FORT MYERS, FLA. – Part of Homer Bailey’s adjustment period with the Twins has been talking shop with pitching coach Wes Johnson.
“He’s an high-energy guy, brings a lot of information to the table,” Bailey said of Johnson. “So it is always kind of fun to go back and forth. At this point, he’s going to have to count on me, I’ve got to learn him, so it’s been really cool to have that two way communication and see where he’s coming from, then just go back and forth on little stuff.”
Bailey is getting used to new teammates, too. Friday, he was able to throw to catcher Mitch Garver in a game situation for the first time.
“That’s the big help, too,” Bailey said. “Having him back there was nice. You can kind of see what he does with guys, I’m not tempted to shake [him off] or anything like that. Just kind of feeling him out, too.”
Bailey seems to be adjusting to life with the Twins rather smoothly. The veteran righthander made his spring training debut with his new team, pitching two scoreless innings in a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium on Friday.
The Twins got a two-run double by Eddie Rosario in the sixth, then a two-run homer by Alex Kirilloff in the seventh to take a 4-1 lead. Lefthander Charlie Barnes pitched the final two innings for the Twins and earned his second save.
Bailey got two quick outs in the first inning before giving up a wind-aided triple to J.D. Martinez. Bailey gave up another two-out hit in the second inning, but that was erased on a double play. In two innings, he threw 26 pitches, 17 of them strikes. He would like to get his pitch count up to 90 before Opening Day, if possible.
“I’ll tell you this,” said Bailey, who signed a one-year, $7 million deal with incentives. “We all have a plan and then it never goes as planned. By this point, you kind of play it by ear how you feel. Whatever schedule they have mapped out. And if we have to adjust, we adjust.”
Said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli: “I thought it was a very successful outing. I thought he was sharp, and that’s not always something you see first time out.”
La VELLE E. NEAL III