The Minnesota Twins offered Lewis Thorpe to the alternative training site Thursday afternoon, clearing the way for Dobnak to play a role in the reliever box. Dobnak, unsure if he could share the news, joked that he could end up at Class-A Advanced Cedar Rapids, but manager Rocco Baldelli confirmed after the game that Dobnak will start the year in the bullpen.
The Twins also reassigned pitchers Andrew Albers, Luke Farrell, Ian Hamilton, Juan Minaya, Glenn Sparkman and wide receiver David Banuelos to the minor league camp.
“If I’m on the opening day list, that would be pretty cool. Obviously that’s kind of a thing you grow up thinking about, ”Dobnak said. “One thing is to be a big leaguer, and the next thing is like, ‘Oh, I want to be on the opening day list when they introduce everyone.’ Especially this year, with fans, that would be pretty cool.
Dobnak allowed just one run this spring – it was a home run by Bobby Dalbec in the fifth inning of the Twins’ 7-4 win over Boston on Thursday night at jetBlue Park in Fort Myers. Otherwise, it went as well as it gets for Dobnak, who has an earned run average of 0.66 in 13 2/3 innings.
Normally a Groundball pitcher, Dobnak put out 18 batters this spring, thanks in part to a revamped slider resulting from the change in his hand positioning. Although Dobnak, a starter, is starting the year in the bullpen, Baldelli said he will play a role “where we can call him to do different things”.
“We’ve talked about it all the time, but it’s very true, it doesn’t tend to complicate things too much,” said Baldelli. “He just likes having the ball in his hand and being able to take the mound and throw it. And Randy has been amazing this camp. I mean, essentially untouchable in any of its outings. And we’re very, very impressed with what we’ve seen of him.
The twins were also in awe of what they saw from southpaw Thorpe this spring and expect to see him in the majors this season. Thorpe allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings and saw his speed increase after a heavy training offseason.
“He’s going to end up helping us this year at some point, especially if he stays in that kind of form, but we just want to keep him locked in, focused and when we call his name we expect him to go. out there and pitch like he is right now, “Baldelli said.” If he does that he’s going to be very successful. “
Wide receiver Mitch Garver left Thursday’s game after being struck in Jett Bandy’s third inning. After the imaging, the twins said Garver avoided the worst-case scenario, diagnosing her with a contusion on her left finger.
“He’s a pretty tough guy,” Baldelli said. “If he was perfectly fine and got up and said he was ready to go, he’s obviously staying in the game, but we just wanted to make sure we get him checked out, and it looks like he’s going to be. come out OK, but we’ll probably give it a day or two and make sure.
Tickets for the opening series at Target Field against the Mariners sold out hours after going on sale to the general public on Thursday. As of Thursday night, the Twins had sold nine games – all weekend games between April 8 and May 6.
The Twins still had tickets available for eight games: a four-game streak against the Red Sox in mid-April and a four-game streak against the Rangers from May 3-6.
Tickets for games through May 6 went on sale at 10 a.m. to the general public after first being offered to season ticket holders. The Twins will be able to have up to 10,000 fans present to start the season.
Infielder Andrew Romine has withdrawn his and will be released. Baldelli said there is a chance Romine will return and they will know more in the coming days about her next steps. … Byron Buxton had a brace to clear the bases and Josh Donaldson had a brace and a home run on Thursday. … The Twins have announced that Brian Meyer, who was supposed to be the Mighty Mussels hitting coach this season, will take charge of their subsidiary Low Single-A. Meyer was raised after Aaron Sutton, who was to manage the team, retired from training to run a restaurant with his wife.