Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring training trip, Day 2: Overview

Matt Guerrier is hoping
to revive his career with
a return to the Twins.
If Thursday's game featured legitimate lineups (and it did) and a packed house (and it did), Friday's was something else again. Baltimore had no assured starters in its lineup, although the Orioles did bring a legitimate set of pitchers. And there were plenty of open seats in Hammond Stadium.

The Twins had a split squad, with one set playing the Yankees in Tampa (and winning that one 7-3).

The final outcome in my game was a 2-2 tie. Brandon Waring, the former Oriole farmhand of whom I wrote in my Day 1 recap, bopped a two-out homer in the bottom of the ninth off Troy Patton to even the score. But when Chris Parmelee flew out to end the ninth, the game ended. Presumably the Orioles were out of pitchers, or perhaps the umpires decided almost three hours of lethargic baseball was enough.

Which it was. Mike Pelfrey starts are simply difficult to sit though. He exceeded 50 pitches in the first two innings and didn't make it through the fourth.

He was followed by most of the veteran late-inning options in the Twins 'pen -- Brian Duensing (who allowed a homer in his 1.2 innings); Glen Perkins (who fanned two in a 1-2-3 inning and then signed a big contract extension); and Jared Burton.

And then came Matt Guerrier, once a mainstay in the Twins bullpen and now a nonroster guy rehabbing from arm surgery. Friday was his exhibition debut for 2014. On the surface, it went well; Guerrier struck out two men and got his third on a weak grounder to second.

On the other hand, I kept an eye on the scoreboard radar gun readings, and he didn't top 89. In comparison, Lester Oliveros, who worked the ninth (despite having been dispatched to the minor league complex on Sunday), repeatedly threw his fast balls at 93 and 94 mph and finished his inning with a reading of 96, which broke the hitter's bat.

Guerrier was never a big velocity guy, but in his heyday he cracked 90 pretty frequently. This is not a slam on him -- as I said earlier, he's still in rehab mode -- but I'm going to say he's a bit short of being ready for the majors.

No comments:

Post a Comment