Outfielder Reed finally makes debut
BRADENTON, FLA. – Twins outfielder Michael Reed finally got on the field Saturday.
Who’s that, you ask? Well, it’s understandable if his name isn’t familiar. He was a waiver claim in October who was slowed by back problems but was well enough Saturday to play for his new team for the first time.
And Reed didn’t disappoint, belting a home run during a 10-1 victory over Pittsburgh.
“He’s feeling pretty good,” manager Rocco Baldelli said of Reed, who was born in Maplewood but went to high school in Leander, Texas. “He’s a good athlete. I’ve been looking forward to watching him play. We had our chance to see him swing the bat a little bit, but he can run as well. That’s one thing. He’s a strong guy, but when you watch him move around you might not realize it.”
Reed, who can play across the outfield, was claimed Oct. 31 from Atlanta. He is 26 years old and really didn’t put up attractive numbers until 2018, when he batted .342 between Class AA Mississippi and AAA Gwinnett. But the Twins saw enough to take a chance on him.
Lewis swings a bat
When infielder Royce Lewis arrived at Hammond Stadium on Saturday, something was missing: his locker. “I walked around the entire locker room trying to find my stuff,” he said. “It was just a few feet away all the time.”
With the first round of players cut a day earlier, the temporary lockers, which Lewis had occupied, were removed, and he was assigned a newly vacated locker. But he might not be there long, for an unusual reason: He’s getting healthy.
The Twins’ top prospect took batting practice on the field for the first time since suffering an oblique strain during camp’s first week, and said he felt “no pain, no soreness. On a scale of 1-10, I’d say I’m at about one-half in terms of tightness, so it’s nearly gone and I’ll be able to play soon.”
When Lewis does, though, it is likely to be across the compound with the minor leaguers. With a little more than two weeks remaining in spring training, the Twins will want him to get more at-bats than he can receive on the major league side.
Baldelli won’t commit to a closer, merely saying that he has options. While discussing pitchers such as converted starters Fernando Romero and Adalberto Mejia, Baldelli has mentioned how they could be used for one, two or three innings.
If that’s the case, there will be few defined roles in the bullpen as Baldelli hunts for the right matchups. That has consequences. In many cases, relievers like to have defined roles. So communication will be important as Baldelli forms his bullpen.
Baldelli plans to continue to have discussions with relievers about how they will be used. So far, they have shown the willingness to take the ball whenever it is handed to them. “We have very unselfish guys,” Baldelli said. “Guys who want to contribute, who want to win.”
Sano still in Rochester
Miguel Sano will remain at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for the weekend and is set to return to camp Tuesday. Doctors are monitoring the healing around his right heel for another couple of days.
The Twins have flip-flopped Jake Odorizzi and Kyle Gibson in their spring rotation. Odorizzi, who threw 2⅔ innings in his first start last week, will face Toronto on Sunday at Hammond Stadium. Kyle Gibson, who is still regaining strength following his offseason bout with E. coli, will start Monday against Detroit.
La VELLE E. NEAL III