WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It’s not really Brian Dozier Day for the Twins. More like Brian Dozier Morning.
Minnesota’s former All-Star second baseman, now a member of the Washington Nationals, isn’t in the lineup for this afternoon’s game at Fitteam Ballpark, but he hung around after the Nationals took batting practice to catch up with his old friends in the visiting uniforms.
It’s actually kind of shocking how few of them are here, though that’s the nature of spring games — veterans like Jason Castro, Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton don’t have to take the three-hour bus ride across Florida to play today. Dozier caught up with a couple of his former coaches, new manager Rocco Baldelli, Ehire Adrianza, Jake Cave and Mitch Garner — but mostly he chatted with former bullpen catcher Nate Dammann and clubhouse attendant Frank Hanzlik.
Similarly, Dozier said he won’t be busing to Fort Myers when the Nationals visit Hammond Stadium on March 14. But he’s definitely looking forward to Sept. 10-12, when his new team comes to Target Field. “I already know what restaurants I’m going to eat at, and what beer I’m going to drink,” Dozier said with a laugh.
The Twins will get a good look at some of their young players today, with outfielders LaMonte Wade, Alex Kirilloff and Brent Rooker batting in the bottom three spots in the lineup, though Kirilloff is the designated hitter. Kohl Stewart is on the mound, and Tim Collins, Jake Reed and Lewis Thorpe will pitch, too.
The Nationals are using most of their starters, including another former Twins All-Star: catcher Kurt Suzuki. Here are the lineups for the noon CT game: