Day@Camp Daily Dispatch From Fort Myers
Adrianza limited to hitting lefthanded
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Ehire Adrianza will step into the box on Saturday afternoon to open the Twins’ 2019 Grapefruit League season in Sarasota. Orioles righthander Yefry Ramirez will be on the mound, but that doesn’t matter. Adrianza would be batting lefthanded either way.
“I’m not going to hit righthanded for a while,” Adrianza said Friday. “I don’t know how long it’s going to be, but I have to follow the [recovery] protocol. … I’ll switch-hit again, later in the season.”
That’s because the 29-year-old Venezuelan underwent surgery in October to repair a badly torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder, an operation that normally requires at least six months of recovery, doctors told Adrianza. “It feels pretty good right now,” said Adrianza, who hasn’t missed an infield, baserunning or hitting drill since camp opened. “I can do everything I need to. I can even hit righthanded in [batting practice] and off a tee, but not live, not yet.”
Adrianza felt his shoulder give way while swinging at a pitch from Texas lefthander Yohander Mendez last Sept. 2. He stayed in the game, and didn’t complain about the pain he felt on the follow-through of every righthanded swing. Adrianza played 20 more games with the injury, including two in which he batted lefthanded against a lefty pitcher, then went to athletic trainer Tony Leo on the season’s final weekend.
“Tony told me to get an MRI because the pain was getting worse. They looked at it, and it was really torn. They had to put six anchors in it” to repair the damage, Adrianza said. “It was really bad. The doctor who [examined me] said, ‘Hey man, how do you play with that?’ I don’t know.”
Newcomers to see action
While a squad of backups and prospects heads north for the day game, the Twins’ projected starters will remain in Fort Myers for the 6 p.m. Eastern time home opener against Tampa Bay.
That lineup will include newcomers Jonathan Schoop, Nelson Cruz and C.J. Cron, along with holdover starters Jorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario. It also will have Willians Astudillo behind the plate, and former first-round pick Alex Kirilloff in right field.
The lineups are the first to be written out by Rocco Baldelli, and the new manager said he enjoyed the process.
“It is fun. Not having years of experience making lineups, it’s something that you throw at [bench coach Derek Shelton] and you throw at [hitting coach James Rowson] and you throw around the staff for thoughts and ideas, because there are a lot of different ways to approach this,” Baldelli said. Rays manager Kevin Cash, for whom Baldelli worked last season, “used to do the same thing. … It makes you think about a lot of different things as you’re putting them together, so it’s a good exercise.”
It’s unusual to have split-squad games on the first day of the exhibition season, but there are 15 teams in Florida, so one team must play twice on most days. “It just so happened to be our turn,” Baldelli said.
Let’s meet Ryan eades
Position: Righthanded reliever
2018 stats: After posting a 4.28 ERA in 61 innings at Class AA Chattanooga, earned an August promotion to Class AAA Rochester, where he was unhittable in 15 1/3 innings: one earned run, for a 0.59 ERA. Struck out 88 with 22 walks in 76 1/3 total innings.
Acquired: Chosen in the second round, 43rd overall, in the 2013 draft.
Role: Probably back to Rochester’s bullpen, where he demonstrated an ability to throw more than an inning per outing.
Did you know? Eades, who was the No. 2 starter on an LSU staff that included Phillies ace Aaron Nola, attended the same high school — Northshore High in Slidell, La. — as former Twins first baseman Logan Morrison.