PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. - Terry Doyle is 26 years old and doesn't have an overpowering fastball, but the Twins had reasons for making him the No. 2 pick in last December's Rule 5 draft.
Doyle went 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA in the Arizona Fall League, holding opponents to a .135 batting average. The 6-4 righthander pitched 200 innings last year, including 100 for the White Sox's Class AA affiliate, and looked stronger as the year progressed.
On Sunday, Doyle pitched two scoreless, hitless innings in his spring debut, as a Twins split squad defeated the Rays 5-3 at Charlotte Sports Park. The pitching line made it look shinier than it was, however, as Doyle hit a batter, walked a batter and got a generous call on his lone strikeout against a skeleton Rays lineup.
Scouts clocked Doyle's sinking fastball at 86-87 miles per hour.
"My velocity doesn't really peak until midseason, and even then, I'm still not a hard thrower," Doyle said. "So I'm just trying to throw strikes and get ground balls."
Doyle has a smooth delivery and works fast, but after a quick first inning he started rushing his delivery. General Manager Terry Ryan was on hand, along with pitching coach Rick Anderson, even though Francisco Liriano was pitching against the Red Sox.
"He got the two outs in the second inning, and all of a sudden he got rushing there and wasn't even the same guy," said Anderson, who expects Doyle to feel more comfortable in his next outing.