March 16, 2007

Spring Training: Game 18

The Twins continued their winning ways today as they knocked out the Orioles 16-2 going only seven innings. Ponson and Garza both pitched well and the Twins got a lot of offense from their young guys in the lineup. There are many stats and observations below.

Game 18:
- Ponson went four innings and gave up one unearned run and three hits. He also had two strikeouts against his former team.

- Garza went two innings and gave up two hits and no runs. He struckout one batter and definitely kept the fifth starter battle close.

- The last inning went to Durbin who gave up two hits and one run, probably hurting his chances with the Twins only taking 11 pitchers.

- As you can tell by the score, there was a lot of scoring. To go along with the 16 runs, the Twins also picked up 20 hits.
Here are the key stats:
Luis Castillo: 2-4; RBI
Alexi Casilla: 1-1; Run
Jason Tyner: 1-4; RBI
Jason Kubel: 1-4; Run
Garrett Jone: 4-5; 4 Runs and 4 RBI
Denard Span: 4-5; 3 Runs and 2 RBI
Luis Rodriguez: 1-4; Run
Jason Bartlett: 3-3; Run and 3 RBI
Matt Tolbert: 2-2; Run and RBI

- With the win, the Twins are now 8-9-1 so far this spring.

For more stats, check out the Box Score.

Pitching Battle:
As you know from previous posts, the Twins are leaning towards just 11 pitchers. That would mean five starters and six pitchers for the bullpen. Below is what I think the team is leaning towards in each spot. What you see below is also the order of who will make the team.

Santana - Ortiz - Silva - Bonser - Ponson - Garza - Perkins - Slowey

Nathan - Crain - Neshek - Rincon - Reyes - Guerrier - Venafro - Durbin

The order for the bullpen doesn't really matter until you get up to Guerrier. I'm not sure if they are leaning towards the lefty with Venafro or Guerrier at this point. It could also come down to leaving Guerrier out and keeping Durbin with the organization.

As far as the starters go, I think they are leaning towards Ponson over a younger guy as of now. However, there are many more games to go which could change their thoughts. Today Gardenhire had this to say:

"Nothing's a lock after Santana," he said. "We like Ortiz. He's as close [as they have] to the next lock. Silva, he's close to a lock. We still want to see a little more out of him."

This quote makes me very happy. I'm hoping that the Twins wont say that Silva is a lock because if he pitches poorly in spring, he wont do any better when the season starts which means I'd rather see a young guy make the team over him.