dereck to the mound after beginning his career as a strong-armed outfielder.

Tomorrow, the Wings hope to take on the Norfolk Tides. The Twins play their parent club the Orioles at 1:05. The forecast isn’t great again, but hopefully we will have better luck!

Now, how about some links…

-I chatted with Wings catcher Eric Fryer today. This is what he had to say.

-Here’s more on Guerrier getting released and the Twins moves today.

-Make sure to check out Joe Territo’s photos from spring training here on the Wings Facebook page.

-In honor of Major League Baseball opening the season in Australia, here’s a good “Get To Know You” segment from Twins Daily with Wings Aussie infielder James Beresford

-Ever wonder who has the best eye in baseball? Wonder no more…

-It was this kind of day in the Fort 

Until tomorrow…Go Wings!

 

Josh

The Kid Has Landed

83. It’s 83 degrees in Fort Myers. Let’s get that out of the way first. I apologize if that makes anyone want to punch me more than normal. After all, I had to sweep a dusting of snow off my windshield this morning before heading to Rochester International for this annual trip to Twins/Red Wings Spring Training. Considering that, 83 feel pretty good.

Over the next few days, I’ll give you some reports from the Lee County Sports Complex as another season of Red Wings Baseball rapidly gets closer and closer. I’ll try to post a few photos too (although Joe Territo has been doing a great job of that the past several days. Check out the Wings Facebook page for some of those.) Plus, we hope to provide some audio interviews with some interesting folks.

In the meantime, how about some quick links to articles you may have missed to whet your appetite for the season to come…

-Former Red Wings shortstop Jason Bartlett is trying to make the Twins as a utility man. He may have a decision to make Tuesday if he doesn’t make the ballclub.

-The reigning IL MVP and Rookie of the Year, Chris Colabello turned down a $1 million contract in Korea to stay in the States and try to make the Twins. So far he’s having a good camp.

-Major League Baseball just opened their season in Australia. Here’s an Australian’s humorous take on it.

That’s it for now. It’s cooled off to 81 degrees since I started typing. Keep your fingers crossed for the weather here tomorrow though. There’s a chance for some rain which would interfere with my opportunity to…you know…actually see some baseball. Sounds like the Red Wings exhibition tomorrow might get pushed up a bit to foil Mother Nature.

So…until tomorrow…Go Wings!

 

-Josh

Spring Training Day Three

The Wings lost 5-4 to Pawtucket Monday afternoon at the Red Sox brand new spring training facility in Fort Myers.

Speedster Darrin Mastroianni doubled and tripled in his first two times up and scored a pair of runs each time being knocked in by Tsuyoshi Nishioka—once on a ground out and the other time on a single.  Wilkin Ramirez tripled home the Wings other two runs.

RHP P.J. Walter—a former St. Louis Cardinal—started for the Wings and allowed three runs in four innings.  Two of the runs came on a HR from Daniel Nava.  RHP Sam Deduno, who like Walters figures to be in the Wings starting rotation, suffered the loss allowing two runs in three innings.  Deduno’s stuff seems very lively, but he struggled a bit with his command today.

The Wings lost the game, but Minor League spring training games can sometimes be a little weird.  For example, a couple of innings ended before there were three outs because the Pawtucket pitcher had thrown too many pitches.  Also, Red Sox star Kevin Youkilis stayed back in Fort Myers instead of traveling with Boston to Clearwater.  He batted second in each of the first five innings for the Paw Sox and promptly banged out three hits. In fact, Youkilis was going back and forth between the Double A and Triple A game.  He probably wound up with 9-10 plate appearances today!

-New Wings hitting coach Tom Brunansky is excited to be coming to Rochester this year.  “I’m looking forward to being up in that area,” says Brunansky.  “Most of my playing career was spent on the west coast and last year with New Britain I got to see parts of New York state I had never seen outside (New York City). It was beautiful and I’m looking forward to seeing more of it.” He also is a big golfer who can’t wait to take a shot at Oak Hill Country Club.

As for his hitting philosophy “Bruno” says he tries to keep it simple for his hitters and doesn’t want them thinking too much at the plate.  He preaches “good balance with good extension and follow through on the swing and then good balance again.”

Brunansky also touts former Red Wings star Merv Rettenmund as one of the hitting coaches during his career who had a very positive impact on his development.

