Minnesota Twins Roster
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Minnesota Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons has arrived at camp after having issues obtaining his visa. Simmons isn't the only player who had such an issue, though the Curacao native seemed to have more trouble than most in getting the appointment for his issued visa. Manager Rocco Baldelli said that Simmons was able to put in some quality work during the delay- and that the team hopes to have him on the field this weekend. He's currently clearing the team's COVID protocols but will be good to go once he does that.
Minnesota Twins second baseman Jorge Polanco struggled in the field during Thursday's loss to the Rays. Polanco collected two walks and a hit but committed a throwing error in the first inning, then had a wild throw on a potential double-play ball that cost the Twins a run. The former shortstop did make a nice sliding stop later in the game- complete with a throw from the seat of his pants. Polanco is getting reacclimated to the position, having played some there during his minor league career, though it certainly helps that he's healthy and pain-free for the first spring in awhile. He's put together some really patient at-bats so far this spring, which is a good sign for his 2021 prospects at the plate. He's a good late-round target at a thin position, provided he can make strides defensively this spring.
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Hansel Robles had a bit of a rough day in Thursday's loss to the Rays. Robles was saddled with the loss, as he pitched one inning, allowing four hits and three runs, two of them earned. However, the 30-year-old reliever showed some improved velocity on his four-seam fastball, touching 96 on the radar gun after losing 1.8 MPH of juice on the heater from 2019 to 2020. Robles has had a mixed bag of outings in two innings this spring- though it's too early to make any definite statements- particularly with Taylor Rogers and Alex Colome also looking a bit shaky. For now, Robles' increased velocity is the first step in his quest towards a bounce-back campaign in the Twins' bullpen.
Minnesota Twins outfielder Alex Kirilloff went 2-for-4 with a double in a 5-2 loss to the Rays on Thursday. Kirilloff's first hit of the spring was a loud one, as he ripped an 0-1 changeup into right for a one-out double in the bottom of the second inning. The 23-year-old registered exit velocities of at least 98 MPH on both of his hits. Kirilloff showed why the Twins have been so high on him, as he can really put the barrel to the baseball and hit for contact as well as power. It's early in the spring, and he's only appeared in three games so far- but if he can have more days like this, the Twins will have to keep his bat in the majors. He's currently going off the board at pick number 258.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kenta Maeda looked impressive in his first Grapefruit League start on Thursday. Maeda pitched two innings, allowing no hits or runs while striking out three batters. The Japanese right-hander did hit one batter but exhibited pinpoint control otherwise- throwing 21 of his 33 pitches for strikes and inducing six swings and misses. He even experimented with a new-look curveball, a pitch he threw earlier in his career with limited success. Maeda had an ADP of 172 last year and pitched like an ace- now fantasy investors are getting him around pick number 52. It would be unwise to reach for him before then, as his ERA is likely to regress north of the 2.70 mark from 2020, though Maeda's swing-and-miss stuff makes him a fine second starter for fantasy teams in 2021.