ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. – Utility player Ehire Adrianza joined the Twins during the offseason with the reputation of being a glove-first player. But he has had his moments at the plate.
Take Wednesday, for example, when Adrianza belted a three-run homer in the second inning off lefthander Blake Snell that gave the Twins a 4-1 lead during an eventual 10-6 victory.
“I was trying to hit the fastball,” Adrianza said. “I watched the videos, and he was throwing a lot of fastballs with men in scoring position. I was looking middle in, and he made a mistake and I put a good swing on it.”
It was Adrianza’s second home run of the season and fifth of his career. He’s batting .262, respectable off the bench, and his 23 RBI already are a career high.
“He’s had a chance to play some,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Adrianza, who has 130 at-bats, his most in a season. “I think he knows how to take a good at-bat, stay within himself for the most part. Every once in a while he can run into one, which he did [Wednesday]. Which was a big boost.”
Adrianza has been working with hitting coaches James Rowson and Rudy Hernandez and wants to be ready whenever needed.
But what has been the key to contributing at the plate?
“I slow the game down,” Adrianza said. “When I’m rushing is when I get in trouble. I try to calm down, see the ball and hit it. Trust my hands, don’t think too much and keep it simple.”
Hurricane Irma already has led to the cancellation of the Florida State League championship series. The two teams that win the semifinals will be declared co-champions.
The Class A Fort Myers Miracle was eliminated from one of the semifinals Wednesday after losing the first two games of the best-of-three series. Now the Twins have to get those players safely home.
Because of the approaching storm, the Twins are putting some players on a bus to Atlanta to fly home from there. But some players live in the Caribbean, which is being slammed by Irma.
“We are trying to get most players out of Fort Myers and home after the FSL season,” Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said. “We will need to bus some players to Atlanta to get on flights to do that. Others will stay in Atlanta until we can get flights to where they need to be.”
Remodeling the office
So far the Twins have made changes to their research and development department and have severed ties with a handful of scouts. Their next moves aren’t expected to come until the offseason.
Player development and international scouting are a couple of areas Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine have yet to address, but are expected to do so. Even though all but one of their minor league teams reached the postseason, turnover is expected in the player development department.
For instance, the Twins do not have a minor league catching coordinator, so that will be a priority during the offseason. First base coach Jeff Smith has been coordinating catching instruction throughout the system.
The Twins also are expected to upgrade their medical services.
• Adalberto Mejia worked out at Tropicana Field on Wednesday before heading to Class AA Chattanooga to continue his rehabilitation from a left arm strain. Chattanooga went 91-49 this season, setting a club record for victories. Righthander Felix Jorge also will join the Lookouts from Class AAA Rochester to pitch for them in the postseason. Lefthander Dietrich Enns also is on a rehab assignment there.