-Outfielder Joe Benson is having a very good spring training for Minnesota but is still likely to be headed to Rochester to be the Wings centerfielder.  I enjoyed hearing Benson telling former Wings trainer and current Twins trainer Dave Pruemer his amazing story about getting robbed at gunpoint in Venezuela this winter. I have a feeling, if Benson is in Rochester, this is a story he will telling the local media about constantly.

-The Twins reassigned Australian born righty Brendan Wise to minor league camp today.  Wise has pitched in the big leagues with Detroit, and had a pretty decent spring from what I have heard.  He should be in the Wings bullpen. The Twins still have 38 players left in Major League camp so they still have a ton of decisions to make concerning their roster.  That obviously will impact the Wings roster too.

-With 38 players still left in Major League camp, it is still almost impossible to predict what the Wings roster is going to look like on Opening Day.  There still are a TON of question marks. In fact–right now—I would say about the only thing I know FOR SURE is that Tsuyoshi Nishioka will open up the season playing second base almost all the time. So much hinges on whether guys like Chris Parmalee, Brian Dozier, Sean Burroughs and Joe Benson make the Twins.  Also, the Wings catching situation is up in the air until the Twins decide what they will do behind the plate.  Do they use Ryan Doumit as Joe Mauer’s sole backup? If they keep a third catcher, will it be Drew Butera, Rene Rivera or J.R Towles?  I certainly don’t envy Terry Ryan and Ron Gardenhire when it comes to trying to figure out that 25 man roster.

-Still a lot of uncertainty with the pitching staff too. It sounds like Scott Diamond, P.J. Walter and Sam Deduno are pretty much locks for the starting rotation right now.  Liam Hendriks will obviously be there too if he doesn’t make the Twins.  Still much to be determined.

-Talked to Pawtucket pitching coach Rich Sauveur today and he has had both Luis Perdomo and Sam Deduno in winter ball in the past.  Both are likely headed to the Wings pitching staff, and Sauveur is a big fan of both guys.  He says Deduno has a “great curveball.” Sauveur, by the way, is one of the last lefthanded knuckleballers.

-Did you hear the A’s are going to use former Wing Grant Balfour as their closer?

-One of our favorite spots in Fort Myers is Mona Lisa Italian Restaurant. The walls are adorned with autographed pictures of professional athletes who  have Italian ancestry.  We spotted a photo of Rochester’s Mr. Baseball Joe Altobelli as well as Carmen Basilio.  I’m sure there is a Johnny Antonelli somewhere too.  Nick Sciarratta, the oldest member of the Wings front office, would love this place.

-This Marlins home run display is ridiculous.

-Louisville broadcaster Matt Andrews is a proud alum of Ohio State.  He and I will have a dinner at Uncle Ralph’s Steakout riding on this game.

It’s back to Rochester for us tomorrow.  Make sure you check out the cable listings for our upcoming Red Wings Insider on Time Warner Cable SportsNet that will feature a bunch of interviews we shot from Fort Myers. All of our spring training coverage has been presented by MINI of Rochester-opening June 1 on West Henrietta Road near Bailey Road. 

The Mini has become the most popular British car ever made, with more than 5.3

million units sold. I believe it too. I’ve seen them ALL OVER here in Fort Myers.

Check out the Wings Facebook page for some photos from today in the Fort!

Remember…the season starts April 5 in Syracuse with the home opener April 7 vs. Buffalo.  It’s almost here, and I have a feeling this is going to be some kind of season at Frontier Field!

-Josh

Spring Training Day Two

Today was a camp day for the Red Wings at the Lee County Sports Complex.  That means that the Wings played the Twins Double A affiliate New Britain.  The two teams only played seven innings and technically New Britain won the game 4-1.  Jamey Carroll, whom the Twins signed to a two year deal in the offseason, batted in each of the first 4-5 innings for the Wings.  As a veteran, he was given the opportunity to avoid the Twins cross-state trip today to Jupiter.  Former Wings infielder Alexi Casilla also avoided the Twins trip and played for New Britain.

Wings manager Gene Glynn was happy with the swings from a couple of the Minor League free agents the Twins signed this offseason…namely Steve Pearce and Matt Carson.  Both of those guys have put up some serious Triple A numbers in the past and could be big parts of the Wings lineup.  Aaron Bates also a good at bat or two for the Wings.

