By La Velle
Gotta write fast. The system is shutting down for several hours today for maintenance.
First of all, Joe Crede is big. Bigger than a lot of Twins remember him, Not in a fat way. More of a this-man-fills-a-doorway big.
Crede also is very polite. He stood straight up with his hands behind his back as he answered questions at today’s press conference. He then worked out with his new team. He lined the first two batting practice pitches he saw off the screen that protected the pitcher. He lifted one over the left field fence during his second round of b.p. He eventually made his way to the batting cages, where hitting coach Joe Vavra flipped him some balls.
He has a polished swing. No wasted movements.
Was it strange to not put on a White Sox uniform?
“It takes a little bit to get used to. But it’s a good change of scenery and hopefully it’s for the better.”
As for his back, Crede said it took him several days to recover from the first back surgery after the 2007 season. But he was on a plane headed home two days after his procedure last October in Dallas, once in which fluid that was pressing up against a nerver in his back was removed. He’s very confident he’s got it licked now.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Crede will be allowed to back off workouts if he needs to.
As for reliever Juan Cruz, reports that the Twins are close to a sign and trade deal aren’t true, according to a person with knowledge of talks. And all indications are that this deal will be hard to pull off. It’s going to be hard enough to agree to terms with the agent. Getting the Diamondbacks to agree on a trade might be even tougher. Things could always change but, for now, there’s little reason to feel optimistic that the Twins can land Cruz.
One last thing. Fans of local product Ben Hendrickson take note: The Twins have signed the pitcher to a minor league deal. He’ll try to make Class AAA Rochester.