FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was Day One for the Twins’ full squad of players at spring training, and there’s no doubt about it: manager Rocco Baldelli has set his sights high, and he let his team know that Monday morning when he addressed the group.
How high is he aiming? World Series high.
“We should have those types of expectations,” Baldelli said.
Baldelli addressed his group with that message as the full team assembled for the first time.
“I think the guys are really excited and into what’s going on because I think they can see the light and see that this team has the ability to do pretty much anything,” he said. “We told them this morning that in that room there’s all the pieces we need to accomplish anything we want. We just have to go out there and get it done.”
Baldelli’s Twins won 101 games and took home an American League Central title in 2019, but the season ended in disappointment when the Twins were swept out of the opening round of the playoffs by the Yankees.
The Twins, clearly — and understandably — were not content with that finish, and believe they can improve upon it.
“We believed it on the first day of spring training all the way to the end of the year. But we also proved to ourselves a little bit actually going out there and having a very successful year,” Baldelli said. “But we want to do it better. We don’t want to go out there and have a successful year. We want to go out and do more than that.”
The Twins had an active offseason, adding Josh Donaldson, Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill, Homer Bailey, Alex Avila and Tyler Clippard, among others, while bringing back free agents Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda and Sergio Romo.
And all that leads them to the conviction that they should be better than the team they were a year ago.
“We as players have to believe that we can make it to that point,” designated hitter Nelson Cruz said. “First of all, we have to believe it. It doesn’t matter what the media say or what they say around us. We players have to believe it. That was a great message. He was on point. That should be the goal. We, on paper, look better than last year. All the expectations that we have, that should be the goal.”
The Twins added reliever Cory Gearrin to major-league camp. Gearrin, who spent last season with the Mariners and Yankees, has a career 3.64 earned-run average in parts of eight seasons. Between two teams last year, he had a 4.07 ERA in 66 games.
Infielder Wilfredo Tovar’s report date has been delayed as he deals with visa/immigration issues. Reliever Fernando Romero has been delayed for the same reason.