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It’s not exactly uncharted territory, but those four offerings clocked at 97 mph by the stadium radar gun got him nearly halfway to his regular-season career total of 10 with at least that much velocity. He threw only one pitch that hard last season — a 97.2-mph offering in his Opening Day start on July 24.

The question, as always, remains whether Berríos can sustain that velocity through a full season and maintain his stamina in the Custom Minnesota Twins Jerseys second half. That’s a challenge he has been working to tackle with pitching coach Wes Johnson.

For what it’s worth, Berríos’ fastball velocity has usually ticked up in September, though his 4.84 career ERA in the second half is still considerably worse than his 3.70 first-half mark.

“José is in a fantastic spot physically,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He came into camp beyond ready. He spent his time very well this offseason. He has maintained his focus from the end of last season until now. He’s always exceptional about his routines. He’s ready to throw. He’s about as prepared as you can possibly be to put in a full year’s worth of innings.”

Berríos doesn’t sound concerned at all about that stamina. Though he threw only 63 innings last season, he’s confident in his ability to shoulder a full workload because he never really shut himself down during the COVID-19 hiatus. He went back to Puerto Rico and stayed in his routines and bullpen sessions until Summer Camp and the regular season picked up.

It’s all about his mentality and confidence, Berríos says. And not only does he seem determined to maintain this extra oomph in his stuff — his breaking pitches were also crisp as he struck out four in three shutout innings — but he’s eager to show that the work on his body has primed him to reach 200 innings for the second time in his career, despite last season’s shutdown.

“That’s what I’ve got in my mind every day,” Berríos said. “I prepare myself to do that. If I do not, that’s other authorities’ decision. Manager, coach, other people. For me, I prepare myself to get through 200 innings.”

Twins part ways with three coordinators
The Twins parted ways on Wednesday with Minor League coordinators Donegal Fergus (hitting), Billy Boyer (fielding/baserunning) and Michael Thomas (catching), according to a source.

The Twins “don’t discuss personnel decisions,” a club spokesman said, citing company policy.

Fergus was hired out of UC Santa Barbara before the 2020 season following a lengthy tenure in the collegiate game that also included stints at the University of Washington, Lower Columbia College, Seattle University and Tacoma Community College. Boyer was in his third year in the organization following a similar collegiate career at Seattle University and the University of Washington, and Thomas was in his fourth season in the organization following stints at the University of Kentucky and Virginia Tech.

Tortuga time
Willians Astudillo continued a strong start with a pair of hits that raised his spring average to .400 (4-for-10), including a two-run single in the seventh and an uncharacteristic four-pitch walk in the sixth.

Astudillo split time between third base and catcher as he continues to compete for a spot on the Opening Day bench, where he could serve as a third catcher and provide depth at the corner infield positions. It could depend on how much the Twins value having more depth at shortstop, where they have Andrelton Simmons and starting second baseman Jorge Polanco but no clear option to back them up.

“I would think that there will be times this year where we are going to be carrying three catchers,” Baldelli said. “That’s very realistic. When exactly that is, I’m not sure. Could it be Opening Day? Absolutely. Willians is very proficient all around the field.”

Around the horn
• Rob Refsnyder tripled home a pair of runs with a line drive into the left-field corner to key the Twins’ two-run second inning. It was the outfielder’s second hit of the spring. He faces an uphill task in standing out due to the hot start of fellow non-roster outfielder Keon Broxton, who is 5-for-11 in Grapefruit League action.

• Right-handed reliever Shaun Anderson had another tough outing, allowing three hits and two runs in the fifth inning before he was pulled in the middle of a plate appearance against Rays pinch-hitter Kevin Padlo. Anderson did have a 15.88 ERA last spring before posting a 3.52 ERA out of the Giants’ bullpen.

Up next
Matt Shoemaker couldn’t have had a better spring debut for his new team, retiring all seven Atlanta hitters he faced on 32 pitches on Friday. He pitched into the third inning in that start and will have a chance to build on that in Thursday’s 12:05 p.m. CT matchup against the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium, when he’ll toe the rubber against Boston left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.

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Cruz was, as usual, held out of the first few games of Spring Training as he ramped up for the season on his own schedule. Wednesday marked a good time for his first game action with the club playing at home, and after grounding Wholesale Minnesota Twins Jerseys out to short in his first two at-bats, Cruz yanked the ball an estimated 390 feet over the fence in left-center.

“He’s done this before in the spring,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He almost comes in ready to go. A lot of guys, it takes a really extended period of time, a lot of at-bats, to get ready and to start to feel it, but not surprised to see Nellie line a ball over the fence right there. That’s just what he does.”

It took a while for Cruz and the Twins to agree on the one-year, $13 million deal that brought the designated hitter back to Minnesota for 2021, and after serving as the club’s most productive bat for two years, it didn’t take long for Cruz to show the Twins why it was important for them to bring him back.

Josh Donaldson was also absent from the Twins’ early spring contests alongside Cruz and has yet to appear in a game as Minnesota eases the 2015 American League MVP Award winner into action to help keep his calves healthy. Andrelton Simmons is the only other Twins regular who hasn’t yet seen action, due to his visa issues in leaving his native Curaçao for Spring Training.

