Friday, March 11, 2005

St. Pete & Repeat

The Twins took the bus up to St. Petersburg this afternoon, 220 miles round-trip, to scrimmage the Devil Rays. A day after officially signing his new contract, Johan Santana again just barely broke a sweat in pitching 3 scoreless innings to start, allowing just 1 hit, a double to Aubrey Huff, and no walks, with 2 strikeouts. Joe Mauer had two hits and scored a run in the 1st inning when Matt LeCroy drove in him and Torii Hunter with a single off Rays starter Dewon Brazelton.

Matty even started the game at Catcher while Mauer was at DH, and although the box score notes an error and passed ball charged to him (same play, or two different miscues?) no Devil Rays runners challenged his arm. Maybe Gardy can carry this experiment into the season. If LeCroy is catching Santana or Radke, presumably the two starters who should allow the fewest baserunners, I don't think his weak arm is much of a factor. That's at least a couple times a week when the manager could give Mauer's knee a rest without pulling his bat from the lineup, or downgrading from LeCroy's bat to the weaker hitter in Mike Redmond. Maybe you wouldn't do it every week, but it could be worth doing at least a few times a month.

Tomorrow was to be the day when Mauer would get behind the plate again, but late yesterday evening the online papers reported that the plan has been pushed back a day. Significant? No? Well, I'm sure all of us dedicated Twins fans will be tuning in tomorrow anyway, if only to check out the new prospects and see Koskie in his Jays threads, but this just makes the Sunday Twins/Red Sox tilt on FSN the Absolute Must-See Game of the Week. Although I'm really looking forward to watching Arsenal/Bolton, Blackburn/Leicester City, and Newcastle/Spurs in FA Cup Quarterfinals action, as well.

As they say over in Highbury: Up the Arse!


At 3/12/2005 6:33 AM, Anonymous Dianna said...

The official word given in the paper was that they didn't want him making two long road trips.

Yeah...two hours is REALLY long.


At 3/12/2005 11:27 PM, Blogger frightwig said...

Dick Bremer said on TV today that his return to catching might even be pushed back to Monday. I hope not. If he's good to go, let the people back home see him in action Sunday!


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