Bartlett battling to regain stride
- Article by: La Velle E. Neal III
- Star Tribune
- April 11, 2007 - 12:46 AM
Shortstop Jason Bartlett has three more errors (four) than hits this season. The next several games will test the argument that early results can be misleading.
"I'm more worried about his legs than anything else," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's a little sore in the legs a little bit. This turf can do that to you. He's a fine player, he's a good baseball player once he gets going. He's hit some balls hard. They'll start falling for him. It's always tough getting used to this turf when you have been playing on grass."
Bartlett's strong play down the stretch last season helped stabilize the infield and helped the Twins win the AL Central. Gardenhire appears committed to allowing Bartlett to play himself into form.
"I'll try not to let it snowball and [have] everybody talking about him and making him think he's having a tough time," Gardenhire said, "As long as he keeps swinging and playing the game, he'll be OK."
Infielder Jeff Cirillo will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee at 7:30 a.m. today. Twins physician Dr. John Steubs will preform the surgery. The club will wait until after the surgery to determine the extent of the damage and Cirillo's timetable for recovery.
What's known for sure is that there is a slight meniscus tear in the knee and that a cortisone shot last week didn't work.
Snow = no-go
Anywhere from 4 to 10 inches of snow have been predicted for the Twin Cities today, which is unusual for this time of year -- and a drastic change for members of the baseball industry who spent more than 40 days in Florida for spring training.
Some players -- especially those from Latin American countries -- have never driven in snowy conditions in the Twin Cities.
That subject was brought up to Twins catcher Mike Redmond, who was a teammate of Twins second baseman Luis Castillo with the Florida Marlins.
"Considering I'm not even sure Luis knows how to even get to the ballpark, it will be tough for him, let alone to drive in the snow," Redmond said. "I would want to alert the Minneapolis-area commuters that Luis Castillo would be driving in the snow, because that would be scary. Truly scary."
Castillo, who has never driven in the snow, was unaware of the forecast.
"I don't know what I'm going to do," he said. "I better go slow."
By the time the Twins took the field for early stretching, Redmond had promised to bring Castillo to the park today.
The Twins this week have unveiled uniforms with a patch on the right sleeve in honor of longtime announcer Herb Carneal, who passed away recently at age 83. The circular patch has a microphone and the name "Herb" inside.
Infielder Alexi Casilla and outfielder Josh Rabe have joined the team after being called up from Class AAA Rochester. Rabe started. Casilla will be used off the bench, to give Bartlett and Castillo some time off.
Rondell White will be eligible to come off of the disabled list on April 20, when the Twins open a three-game series in Kansas City.
New Gophers coaches Tubby Smith and Tim Brewster threw out the first pitches before the game, with Smith receiving the louder ovation.
La Velle E. Neal III firstname.lastname@example.org
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