|Catcher Tyler Grimes listens as|
pitching coach Gary Lucas shares
some wisdom Monday.
(Photo by Linda Vanderwerf)
As luck would have it, I saw none of those four Monday. Brett Lee, a lefty, started; he gave up six runs in five innings. He walked four, struck out five, hit a batter, committed a balk, gave up six singles and a double and got little help from his infield defense. Tim Atherton, a righty from Australia, gave the Kernels two strong innings of relief (only two fair balls hit off him) and earned the "W"; Steve Gruver, another southpaw, finished with a strong eighth and a shaky ninth for the save.
Nothing grabs me there for commentary.
The catcher was a another matter. Tyler Grimes was drafted in the fifth round in 2011 as a shortstop out of Wichita State. He signed immediately and was assigned to Beloit, an aggressive placement by Twins standards. He hasn't moved up; this is his third season in the Midwest League, and he has a career batting average of .209 in low A ball.. The first two years he was a shortstop; this year the Twins have moved him to catcher. He hasn't played an inning elsewhere.
He didn't look bad back there to me. He picked off a runner at first base to end the first inning. He handled a pair of popups without much difficulty.
And at the plate he smacked a pair of hits, a single and a double, in four at-bats.
I don't know if Grimes is going to make it as a catcher. It seems clear that he wasn't going to make it as a shortstop. A lot will depend on how well he hits, obviously, and while there is precedent for a player to hit better when playing a less demanding position, that's not what's happening here.