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