Are you ready? Spring training is practically here. On Wednesday, pitchers and catchers report for several teams, including the defending World Series champion Yankees and defending NL champion Phillies.
Twins pitchers and catchers report Sunday and hold their first official workout next Monday. (Click here for a list of other reporting dates.) Already, the Twins' complex in Fort Myers is humming with activity, as Joe Mauer & Co., begin to hone their swings.
Pat Neshek (photo, right, from 2008 by the Star Tribune's Marlin Levinson) has been rehabbing his right elbow. After missing all of 2009 recovering from Tommy John surgery, Neshek can't wait to get started and continues to file interesting updates on his blog:
On Friday I faced hitters again. It took me a couple days to get over the soreness...normal soreness I should say from pitching a couple innings worth of hitters. ... My velocity felt good but I felt like it still wasn't where I was at during my peak. On the other hand my slider was a ton better and got some remarks from the hitters. I asked both guys what they thought my velo was and they said I was sitting most likely around 88-89 on my fastball.
Like I said in previous post with this injury you slowly get your velo back by doing more and more mound work and feeling comfortable with mechanics. I was really happy because in November my fastball high speeds were 85 & 86.
La Velle heads to Fort Myers on Tuesday, spearheading our advance coverage. I'll be there in two weeks for the start of exhibition play. The April 5 season opener can't come soon enough.
To whet your appetite, check out Fox Sports North's coverage of the Twins annual Diamond Awards tonight at 6 p.m. (See scribes in tuxes. Mauer, Span, Thome in their finest suits. A touching moment with boxing legend Scott LeDoux. All to support ALS research at the U of M.)