FORT MYERS, Fla. — It’s always fun to watch the position players enjoying life when training camp opens for the pitchers and catchers. It’s like they’re auditing classes in college — the professor might assign homework, but you don’t actually have to do it.
So it was for Eddie Rosario (pictured) on Wednesday morning. The Twins are about to hold their first workout of spring training, and the intensity (such as it is) about getting down to work is evident among the pitching staff, each of whom checked the bulletin board to find out when and where they are expected this morning. With new bench coach Derek Shelton taking over for Joe Vavra, the schedules have a different look to them; we’ll see how much different the program is. There will be plenty of drills to get in shape, though, along with the usual assortment of fielding drills and bullpen work.
Rosario? He might take a few fly balls, but his day mostly consists of hitting, his favorite pastime. No wonder he was beaming as he greeted his teammates this morning. “I love coming early,” Rosario said. “This part is fun.”
He’s not alone. Nick Gordon, the Twins’ top infield prospect in the high minors, is in uniform, too, along with Ehire Adrianza, Robbie Grossman and Zack Granite.
Fernando Rodney would like to be here, too, but he had a family emergency to take care of, the Twins said, and his arrival has been delayed. There’s a good chance he will be in camp tomorrow morning, though, so nobody is concerned. And as announced on Tuesday, Kyle Gibson (arbitration hearing) and Ervin Santana (doctor’s visit) are absent as well.
Addison Reed and Zach Duke pulled on Twins uniforms for the first time, their lockers right across from each other. They’ll beef up a bullpen that should be stronger this season. Jose Berrios walked in sweating, shortly before Paul Molitor called everyone together for a pre-workout meeting; he had already been working out on his own. Adalberto Mejia, trying to hold on to his spot in the rotation, made the rounds, too, looking like he’s lost a bit of weight since last fall.
Phil Hughes and Gabriel Moya are scheduled to throw in the bullpen today, among a half-dozen pitchers getting a first-day look. Spring is coming, Minnesota, and for the Twins, it’s already here.