Day@Camp Daily Dispatch From Fort Myers
Hildenberger’s plan: Use all his pitches in spring training
This time, Trevor Hildenberger is breaking out his entire arsenal early in camp — for a couple of reasons.
The righthander spent most of spring training a year ago working on spotting his fastball. The results weren’t good: He gave up 11 earned runs in seven outings. Once he mixed in his trusty changeup, he didn’t give up a run in two of his last three spring appearances.
The other reason is based on his experience during the regular season, when he had a 2.80 ERA through 42 appearances, then a 9.64 ERA over his final 31. He became a little predictable with his changeup and needed to adjust.
“The first full year in the big leagues is such a learning curve when you start facing guys,” Hildenberger said. “Faced [Indians shortstop Francisco] Lindor 12 times in a season, what happens that 12th time? It was a good piece of adversity, a good obstacle to try to overcome.”
This spring Hildenberger is throwing everything coming out of the gate, including his fastball, changeup and slider. He also is working at throwing all his pitches from a three-quarters angle as well as his customary sidearm delivery.
So far, Hildenberger has thrown two scoreless innings in two appearances, striking out two.
“Really just trying to get back to who I was in 2017 and the first half of ’18,” he said. “I got away from that during the second half of ’18.”
Wait, there’s a catch
Thanks to no replay during spring training games, LaMonte Wade Jr. can one day tell his grandchildren about the time he leaned into the stands to grab a foul ball for the final out of an inning in Clearwater, Fla.
That’s what he was credited for in the second inning on Scott Kingery’s foul ball to right. One problem: The ball actually ticked off his glove, hit the ground and was then corralled by Wade. But Kingery was called out and the inning was over. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler came out to argue, but it’s spring training. No replay, no correction.
“I thought it was a great catch,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said through a wide grin.
At the plate, Wade was 2-for-3 with a run scored.
• Adam Rosales put the Twins ahead early with a two-run home run to left off Phillies starter Ranger Suarez.
• Byron Buxton cooled off, going 0-3. He was 5-for-5 with two home runs and 10 RBI entering the game.
The Twins on Thursday will face the Rays in an evening game at Charlotte Sports Park. Adalberto Mejia, who is being stretched out to start but likely will be a utility lefty in the bullpen, is scheduled to start. Lefthander Blake Snell will start for the Rays. First pitch is scheduled for 5:35 p.m.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III