The Twins are winding down exhibition play, and although I always fight the temptation to read too much into spring training, it’s hard not to after the club fell to 8-12-3 on Sunday with a lackluster loss to the Atlanta Braves.
The Twins mustered all of two hits in the 5-0 defeat.
Expectations are riding high for starter and ex-Hiroshima Carp ace Kenta Maeda now that he has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, but he didn’t look good on Sunday. He exited the game after four innings and 75 pitches, allowing five runs, all earned. He also walked two batters and served up two home runs.
The Twins also lost Saturday 7-4 to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Starter Aaron Sanchez had a much better outing after his previous start, but he still fell to 0-3 with an ERA better than 15.00. He struck out six over three-plus innings, which was great. Still, you could tell that after he had been through the Bucs’ lineup a couple of times, their hitters had figured him out, and soon enough they connected for a home run and a double to erase an early 1-0 Twins lead.
And on Friday, starter Tyler Mahle got knocked around by serving up three home runs to the Baltimore Orioles in a 5-3 loss.
It’s been an underwhelming spring for the Twins, and the team and front office should be prepared because fans are going to have little patience for this during the regular season.
Extra innings …
-Oregon state man Trevor Larnach went 2-for-3 with a hit, a home run, a run scored, a walk and one RBI in Saturday’s loss.
-Donovan Solano, a career .278 hitter who signed as a free agent with the Twins in the offseason, is having a terrible spring. He is hitting .040 because he has only one hit in 25 at bats. If this keeps up, he’s going to lose that “Donnie Barrels” nickname.
-In Pablo Lopez/Luis Arraez news, Lopez pitched a scoreless inning in Sunday’s game, while Arraez hit two home runs for Team Venezuela in their 9-7 loss to Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. In case you’ve already forgotten, or are trying to forget, Arraez was sent to the Miami Marlins to get Lopez during the offseason.
-And then there was this …
So far today:
– Twins acknowledged Polanco will likely miss the start of the season
– Kirilloff nailed Duran with a comebacker in live BP
– And this
— Nick Nelson (@NickNelsonMN) March 19, 2023