March 9, 2011 – Today’s visit to Hammond Stadium was pretty boring. The Twins had an away game against the Orioles and they lost their third game in a row and today it wasn’t even close as the Orioles blew them out 11-2. Francisco Liriano started and lasted just 1 2/3 innings against many Baltimore regulars while giving up 6 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks and getting one strike-out. Granted Liriano got a slow start this year but he looks like he forgot how to pitch since last fall. You have to wonder if he is hiding some injury and is headed for the DL in the near future.
On the bright side, Justin Morneau did not go to Sarasota and I watched him hit a couple of very nice pokes that would have been home runs most everywhere. He looked comfortable and was talking and joking with teammates. Nishioka, Thome, and Young all were in the group taking BP with Morneau under the watchful eye of Rod Carew. It is not as much fun going to watch practice right now as the Twins have tighter security which limits access to some of the practice fields. The minor leaguers still have not officially reported but a number of them are out there on the back fields anyway. I think the minor leaguers are due to report Thursday or Friday and then the action will pick up a bit more.
Some thoughts on what I have seen so far? Jim Hoey better pick it up soon or he won’t make the Twins bullpen and the Hardy deal will look even worse. Scott Diamond just walks too many batters and is slower than molasses on the mound. David Bromberg has been unimpressive and Jeff Manship needs to turn things around quick or he is Rochester bound. Eric Hacker who Bill Smith really likes has pitched 3 innings and given up 8 runs on 9 hits and a walk. Pavano, Blackburn and Duensing have all looked sharp and Baker and Slowey are OK. Luke Hughes is hitting the cover off the ball going 9 for 24 with 3 HR’s and 8 RBI’s. No other Twins player has more than one HR, matter of fact, the rest of the Twins hitters have a total of 3 home runs.