By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wasn’t pleased with how his pitching staff threw the ball in their third spring game, a 9-3 loss to the Red Sox. But the bigger concern to come out of Saturday’s contest was the health of closer Joe Nathan.
Nathan had to leave the game after recording just one out in the third inning due to tightness and soreness in his surgically repaired right elbow. For a team that doesn’t have a clear choice for the closer spot if Nathan isn’t available, it’s not a comforting sight to see him have to leave a game.
After exiting the contest, Nathan went back to the Twins Spring Training complex across town to have his elbow examined by the team doctors. The club will know more from the results of that, but the belief (and hope) of the team is that this could be normal soreness as Nathan works his way back from the surgery.
So we’ll have to see on Sunday what the news is about Nathan. He’ll likely be shut down for at least a few days. Since it’s Spring Training, the club will be cautious with their four-time All-Star closer.
Here are a few other nuggets from the day:
–Jesse Crain was scheduled to pitch in Saturday’s contest but he was scratched due to a case of the flu. It’s possible he could end up throwing in one of the split squad games on Sunday.
–Loek Van Mil had another MRI on his right shoulder but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he hadn’t heard the results of that yet.
— I had a nice visit with Dmitri Young, who was at the game on Saturday with his 12-year-old son, Owen, to watch Delmon. Dmitri said he is officially done playing and was happy to get to take in a ballgame as a fan as Owen was a batboy for the Twins.
But rather than stay in the stands, Dmtiri tried out a different angle to watch the game. He sat between Star Tribune writer, Joe Christensen, and me up in the press box. It was entertaining to listen to Dmitri’s thoughts on the game although Joe had to kindly inform him early on that there is no cheering in the pressbox. Dmitri was in great spirits and after what was tough year for the entire Young family following the passing of the boys’ mother, Bonnie Young, it was heart warming to see them all enjoying the day together.