Friday, February 24, 2017

Starting exhibitions

The Twins open Grapefruit League play today. In a case of pure coincidence, we're having a blizzard in Mankato, and I only wish it were the Dairy Queen kind,

Paul Molitor and Neil Allen have set up the exhibition rotation with an eye to opening the regular season with Ervin Santana-Hector Santiago-Kyle Gibson-Phil Hughes-TBD. Much as with batting orders, I'm less concerned with the order than with who is involved. And the opportunities to fiddle with the rotation between now and April 3 are many. The odds are that some change will be made, if only to accommodate injuries.

It's a longer exhibition season than usual -- the teams are accommodating the World Baseball Classic, and the Twins will have a couple of rotation candidates leaving for Team Puerto Rico (Santiago and Jose Berrios) fairly soon. This may be part of why Santiago is in the No. 2 slot -- that and the fact that Hughes is coming off surgery and Gibson is reworking his delivery in hopes of easing the strain on his back.

Anyway ... the games don't count, but they're going to be playing. This knowledge may ease the shovel work ahead of me.

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