With all of the attention today focused on Joe Nathan quite possibly being done for the season, it was easy to forget there was still a meaningless spring game going on — but not here! I’m all about meaningless things . . .
Today’s Big Winner
You hit a game winning homerun when you’re competing for a job, you get the nod. Danny Valencia went deep today to hand the Twins a 7-6 win over the Cardinals in his only at bat of the game. He’s now hitting .429 on the spring (remember, it’s early) and seems to be comparing rather favorably right now with the Twins other third base options. I really didn’t expect him to have a realistic shot at winning the job outright, but if he keeps it up the Twins may be tempted to just hand him the keys and let him drive.
Today’s Big Loser
When Joe Nathan went down, a spot in the bullpen (probably) opened up. One guy who is rapidly pitching himself out of contention for that spot is Jeff Manship, who allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits and 2 walks in an inning of work today. That follows a horrendous first outing of the spring. With a lot of other guys pitching well, Manship is rather quickly falling into the ‘soon to be cut’ list. Another bad performance his next time out might see the Twins ship him to minor league camp. Oh yeah, Jim Thome went 0-3 and is 0-6 on the spring. I’m just saying . . .