Familiar Faces Pop Up

There’s quite a few little-known ex-Minnesota Twins players making news in major league camps. Let’s take a look.

  • Livan Hernandez: The Twins "veteran rotation presence" a year ago finds himself slated to be the New York Mets fifth starter entering this season, which starts Sunday. The ERA over 6 last year and the WHIP of 1.67 wasn’t enough to discourage the Mets from hitching their wagon to him.
  • Juan Rincon: The former eighth-inning setup option for the Twins was a non-roster invitee with the Detroit Tigers this spring training. And despite long odds, he has made the Tigers roster for Opening Day. Rincon was a solid relief option through 2006 for the Twins, but struggled the last two years in Minnesota and Cleveland.
  • Sidney Ponson: Thanks to his performance for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, Ponson managed to earn a contract and spring training invitation from the Kansas City Royals. Ponson earlier this week was named the team’s No. 4 starter in the rotation.
  • Luis Rodriguez: The former Twins utility infielder will break camp with the San Diego Padres. According to ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, he is listed as the No. 1 shortstop on the team’s depth chart. David Eckstein is expected to play at second base.

I’d be surprised if Livan, Ponson and L-Rod are meaningful contributors by season’s end. Who knows? With Detroit’s bullpen being shaky in the spring, maybe Rincon could work himself into a meaningful role.

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