Dress Rehearsal Wednesday Showed a Twins Team Ready to Pounce on AL Central

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The Minnesota Twins played… themselves, Wednesday night, in a 7-inning intrasquad game/scrimmage/dress rehearsal that ended in a 3-3 tie. While it didn’t count towards any standings and statistics won’t be written in pen, It was amazing to finally watch live baseball again! We saw some exciting performances from veterans and new guys, alike.

With Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler (aka One Thicc Bih) as the honorary “captains”, this game had it all. It had some bombas and it had good pitching. The Twins looked like they were in mid-season form. The stadium crew added in all the bells and whistles (PA announcers, crowd noise, etc.) to make an empty Target Field feel more…. not empty.




EARLY RETURNS

The game started with a bang (or should I say Bomba) when Max Kepler took newly acquired Kenta Maeda deep on a 3-1 count in the first. Leadoff homers you ask? Kepler is becoming a rich man’s Brian Dozier if you ask me. Kepler also doubled later in the game. Driving in prospect Alex Kirilloff.

Thankfully for Maeda, settled into a groove and finished his outing with five solid innings of work. He gave up only that one run off Kepler’s solo-shot and had plenty of late action on his pitches.



As for the other Minnesota Twins team, rookie Devin Smeltzer got the nod on the mound. He didn’t compete to Maeda’s level, but he held his own. The only damage done onto him, was off the bat of Nelson Cruz in the bottom of the third.

He took a 2-2 fastball into the right field bleachers, for two RBI’s that will never be recorded. Outside of that, Smeltzer had the type of performance that Twins fans have come to expect from him. This sequence against Alex Avila was beautiful.




THE PROSPECTS

The most fascinating aspect of the night came from how the team’s minor league prospects would perform. Both teams had a solid mix of them involved.

Team Polanco ProspectsTeam Kepler Prospects
Alex Kirlloff (1B/RF)Ryan Jeffers (DH/C/LF)
Trevor Larnach (RF)Brent Rooker (1B)
Travis Blankenhorn (3B)

All performed above expectations for their first “game” back against live pitching. Trevor Larnach ripped a single off Devin Smeltzer early and Ryan Jeffers hit a Bomba of his own to tie the game at three. Travis Blankenhorn had a big game at the plate and in the field.




WE CAN BUILD THIS DREAM TOGETHER

Even if there was some early rust showing, like Kirilloff struggling or Arraez grounding into two double plays, the team showcased why they are favorites to repeat as AL Central Champions. Even in an abbreviated 60-game season, this team has all the tools.

I have no worry that these guys will be ready to take on the White Sox, in Chicago on July 24. I know I’m ready. As this t-shirt says, we are going 60-0 and winning the WHOLE DAMN THING!



Here are complete games highlights from Tom Froemming’s (TwinsDaily.com) YouTube page.



Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan

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