Still lacking timing, Mastroianni gets cut
FORT MYERS, FLA. – Outfielder Darin Mastroianni was among eight players cut from camp Sunday, which almost clears up one of the big questions heading into spring training.
Mastroianni, who missed most of last season because of left ankle surgery, hit .231 in 10 spring games.
“I think he needs at-bats,” Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. “He needs to get the bat going. He missed a lot of time last year, and I just think he needs time to get his timing down and get in sync.”
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire believes Mastroianni is still favoring the ankle and needs time to feel comfortable running and throwing. “I told him when I sent him out that I don’t think he’s totally clicking,” Gardenhire said. “He’s having better at-bats lately. He’s definitely still not running as well, and it has affected his throwing. He started dropping that arm and throwing like an infielder more than an outfielder.”
With Mastroianni gone, that leaves Alex Presley and Aaron Hicks as the last true center fielders in camp. Antony said Presley could make the team as a starter or bench player, while Hicks would likely be sent to Class AAA Rochester if he’s not the starting center fielder.
Mastroianni was reassigned to the minor league camp along with lefthander Sean Gilmartin, outfielder Jermaine Mitchell and infielders James Beresford and Brandon Waring. Lefthander Kris Johnson, catcher Eric Fryer and infielder Danny Santana were optioned to Class AAA Rochester.
Santana, a long shot to make the team, showed flashes of being an exciting player but also was inconsistent defensively. He batted .391 with five extra-base hits in 10 games but also committed three errors and made defensive mistakes in each of the past three games he played in.
Gardenhire said Santana needs to “slow the game down” and cut down on mistakes.
“He was, to me, one of the more exciting guys in camp that I got a chance to hang out with and watch a little bit and talk to,” Gardenhire said. “He really tries hard to pay attention to what he’s doing. I think he’s a pretty talented kid and is fun to watch.”
Shortstop Pedro Florimon is set to make his Twins spring training debut Monday when the team travels to Bradenton to play the Orioles.
Florimon played five innings in a minor league game Sunday, going 1-for-5 with a triple, RBI and two strikeouts.
“He looked like he was moving around fine,” Antony said. “He looks like he’s still trying to get his timing down.”
The game was played in 2 hours, 12 minutes — easily the quickest game of the spring.
Kevin Correia, who gave up four runs in his last outing, will start against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday. Ubaldo Jimenez is scheduled to start for Baltimore. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m.
La Velle E. Neal III