Some Twins players, prospects already hard at work
Catchers and pitchers don’t officially need to report to the Twins facility at CenturyLink Sports Complex until Feb. 12 but the organization likes to get a jump start to the season which is rapidly approaching.
With the complex acting as the main hub for all the Twins’ major league and minor league teams in the spring, many of its prospects are already at work as well as some big leaguers.
On a sunny day Jan. 31 there were dozens of players throwing, playing catch and taking batting practice on the fields of the complex. There are seven fields in all (the spring training games are played at Hammond Stadium).
The Twins offer a fan-friendly attitude to spring training, with the public able to drive right up and park at spots named after former Minnesota greats like Killebrew Lane, Kelly Lane, Hrbek Lane, Morneau Lane, Morris Lane and Oliva Lane.
On Friday, there was a clinic being held on one of the practice fields for children missing limbs titled “Don’t Need2.” That is one of 10 clinics the Twins will put on around Southwest Florida this .
The first workouts will be held for pitchers and catchers on Feb. 13. On Feb. 17, the Twins will have their first full-squad workout beginning at 10 a.m. and invite the public to an open house to watch the workouts at Hammond Stadium and other fields at no cost. There will also be pediatric health screenings. Children will be able to go on the field and play catch and wiffle ball with players.
“We’re trying to make it a fun day,” said Mark Weber, Florida operations director for the Twins. “It’s on President’s Day so hopefully kids and families can come.”
The first spring training game for the Twins will be on Feb. 21 against the University of Minnesota. On Feb. 22, they will be in Bradenton to face the Pirates. Their first home game against a big-league team will be on Feb. 23 against the Blue Jays,
The Twins will be hoping to improve on their record last year of 101-61, their best tally since their 1965 American League pennant year. They signed three-time All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson to a four-year, $92 million contract in the offseason. They also inked pitchers Homer Bailey and Rich Hill to deals. The organization has invited top prospects Alex Kiriloff and Royce Lewis to camp as well.