FORT MYERS, Fla. — Rocco Baldelli doesn’t think of himself as much of a “rah-rah guy,” but the Twins’ first day of full-squad workouts began Monday, Feb. 18, with a speech from the new manager.
The theme? Coming together.
“I spoke a little bit about the importance of the Twins organization and all of the good things that have gone on here, all of the great people here and also the bringing in of some new people and some new ideas and bringing all of the best of both of those sides together to create something new,” Baldelli said.
Baldelli has talked about creating both a fun and a comfortable environment since he was hired.
He’s also been working on tightening up the amount of time players spend standing around during spring training.
Day One with the whole team together drew positive feedback from the manager.
“We want the best of everyone,” Baldelli said Monday. “There are a lot of people in that clubhouse — both in uniform today and people that were not in uniform — and they bring a lot to the table that are resources and assets for all of us, and it’s taking advantage of all those things and this team just creating its own identity.”
Sano being assessed
Miguel Sano was hanging out in the sun with his teammates Monday, though the third baseman remains limited after suffering a cut in the heel of his foot in the Dominican Republic during the offseason.
Baldelli said Sano was continuing to be assessed and said he likely would have a more thorough update on Tuesday. The manager said he was encouraged with how Sano said he felt.
“I was glad that he was able to come out and join us, lay his eyes on some of the infield work and some of the shifting,” Baldelli said. “Everything that the infielders are doing, I’d love for him to be out there and be a part of in the meantime. And he was happy to come out. He was in a good mood and he’s feeling great.”
Astudillo goes deep
Willians Astudillo spent the morning working at multiple positions around the field.
After that, he showed off his bat, taking teammates Jose Berrios and Trevor May deep during live batting practice.
“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” Baldelli said. “…It’s almost like he was playing a little baseball. He looked good. He put good swings on the ball. He’s a guy who has those unique skills, where you can take a few days off or a week — whatever he takes off, I would bet on him being able to come in and put good swings on the ball.”
Fifty-nine of 60 players reported to Twins camp on Monday.
The only player who didn’t was infielder Dean Anna, who officially retired.
Anna had a lengthy minor-league career that spanned 11 seasons. He appeared in the majors twice briefly, the last time in 2015.