Found March 14, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
Mlb_pittsburgh_pirates_e2b4
CLEARWATER, Fla. During his two seasons with the Minnesota Twins, slugger Jim Thome never played in the field. His 664 plate appearances all came as either a designated hitter or pinch hitter. "He didn't even have a glove when he was with us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I looked in his locker for one more than once. I couldn't find one." Now back in the National League with the Philadelphia Phillies, Thome has had to pick up a glove once again. Before the visiting Twins took batting practice Wednesday at Bright House Field, the 41-year-old Thome put on his glove, played catch in the outfield and took some reps at first base. Any Twins fan who made the trip from Fort Myers likely had to do a double take. "He didn't play catch. You have to play catch at least once before I put you in defensively," Gardenhire said of Thome's time with the Twins. "He didn't do that. Our goal was just to get him at-bats, as many as we p...
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Phillies Nation TV: Blanton’s Value, Dontrelle, Doc Struggles

This week on Phillies Nation TV, Pat and I dived into possible trades for Joe Blanton. The Blue Jays interest seems to have cooled but we look at whether or not moving Blanton makes sense to begin with.We also examined Dontrelle Willis’ odds of making the team and why Charlie Manuel might be to blame for his early struggles.Later in the show we talked teams to fear in the National...

Morneau still searching for his spring swing

CLEARWATER, Fla. Justin Morneau is struggling at the plate, but the Twins first baseman isn't concerned about his offense just yet. After a 0-for-5 performance Wednesday against Philadelphia, Morneau is batting .136 (3-for-22) with five strikeouts this spring. Morneau missed a good portion of the last two seasons after a concussion in 2010 and multiple ailments in 2011. He...

Spring Training Gameday: Split Squad Madness!

There are TWO games today. Most of the starters are staying home to play the Braves featuring a start by Joe Blanton and an appearance by Dontrelle Willis. David Hale speculates that this could be Willis’ last appearance in red pinstripes if the outing does not go well. Willis has been plagued by arm fatigue and soreness and part of his contract becomes guaranteed on Saturday....

Hamels Solid as Phils Fall to Astros

Cole Hamels pitched five innings in his third grapefruit league start, striking out four and giving up just one run in the Phillies 6-5, 10 inning loss to the Houston Astros. He has looked sharp in each of those outings, posting a 1.69 ERA in 10 2/3 innings.Domonic Brown hit his first home run of the spring in the 10th inning, a solo home run. Brown went 2-for-5 on the day. By all...

Chase Utley Injury, Will He Be The Same?

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Chase Utley is a hard man to find at Bright House Field. He has not played a single inning in a single Grapefruit League game, with Opening Day just three weeks away. He has not fielded a ground ball during batting practice or participated in fielding drills in weeks. He plays catch and takes BP, but seems to spend the rest of his time in the trainer’s room...

Doumit has long admired the Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. The Minnesota Twins had issues with health at first base and catcher. They also lost a pair of right fielders in free agency. Now, the Twins are hoping veteran Ryan Doumit can fill in at any of those positions whenever they need him. Minnesota signed the versatile Doumit to a one-year contract this offseason, and he's now in his first spring training with his...

Minnesota Twins have ultimate underdog story in spring training

While spring training can be devastating for those who have to face the reality of not making a team, it also brings out a great deal of happiness for some, especially for those players who have labored a long time to reach a certain level.  Down in Fort Myers, FL where the Minnesota Twins train there seems to be one really happy, perhaps giddy player.       The guy who we...

2 Twins minor leaguers draw 50-game drug penalties

Two minor league pitchers in the Minnesota Twins organization have been suspended 50 games each under baseball's minor league drug program. Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that Yeison Florentino and Ezequiel Zarzuela each tested positive. They both play on the Twins' team in the Dominican Summer League. Florentino tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone and...

Astros notes: Pence faces former team

Livan Hernandez pitched five scoreless innings and allowed 5 hits in his outing against the Phillies Tuesday. "I threw the ball down today," said Hernandez. "Everything is going the way I want and I feel better and better every time I go on the mound." Former Astro Hunter Pence was back in Kissimmee Tuesday as the Phillies made a visit to Osceola County Stadium...

Dozier not taking things for granted with Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. Brian Dozier is a pretty good baseball player, but he's also a pretty good golfer. Dozier, the Minnesota Twins' 24-year-old shortstop prospect, was a four-sport athlete at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Miss. He was the quarterback of the football team and the point guard on the Indians basketball team, as well as a shortstop. But he always...

Phillies 6, Rays 6

Spring training invitees Juan Pierre and Joel Pineiro helped their cases for making the Phillies, with solid starts for a Philadelphia split squad in a 6-6 tie with the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. Pierre, a speedy outfielder, had two hits, two RBIs and scored twice - all in the first two innings for the Phillies. Pineiro started for Philadelphia, allowing a run on two hits and...

AP Newsbreak: No expanded replay in MLB this year

Center fielder Curtis Granderson raising his glove, hoping to convince an umpire that he made the catch. Jim Thome twisting his body, trying to coax a liner to kick up chalk. Those tricky calls aren't being farmed out to technology quite yet. Major League Baseball says expanded replay is out for this year, with the goal now to put the extra looks in play for 2013. Baseball...

Jurrjens struggles, Braves fall to Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- Scott Podsednik hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning and Dontrelle Willis tossed a scoreless inning, helping the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 6-4 on Thursday. Matt Diaz and Dan Uggla hit solo homers for the Braves. Jair Jurrjens had a rough outing, allowing four runs and nine hits in four innings. Podsednik had one of six...

Blue Jays 8, Twins 2

Francisco Liriano's fast spring start slowed Tuesday when the Toronto Blue Jays scored four runs off him in the third inning and beat the Minnesota Twins 8-2. The streaky lefty, who pitched a no-hitter last year while going 9-10, struck out five. But Toronto's Travis Snyder and Travis d'Arnaud hit consecutive two-run doubles off the right-field fence against Liriano...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.