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Twins Insider

La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Today's Twins relievers include one hard throwing prospect

There's an interesting name on the travel roster today as the Twins face the Phillies in Clearwater.

Nick Burdi, the Twins' second round pick in 2014, is on the list. Burdi is a fire-throwing righthander who can touch 100 mph with his fastball but pitched in only three games last season because of a bone bruise in his elbow. He's back this year and could pitch his way to Target Field.

Maybe he will be motivated by his younger brother, Zack. Zack Burdi is pitching well for the White Sox and could get into the bullpen mix there.

While the Twins figure out their major league bullpen, they wait for Burdi and other hard throwing relievers to get in gear. Burdi, Jake Reed, Tyler Jay, Randy Rosario and Mason Melotakis either throw hard, have nasty stuff or both. But injuries and struggles have slowed their development and advancement up the ladder.

This is a big year for all of them, as the Twins need big arms in their bullpen like they need air to breathe.

Just because he's on the list doesn't mean he will pitch today. Teams usually travel with more pitchers than innings to pitch in.

After Nick Tepesch starts, Buddy Boshers, Justin Haley, Ryan Pressly, Henry Centeno (Juan's brother????), John Curtiss, and Confesor Lara are on the list with Burdi.

Tepesch is making his first start this spring. He's got a shot at a long relief role if he can finish strong. He's a former draft pick of the Rangers and a former teammate of Kyle Gibson at Missouri. His career hit a rough patch in 2015 when he had elbow problems and then needed surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.


Twins

J.B. Shuck, LF
Bengie Gonzalez, 2B
Max Kepler, CF
ByungHo Park, 1B
Jorge Polanco, SS
Matt Hague, DH
Ehire Adrianza, 3B
John Ryan Murphy, C
Tommy Field, RF

Nick Tepesch, RHP

Phillies

Cesar Hernandez, 2B
Howie Kendrick, LF
Odubel Herrera, CF
Maikel Franco, 3B
Michael Saunders, RF
Tommy Joseph, 1B
Cameron Rupp, DH
Andrew Knapp, C
Freddy Galvis, SS

Aaron Nola, RHP

Hughes on the mound, but no other Twins starters present vs. Astros

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Twins had a three-hour bus ride to the Atlantic Coast today. They have a ride nearly as long up the Gulf Coast tomorrow. After a home game Friday, they’ll travel to Sarasota and Bradenton on Saturday and Monday.

    All of which explains the unusual lineup, and entire roster, that the Twins will field today. Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana are the only players in the lineup who have played for the Twins in the past, non-roster catcher Chris Gimenez bats cleanup, and Phil Hughes makes his fifth start of the spring. But also in the Twins’ lineup are players like Matt Hague and Tommy Field, and the reserves feature a lot of unfamiliar names to fans of the big-league team: Alan Busenitz, Jose Gonzalez, Ryan Walker and Edgar Corcino.

    “It’s not ideal,” manager Paul Molitor said of the roster mostly devoid of major league regulars. “We’re trying to make good decisions despite the fact that the schedule has not been very favorable. wWe’ve had a ton of long trips, and so I’ve had to look at that a little more. I generally try to say, ‘don’t let bus trips prevent you from making the [right] decision about who needs to play,’ but you’re certainly aware of the toll that that takes. I’m trying to find ways to get some people ready without having to make them travel a lot.”

    But there are worse things than watching minor leaguers play, right? Trevor May would certainly love to be here today, rather than in an operating room in Texas, where he will undergo ligament-replacement surgery on his pitching elbow. The Tommy John procedure will cost him the 2017 season.

    The Astros are using nearly all of their regulars, including former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, who has pitched seven scoreless innings this spring. Here are the lineups for the noon game, which will be broadcast by Go96.3:

TWINS

 

Stubbs CF

Gonzalez 3B

Hague 1B

Gimenez C

Escobar SS

Field LF

Santana RF

Shuck CF

Adrianza 2B

 

Hughes RHP, then Tonkin, Wimmers and three minor-leaguers.

 

ASTROS

 

Springer CF

Reddick RF

Altuve 2B

McCann C

Gurriel 1B

Gattis DH

Gonzalez LF

Davis 3B

Brignac SS

 

Keuchel LHP