‘La Tortuga’ hoping his place versatility lands him roster spot


Willians Astudillo labored for seven years within the minors earlier than lastly reaching the foremost leagues with the Twins.

However the work did not cease there, as Astudillo has battled every of the previous three seasons to take care of a spot on the roster.

And this season isn’t any completely different. A catcher by commerce, “La Tortuga,” his nickname which implies the turtle in Spanish, has versatility to play infield and outfield positions, with Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers more likely to get many of the begins behind the plate.

Astudillo would not thoughts exhibiting off his flexibility if it retains him on the roster.

“I favor that [rather] than being at dwelling,” Astudillo stated. “I nonetheless have a job. On the finish of the day, my work ethic can have the final phrase.”

All through his profession, Astudillo has performed each place however shortstop, and will issue into the nook outfield spots this season. However he’s protecting his head in his shell in terms of his unsure destiny.

“That call is out of my fingers,” he stated. “I am simply going to take it day-to-day and do the most effective I can and, if I am given the chance, we’ll take it from there. I am not anticipating something. I am simply working arduous daily.”

Jax’s journey

Griffin Jax pitched three scoreless innings Tuesday in opposition to Pittsburgh, then was assigned to minor league camp.

However for Jax, the expertise was nonetheless a lift that has him hoping the Twins will see him as a viable choice if wanted this season.

“Within the few video games I’ve gotten to pitch in main league spring coaching, I’ve by no means actually gotten to face a legit lineup,” Jax stated. “… It was nice to rise up there and get that confidence and see these guys and perceive that I belong up right here, that I can get outs.”

The Air Pressure Academy graduate has endured a number of ups and downs in his younger profession, jugging his navy dedication with making an attempt to pursue big-league desires. Throw in 2020 making an attempt to pitch on his personal whereas additionally planning a marriage, the stress ramped up much more.

“There’s positively some anxiousness in terms of excited about how my profession’s been up so far,” he stated. “It has been positively a novel and rocky highway. However on the similar time, I take a look at it as simply one thing that is constructed my self-discipline and my ardour for the sport.”

Jax added he took greater than 1,000 hours of video on his cellphone and edited all of it himself to point out the Twins how he was progressing all through 2020. At spring coaching, he is tried to point out the staff his consistency.

“I am a man that may pound the strike zone and get outs,” Jax stated. “I am not going to go on the market and stroll the home. That is not who I’m. So I have to hold going on the market and simply throwing a variety of strikes, a variety of fast innings, simply get my staff again on the market within the field and allow them to hit.”

And so forth.

• The Twins can choice Lewis Thorpe to the minor leagues with out passing by means of waivers, an arbitrator dominated Wednesday, a choice that might imply the lefthander spends the summer season going forwards and backwards between Goal Area and CHS Area.

The long-awaited ruling on a pandemic-season technicality, that the month Thorpe spent on the Twins’ roster in 2020 didn’t represent a fifth “full season” as an expert, means that he’s eligible for a fourth choice 12 months, yet one more than the standard three. The flexibility to choice him to St. Paul means no different staff can declare Thorpe if the Twins determine to take action.

Had the Twins not been granted a fourth choice, they must hold Lewis on the roster all season or waive him and probably lose him.

• Aaron Sutton, employed to handle the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, the Twins’ low-Class A affiliate, final 12 months earlier than the season was canceled, and scheduled to lastly take the reins subsequent month, introduced his retirement. Sutton stated he was leaving with the intention to cease touring, be along with his spouse and younger son.

Workers author Phil Miller contributed to this report.

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