PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA. – Michael Pineda made his long-awaited debut for the Twins on Friday, throwing two scoreless innings in a 4-3 Grapefruit League victory over the Red Sox.
Hitting 95 miles per hour in the first inning and reaching 94 several times in the second, the 30-year-old righthander shook off a first-inning single by Eduardo Nunez, then retired the side in order in the second. Pineda got the final out in the second when Bryce Brentz flailed at a slider and went down swinging.
“Getting back on the mound and spinning the ball a little bit and getting a feel for what he’s doing, Mike did all that today,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “It was a successful day. It was a good day to build him up a little bit as well. Exactly where we want to be right now.”
Pineda signed in December 2017 to a $10 million contract — $2 million for 2018 as he completed his rehabilitation following his surgery on July 18, 2017, and $8 million for 2019. The former Mariners and Yankees pitcher was on track to appear in some games for the Twins last September, only to get shut down because of right knee soreness in August.
“I feel pretty good,” Pineda said. “I had like a year and a half of not pitching in major league games. Today was the first day of going back to pitching. It was great.”
Marwin the magician
It was also Marwin Gonzalez’s first game with the Twins after signing Monday, and he immediately began doing Marwin things.
Playing third base, he gobbled up a grounder and threw out Gorkys Hernandez to end the first inning. Gonzalez later grinded through an 11-pitch at-bat against Bobby Poyner in the fourth before lining out to left.
“With Marwin, I think he took care of himself this winter,” Baldelli said. “I think he came in feeling pretty good, where we didn’t have to take an extended period of time to get him ready to play in these games.”
• Righthander Kyle Gibson will make his first start of spring training on Monday when he faces the Orioles. The Twins gave Gibson extra time to prepare for his debut after he battled E. coli in January and lost around 15 pounds. Fellow righthander Jake Odorizzi will make his first appearance on Tuesday against Tampa Bay.
• Longtime Twins scout Larry Corrigan will be honored before Monday’s game during an on-field ceremony that will end with him throwing out the first pitch. Former Twins General Manager Terry Ryan will be on hand.
The Twins will travel across Florida on Saturday to play the Nationals in West Palm Beach — and Brian Dozier is waiting for them.
The longtime Twins second baseman, traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last July, signed a one-year, $9 million contract with Washington during the offseason and is now part of a Nationals team prepared to battle the Bryce Harper-led Phillies and Ronald Acuna-led Braves in the NL East.
Righthander Kohl Stewart will start for the Twins. Mitch Garver, Willians Astudillo and Alex Kirilloff are among the position players making the trip.
La Velle E. Neal III