I went out to the CenturyLink Sports Complex on Monday to see what Twins have reported early and are enjoying the beautiful weather here in Ft. Myers. Spring training hasn’t officially started yet but there are a couple dozen players here getting ready for the 2015 season. At this time of the year you see the players start their workouts about 8:30 AM and they are usually done between 11 AM and Noon. I was not willing to get up early and be at the park when the players first start working out so I left our condo in Cape Coral about 9:20 AM expecting to get to the park in 20-30 minutes. I don’t know what happened to the traffic but it took me 55 minutes to traverse the 12 miles. Traffic was just plain crazy, it has never taken me that long to get to the ballpark before. Then again traffic all over Cape Coral and Ft. Myers seems to be extra heavy this year, must be all those folks that are suffering from the cold and snow in the NE that must have decided they had enough and headed for SW Florida. When I finally arrived there were about 30 or so players spread over four fields. Two of the fields had batting practice taking place, a third had some infield drills going on and the fourth field was being used by some pitchers to get their running and stretching in. Since the players don’t wear uniforms it is hard to identify a lot of the players that are there. The big leaguers are easy to identify but the minor leaguers not so much. Torii Hunter was easily the most popular player out there on Monday and he had a group of fans following him and getting his autograph. Kennys Vargas was there and he appeared to be having fun both out on the field and with the fans that asked him for his autograph, the man always seems to have a smile on his face. It is amazing how much he reminds you of David Ortiz, now if he can just hit like Big Papi.
Even though has Miguel Sano has not played a game for the Twins he is well-known and loved here in Ft. Myers and everyone enjoys watching him take BP because you know he will park many a ball over the outfield fences. On this day I saw him hit one to dead center that hit the green batting out a long way out there. Sano is not getting any smaller and I really wonder how long he can stay at third base. I heard one of the coaches talking with Sano about running and Sano said he can’t run right now because he is having a problem with his foot. Hopefully that is not a serious issue because Sano needs to get as much playing time in spring training as possible. I saw Max Kepler and I almost didn’t recognize him, Max is a lot thinner this year but when I saw him in the batting cage he was hitting some nice line drives and even poked a few over the fence. I asked Max about his weight and he said that he had lost a few pounds and was eating healthier. Kepler looks ready for a big season.
There weren’t that many fans out at the ballpark but if you are hunting for an autograph and a chance to talk to some ball players then this is the place to be before the official grind of spring training begins. Hammond Stadium itself seems to have fewer and fewer construction workers around it and it is starting to take shape. The landscaping has a way to go but it is getting there. I think there is an open house slated for February 22 to show the fans the Twins updated new digs at Hammond Stadium.
I know that spring training is still a few days away but I want you to keep one player’s name in mind this spring. He might not make the Twins opening day roster but don’t forget the name Eddie Rosario.
I took a few pictures of what is going on down here and you can see them over on the right hand side of the page on the 2015 Spring Training link. They photo’s will make you wish you were down here in beautiful SW Florida in spite of the fact that by Friday morning the temps will be about 37 degrees when the sun appears over Hammond Stadium.