FORT MYERS, FLA. – Jose Berrios made his second start of spring training, throwing three scoreless innings despite giving up a hit and walking two batters. While he struggled to throw strikes at times, he was pleased with the progress he’s making with his pitches.
The Twins went on to lose to Pittsburgh 2-0 on Saturday night, enabling Derek Shelton, their former bench coach, to pick up his first managerial victory. The Pirates entered the game 0-7-1 this spring.
While Berrios’ fastball was measured at 95 miles per hour a couple times, he noted how he threw one of his offspeed pitches under 80 mph to Jake Elmore in the second inning. He also has been working on straightening out his curveball. His goal is to throw it with straight downward action instead of the ones that slide away from righthanded hitters.
“I want it to be more north to south,” Berrios said.
Berrios added that throwing more fastballs up in the strike zone is greater priority this year. That pitch will be more effective if he can pair it with the north-south curveball.
“The stuff is really good for being early in camp,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I think he’s in a good place. I think he feels good. I think he’s made some minor delivery tweaks that have shown up.”
Most of the Twins pitchers were effective Saturday, except for lefthander Taylor Rogers, who gave up an RBI double by Jose Osuna that scored Ke’Bryan Hayes. Charlie Tilson also attempted to score on the play but was thrown out at the plate. Pittsburgh added a run in the ninth.