Triple-A Saints’ season to be delayed
It’ll take a bit longer than expected for the St. Paul Saints to play their first game of affiliated ball.

The Saints announced Tuesday night that the start to their inaugural season in Triple-A ball will be postponed to May 4, in line with the league-wide delay. Their season will be shortened from 142 games to 120, with the format of the schedule remaining largely the same, featuring off-days on Mondays and six-game series from Tuesdays to Sundays.

The Saints’ home opener will now be May 11, with an even split between 60 home games and 60 road games.

CHS Field will reprise its role as the Twins’ alternate training site and will house the club’s taxi squad until the Triple-A season gets underway.

“While we are eager to begin our first year as the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate, we understand and appreciate what Major League Baseball is doing by delaying the start of our season by a month,” Saints general manager Derek Sharrer said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the Twins as their alternate training site in April as we prepare to safely host fans when our 2021 season begins in May.”

Fans in the regular season?
There’s still no clarity on whether the Twins will allow fans into Target Field during the regular season, but club president Dave St. Peter said on the broadcast of Wednesday’s game that the organization hopes to soon re-engage with the office of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz regarding a proposal for a limited allotment of just over 10,000 fans per home game (around 26 percent of the stadium’s capacity) starting as soon as Opening Day.

“We think we can do that safely,” St. Peter said. “We think we can do it starting on Opening Day, April 8. Ultimately, we need the high sign from the Department of Health as to whether that’s possible, and we’re hoping to get that soon. … We actually think that Twins baseball can play a really important role in getting our downtown back moving.”

Around the horn
• Minor League infielder Chris Williams was removed from the Twins’ 75-man player pool due to a separated left shoulder sustained in a collision at first base with the Braves’ Austin Riley in the club’s 6-0 loss to Atlanta on Tuesday. He was replaced on the roster by infielder Spencer Steer, the Twins’ third-round selection from the 2019 Draft.

• Another of Minnesota’s three homers was a solo blast by Kyle Garlick that traveled an estimated 390 feet to right-center field, his second of the spring. Garlick was added to the roster on a waiver claim from the Braves in February, and he also went deep on Monday against the Rays. Mitch Garver also crushed his first homer of the spring in the first inning.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — On a back field at the Red Sox’ sprawling spring training complex, Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker might have had his best outing of the spring on Tuesday. But since nearly no one was Wholesale Minnesota Twins Jerseys in attendance to watch his six-inning, 81-pitch effort, you’ll just have to take his word for it.

“It went really well,” he said. “Executed what we wanted to. Threw all the pitches, located. Overall, really, really good.”

Shoemaker doesn’t remember who he faced exactly, though he knows there were definitely some faces in there that he had seen before. He does remember that he only gave up one or two hits and executed just how he wanted, missing maybe one or two spots, he said. It was an improvement over his last start in which Shoemaker was hammered for seven runs on two home runs in just three innings.

Tuesday’s start in the “B” game, which allowed him to skip a long road trip to Bradenton, where the Twins fell 1-0 to the Pirates, is scheduled to be the longest outing of his spring.

“Leading up to this point in spring, granted the last outing was not what we wanted, but (I) still got good work in … I feel really good with where I’m at,” he said. “I’m building up in spring. Got my six innings today and if I get to six innings in spring, my last start will usually be two or three innings, usually just taper off a little bit just getting ready for the season.”

When he makes that first start is still in question — at least to him. The Twins have announced that Kenta Maeda will start on Opening Day, and Jose Berrios will follow him. Shoemaker followed Berrios in the rotation this week, and Michael Pineda is scheduled to start Wednesday, making that the likely order the Twins will go with, though Shoemaker isn’t speculating.

“I’m not really reading into it because I know there’s been a little discussion but not too much, so we don’t really know much yet,” Shoemaker said. “… I don’t know if I’m pitching maybe Game 3, Game 4. Don’t really know yet. I know it can line up either way, however they want to do it.”

Shelton’s payback
Pirates manager Derek Shelton — the Twins’ former bench coach and manager Rocco Baldelli’s good friend — had some fun delivering payback after Baldelli and the Twins played a video of Shelton getting ejected on the Hammond Field scoreboard last week.

Baldelli, as seen in a photo posted on Twitter by Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse, was welcomed before the game with a picture of a younger, mustached version of himself with the accompanying caption “2-Time MLB Most Handsome Manager Award Winner.”

“We’ve talked about the internet being a fantastic spot when you’re looking for something specific, and Sheltie, I wouldn’t be surprised if he spent a lot of time out there,” Baldelli said. “He’s got plenty of time for that, so I figured he was on the internet shuffling around all night. But yeah, it’s fine. Again, you have to let guys have their fun, and we’ll see what happens in the future.”

Briefly
Griffin Jax, who was reassigned to minor-league camp after the game in Bradenton on Tuesday, threw three scoreless innings in his first start of the spring. … Luis Arraez started the game in left field. … Derek Law threw a scoreless inning and struck out two. He hasn’t given up a run in six innings this spring.