Slow start doesn’t concern Twins’ Stauffer
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Minnesota Twins right-hander Tim Stauffer knows how it looks, that 15.00 ERA and that fastball sitting in the mid-80s. Pitching for a new team for the first time after a dozen years in the San Diego Padres organization, Stauff...
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Minnesota Twins right-hander Tim Stauffer knows how it looks, that 15.00 ERA and that fastball sitting in the mid-80s.
Pitching for a new team for the first time after a dozen years in the San Diego Padres organization, Stauffer recognizes his new employer - and especially the fan base - want to see more, even at this early stage.
The good news is that Stauffer says he is completely healthy and that he has been through this before.
“I just feel a little sluggish out there,” Stauffer said Tuesday. “Nothing hurts or anything. There’s no pain. Just a little dead-arm funk right now.”
After Stauffer’s last outing on Sunday, manager Paul Molitor said he and pitching coach Neil Allen would meet with the veteran to discuss plans for the final three weeks of spring camp. A long-shot candidate for the final rotation spot, Stauffer could soon move back into full bullpen mode.
“Maybe I have to make some adjustments with my routine in between, maybe cut back a little bit and get it back on track,” Stauffer said. “I’ve gone through that in spring training before; it usually works itself out.”
Stauffer signed a one-year, $2.2 million deal with the Twins this offseason. The deal includes up to $1.75 million in additional incentives that would max out only if he spent the bulk of the year in the starting rotation.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan went back through his scouting reports and found that Stauffer’s velocity is typically slow to arrive.
“That’s kind of how it’s always been,” Stauffer said. “I always feel better, typically, as the year progresses, for whatever reason. I’m stronger toward the end of the season. Spring training is kind of the biggest hurdle for me typically.”
Stauffer hasn’t been particularly effective in any of his three outings. He said the lack of fastball velocity has forced him to use more offspeed pitches.
“Everything is related to the arm speed and velocity,” he said. “That’s all going to change when you get going the right way. Obviously it’s much more challenging working with half a deck of cards, so to speak.
“I’m staying positive and not getting overly concerned with the results. You know when your stuff is good. I know right now it’s not where it was last year and the previous year. I know my arm’s not where it’s going to be. Hopefully here in the next couple weeks, I’ll get it ironed out.”
Closer Glen Perkins threw a bullpen session as planned without issue on Tuesday. The left-hander is scheduled to appear in a minor-league game Thursday, which would be his first appearance since working a scoreless inning against the University of Minnesota on March 4.
NOTES: Joe Mauer will hit second for the first time this spring today at home against Baltimore. Brian Dozier, who was hitting third Tuesday at the Orioles, will hit behind Mauer for today’s split-squad game. ... Manager Paul Molitor will attend Wednesday’s road game across town at JetBlue Park against Boston. That’s where right-hander Mike Pelfrey will get the start as he bids for the final rotation spot. ... Hard-throwing reliever Zack Jones, who helped Class A Fort Myers to a Florida State League crown and had success in the Arizona Fall League, accompanied the Twins on the trip to Sarasota. “Obviously he can light up a radar gun,” Molitor said. The Twins believe Jones’ slider and changeup still need work.