On the pitching side, Scott Diamond—who will back in the Wings rotation to start the season—struggled a little bit at the beginning of his stint. Anthony Slama pitched a nice inning for the Wings.  David Bromberg worked the last couple of innings and was very impressive.  You might remember Bromberg from 2010 when he started a handful of games for the Wings at the end of the season.  The big righty started last year back in Double  A and would have been the Wings at some point during the season. However, he took a line drive off his right forearm and suffered a fracture early in the season, and that really derailed his 2011 campaign.  Bromberg has lost about 30 pounds since he pitched for the Wiings in 2010 and looked terrific.  Gene Glynn had not seen Bromberg pitch before and was very impressed.  Bromberg likely will start this season back in New Britain, but—based on today’s outing—it will be interesting to see how he progresses this season.  

Speaking of the Wings new manager Gene Glynn, here are a few of his thoughts from spring training:

On his early impressions of the Twins: “It’s so organized here. It’s easy to see why they’ve been a successful organization for so long.”


What he has seen from the team this spring: 
“I really like the uptempo way the guys are going about their business. Guys are having fun and getting ready for the season.”

On new Wings hitting coach Tom Brunansky” He’s a very outgoing guy. People are going to get to know him quickly. He’s going to do a very good job.”


On his managing style: “There aren’t a lot of things better than a three run homer. But we will run and do some things to manufacture runs when we need to.  We should have some guys that can do that stuff and there is a place for players like that in the big leagues.”

Other tidbits from Fort Myers:

-Righty Kyle Gibson, coming back from Tommy John surgery, is going to throw from 90 feet for the first time tomorrow.  He is planning on throwing his first bullpen session off a mound on June 7 and is hoping to pitch in actual games sometime in early August.

-Bumped into former Wings pitcher Henry Bonilla who is beginning his first season as the Twins Gulf Coast League pitching coach.  Henry pitched for the Wings in 2004-2006 and was a valuable swingman for the Wings pitching staff.  He pitched for three years in the PCL after that for the Angels and Dodgers and–last year—actually pitched in a professional league in Italy.  I would bet that Henry winds up being an outstanding pitching coach.

-Keep hearing A LOT of good buzz about catcher Chris Herrmann.  The former Miami Hurricane hasn’t caught a ton in his pro career—he was primarily an outfielder in college—and he may actually start the season in New Britain. However, Herrmann is definitely a name for Wings/Twins fans to keep in mind. Heard someone in the Twins system saying that Herrmann has “lightning in his bat.” That is a good thing. 

-“How’d you call that one?”  Whenever I hear someone holler that at mean, I know a Cliburn is nearby.  Stu Cliburn is getting ready to begin another season as the New Britain pitching coach.

-Speaking of New Britain, it’s always great to see their radio announcer Jeff Dooley. New Britain is going through an ownership change this season.  Former Red Wings intern Ricky Ferrell is their Vice President of Ticket Operations.

-It’s also great to see longtime Red Wings bus driver/season seat holder Bob Borchard from Covered Wagon Tours.  Bob spends much of the winter in Naples and likes to stop by the Twins minor league complex to check in on the Wings.  Make sure to keep it between the lines this year Bob!

-Since getting optioned from the Twins to the Wings, Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka has looked good at the plate.  He did commit an error in the field today on a possible double play ball.  Here is a Patrick Reusse column in the Minneapolis Star Tribune concerning “Nishi.”

-The Star Tribune’s Lavelle Neal III who does a great job covering the Twins for the Star Tribune has some quick hitters on top Twins prospects here

-Sounds like Josh Willingham will be the Twins primary left fielder

The Twins host Tampa Bay again tomorrow at Hammond Stadium.  The Wings are across town taking on Pawtucket at the Boston Red Sox new facility. That means John Blotzer and I will have a busy Monday!

Make sure you check out photos from today at the Red Wings facebook page.

Also, don’t forgot all of our Spring Training coverage is presented by MINI of Rochester-opening June first on West Henrietta Road, near Bailey Road. Did you know…

U.S. dealers sold more than 57,000 MINIs in 2011, an increase of 26 percent over

2010.

We will check in tomorrow with another report from Fort Myers.  Don’t forget…the Wings Home Opener is April 7 vs. Buffalo!

-Josh

 

Wings Roll Pawtucket

Time for more coverage of Red Wings Spring Training presented by MINI of Rochester – opening June first on West Henrietta Road, near Bailey Road.

Our first day at the Twins Spring Training home—the Lee County Sports Complex—is in the books, and it has been a good day for both the Red Wings and the Twins.  The Red Wings pounded Pawtucket 9-2 on the Triple A side while the Twins are in the midst of hammering Tampa Bay 16-4 as I type this entry.

