Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Postgame: Meyer got his emotions under control

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: March 4, 2013 - 4:27 PM

It will wear off soon enough, but Alex Meyer is still getting used to the idea he's a future major leaguer, the peer of all those other players he's heard about. So it's probably understandable that he issued that walk to one of the first hitters he ever faced in a major-league exhibition game.

"I just got a little excited," the 23-year-old Meyer said. "The guy on first base is Matt Holliday. It's a guy I grew up watching on TV. So it's a new experience for me, keeping my emotions down."

He quickly induced a double-play ball, though, showing that even when a little starry-eyed, Meyer has the stuff to retire hitters.

"Fun to watch," manager Ron Gardenhire said approvingly.

Just not fun to hit against. Meyer's fastball looked overpowering, though the pitch-speed scoreboard wasn't working. And "my sinker was coming out well, [getting] a lot of ground balls," he said. "If I get behind somebody, I can throw that and maybe get a ground ball."

Meyer is likely headed for Class AA New Britain this season, but he might not be there long if he pitches like this. With three seasons of college experience, he could rise quickly.

And see a lot more famous hitters, like Holliday.

"As long as you just harness [your excitement], you'll be fine," he said. "I got the first [appearance] out of the way, so that's good."

XXX

One other youngster who's having an impressive spring is Aaron Hicks, whose case for skipping Class AAA and coming north with the Twins just keeps getting stronger.

On Monday, he led off the game against Lance Lynn, an All-Star last year, by working the count to 3-2 and then slashing an opposite-field line drive for a hit. A couple of pitches later, he got a big jump toward stealing second on a pitch that Brian Dozier lined to left, and Hicks was quickly on third. He scored a moment later on Trevor Plouffe's sacrifice fly, the first run in a three-run inning.

"That's usually how I hit, make the pitchers throw strikes," Hicks said. "Usually I don't chase pitches [when] the pitchers are trying to nibble."

He took three straight balls from Lynn in his next at-bat, too, then a strike. But on a 3-1 pitch, he swing at Lynn's high fastball and popped it to third.

"He swings at a high pitch. Those are situations where he's got to learn a little bit more about leading off and getting on base, rather than chasing [pitches] out of the strike zone," Gardenhire said. "But other than that, he's doing great."

Never moreso than in the seventh inning, when he turned on a Jason Motte fastball and lifted it over the right-field wall, his first home run while wearing a Twins uniform.

"You just want to stay on his fastball, try to stay away from his off-speed," Hicks said. "He threw me a change-up on the first pitch, then fastball in, fastball in." That last one? Fastball way out.

"He's been real disciplined up there," Gardenhire said. "He's been really good."
 

Final123456789RHE
Cleveland «0102130007110
Minnesota500000000581
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:K.Crockett(3-0) L:B.Duensing(3-3) S:C.Allen (16)
HR: CLE- Y.Gomes (17) MIN- O.Arcia (13)

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta - WP: A. Harang 11 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 3
Houston - WP: J. Fields 7 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson 4
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: A. Burnett 2
Arizona - LP: C. Anderson 1 FINAL
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 8
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 4 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Detroit - WP: J. Johnson 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: G. Balfour 6
Texas - LP: N. Cotts 3 FINAL
Miami - WP: S. Dyson 4
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 5 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Quintana 1
Cleveland - WP: K. Crockett 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: B. Duensing 5
Toronto - LP: J. Happ 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Fiers 6
Cincinnati - LP: J. Hoover 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: P. Neshek 5
Kansas City - WP: J. Shields 7 FINAL
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 4
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 2 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Kazmir 6
San Diego - LP: I. Kennedy 6 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: K. Correia 8
Pittsburgh 8/21/14 6:30 PM
Philadelphia
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT