By La Velle
Reliever Chad Cordero will throw for scouts on Friday in California, and I expect a Twins scout to join the Mets, Tigers, Diamondbacks, Brewers and other teams for a look-see. Cordero saved 47, 29 and 37 games from 2005-07 with Washington before having shoulder surgery last July.
If he looks O.K. it wouldn’t hurt the Twins to offer him a chance to have his comeback season as a set-up man for Joe Nathan.
WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC UPDATE NO. 1
It’s not official yet, but Nick Punto hopes to play for Italy in the World Baseball Classic.
“I think it’s good for baseball.’’ Punto said this afternoon. “I think it would be a cool experience. And I would get to learn a little more about my heritage.’’
Punto said officials are making sure he is eligible to play. He doesn’t expect any hurdles because his grandparents are from Naples – and not Naples, Fla. !!!
Twins prospect Matt Macri has been approached by the Italian national team too, but declined. “It was thrown out there,’’ he said, “but I thought it would be best for me to be at camp the whole time.’’
Provisional rosters are due on Jan. 19.
WBC UPDATE NO. 2
While Nick Punto, Joe Nathan (USA) and Justin Morneau (Canada) appear headed for WBC glory, Joe Mauer apparently isn’t.
Indications are that Mauer will need right up to the Feb. 14 reporting date for pitchers and catchers to fully recover from the minor kidney surgery he had last month to remove a blockage.
Winter leagues are in playoff mode right now. Alexi Casilla is batting .290 with 2 homers and 7 RBI in 8 postseason games for Gigantes de Cibao. Matt Tolbert, Jose Mijares and Wilson Ramos are playing for Aragua in the Venezuelan playoffs.
Twins pitchers and catchers report in 37 days.