The Wings pounded out 16 hits in their victory over Pawtucket.  The top two hitters in Gene Glynn’s lineup were Darin Mastrioanni and Tsuyoshi Nishioka and each contributed three hits apiece.  Rene Tosoni and Aaron Bates each had RBI hits early in the game as the Wings pulled away for an easy win.

The pitching was excellent too.  Lefty Luke French, who has pitched in the big leagues for Detroit and Seattle, started and went 4.2 innings allowing four hits and two runs.  Former Angles reliever Jason Bulger then pitched the next 2.1 innings without much difficulty.  Another righty, Luis Perdomo, then finished up with two scoreless innings.  

New Wings manager Gene Glynn is very enthusiastic about how this year’s team is shaping up, but the roster is far from set.  The Twins still have about 35 guys in camp and some of those players will obviously filter down to the Wings.  

Some other tidbits from today:

-Justin Morneau had been struggling at the plate this spring but had a huge game for Minnesota crushing two long home runs off former IL Pitcher of the Year Jeremy Hellickson.

-Chris Parmalee is making a strong push to completely skip the Wings and make the Twins out of spring training.  He homered again today for the Twins.  The first baseman was the Twins best hitter last September after a promotion from Double A New Britain.

-Catcher J.R. Towles was impressive today for the Twins with a home run and a double high off the fence. If Towles doesn’t make the Twins as a backup for Joe Mauer, he likely will be one of the Wings catchers.

-Quote from Trevor Plouffe: “I love Rochester…but I have played my last game as a Red Wing.”  Trevor was arguably the best hitter in the IL last year during his time in Rochester last year and looks to have a utility type job locked down in spring training. Most of his time figures to come in the outfield for Minnesota.  I reminded Trevor he could always play in an injury rehab role for the Wings in the future and he said “that would actually be fun.”  Plouffe honestly has really enjoyed his time as a Wing. It’s just time for him to be a full-time big leaguers.

-Righty Luis Perdomo who finished today’s Red Wings game on the mound is not a big guy but appears to have very good stuff.

-Talked to RHP Daryl Thompson who likely will be one of the Wings starting pitchers.  I reminded him that—before making his MLB debut with the Reds in 2008—his last Triple A start was at Frontier Field.  He remembered it like yesterday and claimed he even remembered the very pitch that cost him a complete game victory.  “That’s probably one of the best games I’ve ever pitched,” he said.

-Former Red Wings hitting coach Riccardo Ingram looks GREAT.  You would never know that he was in a fight for his life in 2009 while dealing with a brain tumor.  

-Red Wings reliever Cole DeVries is quite the world traveler. Pretty much every offseason, Cole and his family take a trip to a place they have never been before.  This winter their destination was Peru!

-2011 Red Wings righty Kyle Gibson is recovering from Tommy John surgery right now but is doing everything except throwing off a mound.  He possibly could pitch for the Wings later in the year.  The former Missouri Tiger couldn’t help himself when he saw my Kansas Jayhawks hat today hollering “that is the worst hat I have EVER seen.” Kyle, sorry KU is in the Elite Eight and the Tigers got bounced in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament.  

-On the flip side, new Wings hitting coach Tom Brunansky loved my Jayhawks hat.  After all, Tom’s son is an outfielder on the Kansas baseball team.  Rock Chalk!

-LHP Aaron Thompson, who possibly was going to be with the Wings to start the season, instead will be suspended by MLB to begin the year. Here is a link to the story.

Make sure you check out  http://www.facebook.com/RocRedWings for some photos from today in Fort Myers.

Thanks again to MINI of Rochester for sponsoring this Spring Training Coverage.  

The MINI Roadster, just introduced in January, is the first convertible model

designed strictly for two people. It’s heavy on style, but light on its roof,

providing a lively ride and brilliant handling.

We will be back with more from Twins camp tomorrow.

 

Josh

Fort Myers…Day One

Welcome to our Red Wings Spring Training Coverage sponsored by MINI of Rochester – opening June first on West Henrietta Road, near Bailey Road.

We arrived last night and promptly bumped into former Red Wings outfielder Ben Revere who—as usual—was showing off his trademark smile. We got checked in just in time for me to watch my Kansas Jayhawks play their second horrible game in a row—and yet somehow win to advance to the Elite Eight. Hopefully, that’s a good sign for the trip!

