FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins have a lot of pitchers and catchers in southwest Florida who are healthy and ready to go this spring, as the first official workouts begin Wednesday morning. This time of year, though, we’re always asking questions about the one or two that are not here, for any reason.
In this case the group is lacking only Kenta Maeda and Fernando Romero. Maeda is travelling and is expected to be in Fort Myers on Thursday, the team said. Romero, meanwhile, has apparently had a snag with his visa while traveling back to Florida, and he’s not expected in camp before the end of the week, a team spokesman said.
For Maeda, you could understand. He’s now an MLB veteran, but with the delay of the trade that sent Brusdar Graterol to the Dodgers and landed Maeda in Minnesota, you could see how a switch from Arizona to Florida for spring training might have thrown a wrench in things.
For Romero, it’s unfortunate timing. This time last year, people with the Twins were talking highly of him, as a weapon coming out of the bullpen with a big fastball-slider combination that could prove lethal. Last year, it turned out, went very far off that script, and a lot of pitchers in the organization passed him up to earn innings with the big league club.
He was on the team in September when rosters expanded beyond the 25-man limit. But even so this really seemed like a spring training in which the flamethrowing righthander had something to prove. That’s still true, although now he’ll get a late start on that task.