Deinys Suarez was scheduled to pitch three innings in an extended spring training game today. If all goes well, he'll likely be headed to Class AA New Britain to begin his American journey.
It's taken awhile for him to get to this point.
Suarez defected from Cuba to the Dominican Republic with Yunesky Maya in 2009.While Maya signed with the Nationals for a $7.4 million deal and reached the majors last season, Suarez, apparently, held out for a big payday and only gave in several weeks ago when the Twins, who scouted him several times, signed him (heard it was less than $1 million),
Suarez has been working out in Fort Myers,Fla., and has regained most of this conditioning. So the Twins will finally get to see what they have in the 27-year old.
Yes, he's 27. That means he could be in play for a major league bullpen spot next year - heck, even this year if he dominates.
But can he dominate?
``Looks like an asset,'' Mike Radcliff, the Twins vice president in charge of player personnel,wrote in an e-mail.
UPDATE: Radcliff just pointed out to me that Suarez has been a starter in the past but is considered a reliever for now until he can build endurance.
Suarez is 6-1, 200 pounds with the basic four-pitch mix of fastball, curve, slider and change up. His fastball is 87-92 miles an hour and Twins feel he has a good command/control background
We'll find out pretty soon what kind of pitcher he is.
Righthander Bruce Pugh has been promoted to Class AA New Britain. He's worth watching - if you can ignore the eight runs in 1.1 innings he gave up in his debut yesterday.
Pugh can run his fastball up to 94 miles an hour, but it's got really nice movement. The Twins think he'll thrive as a reliever but is still developing.
Class AAA Rochester currently has 10 pitchers after the recent round of callups/demotions. The Red Wings face more moves Monday and Tuesday when Glen Perkins and Francisco Liriano come off the DL for the Twins.
Righthander Dakota Watts, perhaps the hardest thrower in the organization, is off the DL and back at Class A Fort Myers.
Outfielder Aaron Hicks ( sprained thumb) is about ready to return to the Fort Myers lineup. Hicks hasn't played since May 24 and was batting .325 over his last ten games when he was injured. He has a .807 OPS against lefties and is still trying to get it going against righties (.663 OPS). But he makes up for whatever issues he has against righties with a higher walk rate. He's batting .224 vs righties but has a .336 on base percentage.
I still think he's going to be a player but scouting director Deron Johnson, who took Hicks with his first-ever pick as scouting director - said it might be more like a Torii Hunter-type of development.
UPDATE: With Hughes headed to the Twins with Revere, infielder Steve Singleton and lefthander James Tarsi have been promoted from New Britain to Rochester.