Toby was a late addition to the non-roster invitee list; he was included, it appears, because Jose Morales had his late wrist surgery and that meant they needed another catcher to share the strain of the bullpen sessions. Same thing as last spring, when it was Joe Mauer on the shelf.
Young Gardy is an infielder who has made his way to Double A despite not hitting well at any level. Last spring the word was that he was adding catching to his resume in hopes of parlaying that added versatility into a rise to prospect status and (ultimately) a major-league utility job.
So I figured he probably caught a couple dozen times in the minors last season. Nope. Two games. And since he's had just one putout (catchers are credited with the putout on strikeouts), it's a good guess he didn't start either game.
He got his first at-bat of the Grapefruit League "season" on Monday. It should be his last.
I had been musing about the notion of Glen Perkins (above) as closer. I'll set that idea aside after Sunday's fiasco, in which he yielded four runs, three earned, in one sloppy inning. He hit a batter, walked a batter, and (according to the radio boys) got hit in the back by the first baseman's throw while "covering" first.
I'm not sure how you pull that one off.
The incumbent closer isn't conceding yet that the Twins need an alternative. Joe Nathan plans to try to air it out Saturday.
After which I expect he'll amble off to a surgical room in Birmingham, Ala., and the Twins will get on with the search for a ninth-inning guy.
I'm a bit late in noting this, but Joe Posnanski last week posted a piece celebrating Ron Gardenhire and wondering why Gardy seems unappreciated:
... it seems to me that the guy has managed the Twins to five division titles in his eight years, or, to put it another way, THE GUY HAS MANAGED THE TWINS TO FIVE DIVISION TITLES IN HIS EIGHT YEARS. I mean, sure, you would expect a good manager to manage the Twins to at least six division titles in eight years, but, doesn’t he get SOME credit for this? He’s done this even though the Twins have never in those years had a payroll in baseball’s top half.
Which prompts me to provide this link to a December post: "The Ron Gardenhire Project" . There may be one or two readers who weren't around at the time, and I (perhaps immodestly) am fairly pleased with the thing.