March 14, 2018

So far, so good: Twins’ Lynn nearly perfect in spring debut

Pitcher Lance Lynn, the Twins’ $12 million man, took the mound Tuesday and didn’t disappoint. Facing the Baltimore Orioles, Lynn struck out five in three innings, with no hits and one walk. The Twins led 5-4 through  five innings before the bullpen gave up the lead and the team lost, 7-5.

“I walked a guy, but outside of that, everything went as smooth as it possibly could,” Lynn told MLB.com.

Yes, it’s spring training, but Lynn’s debut was encouraging for a career National League pitcher who will have to adjust to the power-hitting American League and its designated hitter rule. Another good sign: Lynn didn’t seem to miss a beat after a longer-than-expected offseason for many of the top free agents of 2018. Jake Arrieta finally found a home with the Philadelphia Phillies, while Alex Cobb remains unsigned with Opening Day just around the corner.

The Twins scored five runs on nine hits. Joe Mauer had two of those nine hits, Miguel Sano doubled, while Logan Morrison and Jorge Polanco also chipped in with a hit apiece.

Extra innings…

-How about giving Ryan LaMarre a shot at making the team? LaMarre, who was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2010 and then spent the majority of the next eight seasons in the minor leagues, signed as a free agent with the Twins in November. This spring LaMarre has 12 hits, including two home runs, in 23 at bats. He’s scored eight runs, has 10 RBI and is hitting .522.

-Pitcher Fernando Romero, who generated some buzz for the Twins during spring training, won’t get a prolonged chance with the team just yet after he was sent down to the minors on Tuesday. Romero, who could be a future starter for the Twins, appeared in four games. He struck out eight in eight innings and allowed no hits, no runs and just one walk.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.