March 21, 2024

What? Me worry?

I have to keep reminding myself that it’s only spring training because there are plenty of reasons to be worried about the 2024 Minnesota Twins as the regular season nears.

For one, they lost again on Wednesday. Not only did they lose, but the club was blown out 12-3 by the suddenly surging? improved? unbeatable? Detroit Tigers. That loss dropped the Twins to 8-15 in Grapefruit League play, good enough for them to share the bottom of the table with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Meanwhile, the Baltimore Orioles look like absolute world beaters with a 20-5 record.

In addition, Twins fans have learned that three key players — pitcher Anthony DeSclafani, closer Jhoan Duran and reliever Caleb Thielbar — will start the season on the injured list, and for DeSclafani his right forearm strain could be season-ending, according to some reports I have seen. DeSclafani is one of the pieces the Twins received in exchange for Jorge Polanco.

Polanco is hitting .433 this spring for the M’s.

With Anthony on the shelf, or completely shelved, it means that pitcher Louie Varland will get a shot at being the fifth starter in the rotation. Varland, coming into Wednesday’s game against Motown, had yet to surrender a run, and then he took the mound and got lit up like the Hindenburg, allowing eight runs, all earned, on nine hits with three walks across four innings. Ugh.

“He got in trouble a little bit with some two-strike stuff and then they got some guys on base and they started kind of hitting the first pitch,” Twins bench coach Jayce Tingler told MLB.com. “We want him attacking the zone. We want him throwing strikes … there were some singles in there and we just got to keep working.”

Extra innings …

Some better moments for the Twins:

-Twins pitcher and Deadhead Joe Ryan struck out five over five innings with two runs allowed to top the Red Sox, 5-2, on Monday. Reliever Brock Stewart followed him and struck out the side.

-Reliever Griffin Jax also made another scoreless appearance. He has yet to allow a run this spring. With Duran out, it sounds like Stewart and Jax might be asked to share closing duties.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

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.