We are heading over to the Lee County Sports Complex soon for what will be a long day of spring training action.  The Red Wings are taking on Pawtucket today in a minor league game while—right next door at Hammond Stadium—the Twins will be playing the Tampa Bay Rays.  

Make sure you check out the blog later for some highlights from today.  We should have some pictures up as well on our Facebook page

Remember this spring training coverage is brought to you by MINI of Rochester – opening June first on West Henrietta Road, near Bailey Road. Did you know that the MINI has become the most popular British car ever made, with more than 5.3 million units sold? Yeah…me neither!

-Josh

A post about nothing….sort of.

The hit TV series “Seinfeld” was famous for being a “show about nothing.” Today’s post is sort of a homage, but not really.

Tomorrow, we’ll post a real blog which will update and entertain you as we speed toward Opening Day at Frontier Field April 7. You’ll find out:

* the 10 players who will be honored on our 10th season with the Twins magnet series
* a preview of our yearbook, and the reasoning behind why it will be the only print product sold at our games this season
* all you’ll need to know about this Saturday, when single game tickets go on sale at our Frontier Field Ticket Office and online
* and what to look for in our exclusive coverage from Spring training in Fort Myers, presented by MINI of Rochester – opening June 1

As usual, we’ll let you know via our official Facebook and Twitter pages when the post is up. Thanks.

 

MT 10-Name that Wing, signs of Spring

Our morning snow has pretty much melted here at One Morrie Silver Way, and it now feels a lot like a day we could play a game here, don’t you think?

Our home opener Saturday April 7 against Wally Backman’s Buffalo Bisons looms in the distance, but today Twins pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Fort Myers, FL. We’ll begin speculating on possible combinations of a 2012 Wings roster here in a few weeks…for now, check out TwinsBaseball.com for complete coverage as the Twins’ exhibition opener against the Rays is just two weeks away on March 3.

Speaking of the Twins: 2011 marks the 10th season of the Red Wings-Minnesota Twins affiliation. The relationship has produced five winning teams for Rochester in nine seasons with one trip to the Governors’ Cup finals – plus two league ERA leaders (Scott Baker, 2005;  Kevin Slowey, 2007)…three IL Rookies of the Year (Jason Kubel, 2004; Francisco Liriano, 2005; Randy Ruiz, 2008)..one league strikeout leader (Boof Bonser, 2005)…one league wins leader (Dave Gassner, 2004)…and two batting titles (Kubel, 2004 and Ruiz, 2008). This season, we’ll feature 10 players from the 10 seasons with the Twins in a magnet series, and we’d like your input. Check out this detail page for information on how you can vote.

And to help kick things off, see if you can identify this player from the 2003 Red Wings season – our first as a Twins affiliate. The first five fans to correctly ID this player   by e-mailing Info@RedWingsBaseball.com will receive a full set of the MT 10 magnet series.

 

 

 

 

 

MiLB.com’s Benjamin Hill posted a story on the impending “residence of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in Rochester this coming season. Here’s a link in case you missed it - the piece provides an updated overview of the how’s and where’s of this unique arrangement at our ballpark this season.

Next week’s blog will go into detail about our 2012 Red Wings Yearbook – which will be bigger than ever before, and include special features on the SWB Yankees playing here this summer. The same book will be sold at all Wings and Yanks games this season. We’re quite proud of our yearbook, which is available each game for only $1 and comes with rosters, stats, lineups and team notes. The 2012 yearbook will also have an expanded scorecard section, as we wil now have just one print product available at the games; we’ll go a little more into detail on that decision next time also.

A couple of dates to note: Red Wings Insider on Time Warner Cable Sports returns on February 29 at 6:30 pm, featuring an interview with new Wings Manager Gene Glynn and features on new Hitting Coach Tom
Brunansky;
and players Liam Hendriks, Brian Dozier, and Joe Benson. Check out the Multimedia section of RedWingsBaseball.com for the complete list of air dates and times, plus archived episodes of previous Insiders. And our annual Ballpark Hiring Day takes place here on Saturday, March 10; find out more about what kind of ballpark jobs will be available, what to bring and when, etc, by clicking here.

-Nick

 

Quick Links:

Regular Season Schedule | Ticket Information
Season Tickets

Group, Picnic & Outdoor Suite Information

Knot Hole Gang Kids’ Club | Ballpark Birthdays

Official Facebook: Facebook.com/RocRedWings | Official Twitter: @RocRedWings

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,819 other followers