The Twins defeated the Pirates 6-4 today from McKechnie Field in Bradenton. The Pirates record in Grapefruit League action now drops to 7-19-1 with three games remaining this week.
Matt Joyce is doing everything he can to earn a bench spot on this team as today he belted his third home run of the spring in the first inning of Twins starter Tyler Duffey. Joyce added an RBI double in his next at-bat to finish 2-for-2 on the day, raising his OPS to .932 this spring. I don’t think his performance this week is not too little, too late and judging from what Hurdle said in his honest in-game interview, decisions are still up in the air for a couple of roster spots. Just my opinion, but I think Joyce makes the team as the fourth outfielder.
Michael Morse continued his stellar spring with another two hits, including his fifth double this month. He’s now raking a .375/.444/.531 slash line this spring and the Jaso/Morse platoon at first is not looking too bad at all.
Gerrit Cole made his second appearance this spring and wasn’t very effective but only allowed two runs in 4.2 innings despite giving up eight hits in the outing. Cole has been shaky this spring, but he dealt with some inflammation early on and got a late start to spring training. He’ll be fine and the move to make Liriano the Opening Day starter is looking like a solid move as Cole has yet to go five innings. Besides Cole, Feliz pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief and allowed one run. And Trey Haley, still a long shot to make the team, pitched a scoreless innings with two walks, one hit while also strikeout out the side. That’s an interesting inning. Haley could provide the team with an arm later this season if any injuries arise.
The Pirates are back in action Tuesday at 1:05PM from George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa to face the Yankees. Steven Brault is scheduled to start for the Bucs. Brault has a 6.00 ERA in 3.0 innings of work this spring.