Notes from Fort Myers: Correia hopes for quick spring debut

  • Updated: February 22, 2013 - 8:14 PM

Twin pitcher Kevin Correia

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

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FORT MYERS, FLA. - It's the speed that concerns Kevin Correia the most about his first start of the spring on Saturday, and not the speed of his pitches.

"You want to get out there and get caught up to game speed. You can do bullpens and live batting practice, but it's not really the same until you go out there," said Correia, the Twins' most costly free-agent acquisition of the offseason. "So I'll try to get some quicker outs. You don't want to have a long inning the first time you go out there."

The Twins will make sure nobody does. The plan for their exhibition opener vs. the Orioles in Sarasota is a two-inning limit, with no pitcher throwing more than 20 pitches in an inning. Luis Perdomo, Ryan Pressly, Anthony Slama, Tyler Robertson, Josh Roenicke and Tim Wood are among the other pitchers who could see action.

Most players left behind in Fort Myers, notably Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, will make their spring debut Sunday at home against the Rays.

Correia's results, or anyone else's, aren't what matter for now, manager Ron Gardenhire said. The goal for his starter? "Just go out and get his work in. Not overthrow the ball. Pitch to contact, and get a couple of innings in," Gardenhire said. "Work on the process of [building] arm strength."

With a 35-game exhibition schedule about to get under way, Gardenhire cut Friday's workout short, giving the players the afternoon off.

Guerra gets a call

Righthander Deolis Guerra was a surprise addition to Venezuela's roster for the World Baseball Classic on Friday, bringing to 13 the number of players from the Twins organization who will represent their country.

"Luis Sojo called me into his office [during the Venezuelan winter-league season] and he was like, 'I would like you to be part of our bullpen in the WBC,' " Guerra said of Team Venezuela's manager. "It was a surprise. I was happy about it."

But Guerra, the Twins' lone remaining asset acquired by trading two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana five years ago, wasn't put on Venezuela's roster until Thursday, when WBC teams were finalized. It's not a big deal, Guerra said, because he doesn't need much time to get ready after pitching 26 innings for the eventual Venezuelan champion, Magallanes.

Like most WBC players, Guerra will leave camp on March 3, and return a couple of weeks later.




Age: 21

Acquired: Signed as an undrafted free agent on July 4, 2007.

2012 stats: Batted .309 in 55 games for Class A Fort Myers to earn promotion, then hit .328 with a .398 on-base percentage for Class AA New Britain.

Role: Likely headed to Class AAA Rochester, but if the Venezuelan keeps hitting this way, he will be in the Twin Cities this year or next.

Did you know? Arcia, born in 1991, was also the youngest player on his past three minor league teams.


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