Phil Hughes and Clay Buchholz each had their final spring training tuneups Wednesday as the Minnesota Twins and a Boston Red Sox split squad played to a 4-4 tie in nine innings. Hughes, slated to start Minnesota’s regular-season opener Monday in Detroit, struck out five, walked two and gave up one run and four hits in four innings against a squad that included starters Dustin Pedroia, Pablo Sandoval and Mike Napoli.
Riccardo Ingram, a longtime minor league coach in the Minnesota Twins organization and a former football and baseball star at Georgia Tech, has died at the age of 48 following his second battle with brain cancer. Georgia Tech said Ingram died on Tuesday night.
Mike Fiers has always been a late bloomer. He was a 22nd round pick in 2009, and was already 24 years old as his college career took some time due to injuries. He never ranked as a top prospect, and has logged 116 games and 483.1 innings in the Minor Leagues, despite making his MLB debut in 2011.
It doesn’t take much to explain to someone just how good Kris Bryant is. One look at his 2014 Minor League numbers will drop jaws. And then there’s this unbelievable spring training where he hit a Major League-leading nine home runs in 14 spring games.
With Andrew McCutchen in center field and Starling Marte in left, the Pirates are one piece away from having one of the best young outfields in baseball. And they have that piece in Gregory Polanco, it’s just a matter of getting him to fit right and stick in right field in the bigs.
Joe Mauer hit his first home run of the spring and the Minnesota Twins beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-1 Saturday. Mauer hit a two-run drive to right field. The three-time AL batting champion has spent extra time working off a tee with hitting coach Tom Brunansky.
This spring, Reds manager Bryan Price became one of the first skippers to officially lay out his entire rotation, even though there were expected to be plenty of questions after Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake. And to the surprise of many, Cuban signee Raisel Iglesias, despite only pitching in the Arizona Fall League
Teams don’t often trade a young pitcher like Shelby Miller, but when you’re a team like the Cardinals with a surplus of young pitching ready to break out seemingly every year, it may be a bit more common. St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak basically said after trading Miller that one reason he did so was to make room in the rotation for Martinez, a top prospect who pitched out of the bullpen in 2014.
Kyle Gibson struck seven in six strong innings for the Minnesota Twins in a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. Gibson mixed in his slider and placed new emphasis on his changeup in striking out Rays slugger Evan Longoria three times and leadoff man John Jaso twice.
Before the baseball season gets underway next weekend here are 10 bold predictions about the upcoming season.
For a player with parts of three Major Leagues seasons on his resume, it’s still relatively unknown what kind of big league player Avisail Garcia will be.
These bars are a home run for Twins fans.
Very few 21-year-old athletes have been on more of a rollercoaster in the past year than Royals pitcher Brandon Finnegan. He became the first player to pitch in the College World Series and MLB World Series in the same year.
Drafted in the first round of the 2011 Draft eighth overall as a 17-year-old, Lindor has rapidly risen through the Tribe’s Minor League system and he appears to be on the cusp of the Major Leagues at just 21 years old … though his Indians’ debut won’t come right away.
The Mets were hoping they had acquired their catcher of the future when they traded for d’Arnaud in 2013. After a slow start to his Mets career he broke out late last season and looks poised for a big year this season.
SS Jose Iglesias had a breakout year in 2013, but it’s been a tough road for the promising young shortstop. A healthy return could be huge for Iglesias and the Tigers in 2015.
While Gattis’ questionable catcher skills were a big reason he was jettisoned, the presence of prospect Christian Bethancourt was another, and the timing was right to give the 23-year-old the chance in 2015.
Normally, a player entering his sixth full season in the bigs has too much experience for a list like this, but digging deeper, Drew Storen fits here. The Nationals on paper are stacked, with established studs in their rotation from top to bottom and starters set at each position on the field.
A trade is more likely to come midseason, if at all, but the Phillies can feel confident that when the time comes, Ken Giles is waiting in the wings.
Sometimes it’s best not to mess with a good thing, and Aaron Sanchez in the back end of the Blue Jays’ bullpen near the end of the 2014 season was a very good thing.
With a rotation spot likely, Eovaldi will have every chance to become a stud in New York.
Schoop has been with the organization since he was 17 years old and taken time to develop. He’s a natural in the field, but never showed much at the plate aside from some slightly above average power for the position and just a bit of speed.
Paul Molitor became the latest Hall of Fame player to test his teaching skills when the Minnesota Twins hired him as their manager. With Molitor preparing for his debut with the Twins this season, here’s a look back at a mixed-at-best track record of players with a plaque at Cooperstown who also took their turns trying to manage in the major leagues.
Two seasons after Hall-of-Famer Paul Molitor played his last game, he became the bench coach for the Minnesota Twins on manager Tom Kelly’s staff. The role was his for two years. The experience was infinitely valuable for the job that opened for him much later.
Most baseball fans likely know Steven Souza from the unbelievable, no-hitter-saving catch he made in the final game of the regular season for the Nationals last year.