Different lineups that is. The Twins will finish off their stretch of 14 consecutive games to start the ’09 season on Sunday. And so far, not a single lineup this season has been the same.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire used Sunday to give days off to Michael Cuddyer and Joe Crede. This is the first rest of the year for Cuddyer. Brendan Harris is slotted at third in place of Crede.
The club has a chance at its first series sweep of the year today. They’ve already secured the first series win by winning the first two games.
Chone Figgins, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Robb Quinlan, RF
Bobby Abreu, DH
Torii Hunter, CF
Kendry Morales, 1B
Juan Rivera, LF
Jeff Mathis, C
Erick Aybar, SS
Pitching: Shane Loux, RHP
Denard Span, RF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Brendan Harris, 3B
Jose Morales, C
Nick Punto, SS
Carlos Gomez, CF
Pitching: Glen Perkins, LHP
Just when it seemed like the Twins might be easing on their pursuit of Joe Crede, talks between the two sides are heating up once again.
As Jon Heyman of SI.com first reported, the Twins appear to be closing in on a deal with Crede. It was indicated to me that the two sides could be nearing a deal but I haven’t been able to get much info on what the possible deal might entail. It’s clear that Crede’s agent, Scott Boras, and Twins GM Bill Smith remain in discussions, although, I’m making sure to point out that I’ve heard nothing is finalized yet.
While Crede became the news on Friday night, there were a few interesting tidbits to pass along from the day.
- Manager Ron Gardenhire said that one area he’d like to address this spring is his backup first baseman. Justin Morneau played all 163 games last season (155 at first base). And while Morneau was able to handle that workload, Gardenhire would like the option this season of giving him more rest from playing the field. Michael Cuddyer has held the backup duties at the spot in previous seasons, but Gardenhire would like to keep him in the outfield. So the likely candidates to see playing time at first will be Brian Buscher and Brendan Harris, who would make up the platoon at third base if the Twins don’t sign Crede.
- Gardenhire also mentioned that it’s not necessarily a given that the team will go with 12 pitchers out of spring. It still seems the most likely scenario but Gardenhire won’t rule out the possibility of keeping an extra position player — “I’d like to go with 14 [position players]. But I have to talk to my pitching coach on that one. It’s going to be tough.”
- In addition to the five Spring Training games already being televised, the Twins announced Friday that the MLB Network will be carrying four additional contests that were not previously scheduled to air on Fox Sports North or WFTC. They include the following games: Feb. 25 — Red Sox @ Twins – NESN, Feb. 28 — Twins @ NY Yankees – YES, March 1 — Red Sox @ Twins — NESN, March 17 – Twins @ Red Sox — NESN
- Also of note, hitting coach Joe Vavra said that he’s been pleased with some of the early adjustments that he’s seen in Delmon Young’s swing. Vavra said that his stance is a little wider and that Young looks to be using his legs more. The hope is that these changes will allow Young to turn on the ball more and to use the natural power he generates with his quick hands.
I figured as something fun, I might recommend some good places to eat/see while visiting Fort Myers during Spring Training as a daily (or weekly) thing. A little warning — I don’t get out much other than to eat while I’m here so it will most likely be food related. However, I have played some nice golf courses during the few off days I have here so I’ll try to include those too. So here goes the first recommendation.
Restaurant of the day: Cantino Laredo — a good Mexican restaurant that is located near the Bell Tower Shops at the corner of Daniels Parkway and U.S. 41. It’s first on my list because I’ve already eaten there a couple of times this trip. If you like guacamole, be sure to get it as they make it fresh at the table.