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