Someone with the club told me last week they were trying to cut down on the number of non-roster invites to spring training after having 21 in camp last season.
After signing Fernando Abad late Wednesday, the Twins are bringing 22 to Fort Myers next February. Hah!
Anyway, Abad is an interesting name because I've seen him pitch well and I've seen him get hit.
After a strong 2014 season with Oakland in which he posted a 1.57 ERA in 69 games, Abad saw his 2015 season go sideways. He had a 4.15 ERA, gave up 2.1 home runs per nine innings and walked 3.6 batters per nine innings. After holding lefthanded hitters to a .191 batting average in 2014, they hit .277 off him last season.
``You know how relievers are,'' Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. ``A lot of them go in cycles. Sometimes you hit a (good) one, and hopefully that will be the case with him.''
Abad, who turned 30 today, has pitched in six different seasons with Houston, Washington and Oakland. The Twins spoke Abad's agent, Barry Praver, during the winter meetings last week and continued talks from there.
One thing the Twins are encouraged about is that Abad has struck out at least 8.0 batters per nine innings in each of the last two seasons. He'll join Buddy Boshers, Dan Runzler and Aaron Thompson as left-handed relievers in camp.
Gardy to WBC?
Former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was at the winter meetings meeting with teams about possible jobs, but it looks like Gardy will be sidelined in 2016. At least on the MLB level.
According to a FoxSports.com post on twitter, the German baseball federation has contacted Gardenhire about managing its national team for a World Baseball Classic qualifier in March. The next WBC is scheduled for 2017. Gardenhire, who was born in Butzbach, West Germany, would be a high profile hire for a country that is a minnow in the baseball world.
His son, Toby, played for Germany in 2012, the last time it tried to qualify. Outfielder Max Kepler, who was born in Berlin and one of the Twins top prospects. He could end up being part of the team.
Not sure why Gardy wouldn't take the job if it was offered to him.