FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins’ first full workout of the spring coincides with an open house at Hammond Stadium, so there’s quite a crowd here to watch Twins players go through fielding drills, batting practice and bullpen sessions this morning.
It’s also 80 degrees, which doesn’t hurt, either.
Paul Molitor addressed his team for about 20 minutes this morning, trying to set a positive tone as the Twins attempt to recover from their 59-win crash of 2016. He’s got 62 players to sort through over the next six weeks — Opening Day is in 37 days, April 3 at Target Field — including a dozen players who are completely new to the organization.
Lefthander Mason Melotakis will take part in fielding drills and conditioning, but he won’t throw for a few more days. The pitching prospect reported to camp with a right oblique strain, and the pain returned when he tried to throw on flat ground Saturday, so the Twins shut him down to give him more time.
Meanwhile, Glen Perkins reported no discomfort from his brief but encouraging throwing session.
Sunday’s workout is the first of five straight before the Grapefruit League season opens Friday night. This one is normally the longest workout — it probably will last until 1 p.m. or so, Eastern Time — because each different drill is preceded by a discussion of what it is and what they’re trying to accomplish.
There are a few more Twins stories to read this morning, too. I wrote about the unusually large crowd of starting pitchers that Molitor will try to manage this spring (and I really don’t know how he’s going to find innings for them all). Patrick Reusse handicapped the battle to become the backup catcher, and Brian Dozier told La Velle E. Neal III that he hopes the trade rumors are over.