FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Fan favorite Willians Astudillo is having a visa issue and was unable to report to Twins training camp on Wednesday.
Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said that Astudillo could fly up from Venezuela as soon as Friday. He didn't indicate any displeasure with Astudillo despite this being the second consecutive camp in which he has shown up late for. The Twins understand that the visa process for some can take longer than anticipated.
Astudillo batted .355 with three homers and 21 RBI in 30 games in his rookie season, becoming popular with fans for his aggressive hitting despite being built more like an auto mechanic than baseball player. He then was the runner-up for Venezuelan Winter League Most Valuable Player, losing out to former Twin Delmon Young.
The delay is not good timing for Astudillo, who has a chance to land a spot on the Opening Day roster, most likely coming off the bench.
Anyway, greetings from Fort Myers! The weather here is much better than the Twin Cities but still not as good as Fort Myers can be. It rained all night and the temperature is 62 degrees under overcast skies. After a run of 80-degree days, it's a noticeable difference.
There's a different twist this year at camp. The Twins used to have players complete physicals during TwinsFest. This year, they are being done down here. So the clubhouse was fairly busy as pitchers and catchers reported for duty. The first workout is Thursday, where it's expected to be 78 degrees and sunny in Fort Myers.
In addition to pitchers and catchers, several position players also have arrived in camp. The group includes Zack Granite, Ehire Adrianza, Jorge Polanco, Luke Raley, Nick Gordon, Ronald Torreyes, Luis Arraez, Max Kepler, LaMonte Wade and Jake Cave.
There are also 100 minor leaguers on campus, staying in the dormitories.
Because of the weather, there's not much activity on the field today. A couple guys played catch this morning in the outfield. And there was some throwing under covered section of the bullpen at Hammond Stadium.