Today’s game was a radio-only broadcast available via MLB’s At Bat app, and it was a busy day at the FBB offices, so we followed along as much as we could and took notes on what was going on in Ft. Myers, FL where Washington’s Nationals beat the Minnesota Twins by a final score of 10-4.
Grapefruit League MVP: Jake Noll, 25, and a 2016 7th Round pick out of Florida Gulf Coast University who topped out at Double-A Harrisburg in 2018, (with a combined .291/.341/.412 line, 20 doubles, and 11 HRs between Double-A and High-A Potomac), continued to make his case as the Nationals’ Grapefruit League MVP this afternoon.
Noll started the day 9 for 26 (.346/.452/.654) with two doubles, two home runs, four walks, and six Ks in 16 games this Spring. Noll stepped in with two on and one out in his first plate appearance and drove both runners in with his third double of the Spring, a line drive to left field off Twins’ starter Martin Perez. It was 3-0 Nationals at the end of the opening frame.
Noll finished the day 2 for 4 with two doubles, two runs scored, and three RBIs.
• Check out an AFL scouting report on Noll from 2080 Baseball’s Adam McInturff that was published on FBB this winter HERE.
Fedde Good: Erick Fedde, who started today, while Aníbal Sánchez (whose turn it was) got to stay back in West Palm Beach to face minor leaguers, gave up two hits, a walk, and one earned run in three innings of work.
According to reports from Ft. Myers, the Twins hit him hard, but Fedde benefitted from help from his defense:
Erick Fedde allowed 1 run on 2 hits in 3 innings today. Twins made some pretty solid contact off him, defense helped. But he finished strong, striking out Marwin Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz in succession. A positive step for Fedde, who needed one.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) March 14, 2019
The Good News: In addition to Jake Noll’s two-run double, the Nationals got runs on an RBI single by Wilmer Difo, a two-run home run by Victor Robles, a two-run shot by Juan Soto, a second double by Noll, and second RBI single by Difo, spreading the offense around a bit with a roster heavy on young players who had to travel 2 1⁄2 hours to play today’s game.
The Bad News: Michael A. Taylor, with a revamped/shortened swing, has been doing well in Grapefruit League action, starting the day 9 for 24 (.375/.400/.625) with three doubles and one homer, one walk, and nine Ks in 10 games, but the outfielder apparently injured his left leg on a diving/sliding play in center field.
Taylor made the play, but got his left leg caught under him/in the turf/grass as he slid and made the catch, kicking up a rather large divot according to the Twins’ radio broadcasters.
After a visit from the trainer, he stayed in the game, but had trouble running off the field, and was pulled between innings, with MASN’s Mark Zuckerman noting that Taylor had a noticeable limp while walking in the clubhouse during the game.
Taylor politely declined to discuss the issue with reporters so we will have to wait to hear from Davey Martinez after the game for details on what was hurt.
Bullpen Action: Austin Voth gave up three hits, a walk, and two earned runs in an inning of work. Wander Suero and Kyle McGowin tossed scoreless innings. Tanner Rainey gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh. Aaron Barrett tossed a scoreless eighth and J.J. Hoover wrapped things up with a scoreless ninth.