FORT MYERS, Fla. — When the Twins first laid out their plans for spring training, today was supposed to be reporting day for pitchers and catchers. But upon the advice of MLB, they changed the date shortly afterward to Tuesday, with their first workout set for Wednesday.
News apparently travels slowly.
Whether the reason was confusion or a desire to get an early start, virtually the entire pitching staff showed up at Hammond Stadium on Monday. The first official staff-led workout is still two days away, following a morning speech from manager Paul Molitor, but there was still plenty of activity around the complex today.
Potential starters like Jose Berrios and Tyler Duffey played catch on one of the practice fields, loosening up in preparation for starting the Twins’ pitching program. Relievers like Taylor Rogers and Buddy Boshers threw for about 20 minutes, but I saw only one pitcher actually throwing with any velocity — newcomer Matt Belisle, who asked a catcher to put on the gear and catch a 10-minute session in the bullpen.
Phil Hughes and Glen Perkins, recovering from surgery last summer, both made an appearance, too. Each played catch for about 15 minutes in the Hammond Stadium outfield, with Perkins eventually throwing from about 120 feet.
On the minor-league fields, the handful of position players who are already here took batting practice. Byung Ho Park put on a power display at one point, smashing four straight balls off or over the left-field fence. Max Kepler lashed line drives all over the field — teammates yelled “triple!” when he pulled them down the line — and catcher Dan Rohlfing smacked one out, too. When a fan retrieved the ball and threw it back, Rohlfing joked that he was going to keep the ball and display it in his home.
Yeah, it was that laid back. And why not? There are still two more days until actual workouts begin.