Owatonna’s Minnesota Twins’ Fans Ready to Cheer on These Former Yankees
Both Jake Cave and Tyler Austin used to dream of playing in Yankee Stadium as members of the home team. Now they will join in the effort to get the Minnesota Twins back into the postseason. Tuesday's winter caravan stop at Koda Living Community in Owatonna also included broadcaster Dick Bremer and mascot TC Bear.
Discussion points for the Koda residents and members of the community that appeared included the power at the plate that these two bring with them. Cave has a very high average distance per home run and hit 13 of them in 2018 after being acquired from New York in a mid-March swap. He also swiped a couple away from other players while roaming Target Field's centerfield. It's a spot he knows he might have to battle Byron Buxton for in 2019.
Both Cave and Austin like the opportunity they are getting in Minnesota where big name free agents aren't brought in as often as in the Big Apple. Austin might be Minnesota's replacement at first base for recently retired Joe Mauer. He is ready to play wherever the team wants to put him. Austin hit nine long balls with Minnesota is 35 games last summer after a July 30 trade from New York in the Lance Lynn deal.
Bremer led the program off with a question and answer session and kidded the players about how cold the home opener could be on March 28 in downtown Minneapolis. Austin is from Georgia and Cave hails from Virginia (the state, not the city in northern Minnesota).
Bremer said he has a feeling the Twins will make a move to bolster their pitching rotation which he says has a couple of very strong cogs with Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson. He is also interested to see how much Michael Pineda can contribute after coming back from injury.
Fans at Koka asked about off-season acquisition of Nelson Cruz who could add some big pop at the plate after smacking nearly 40 homers last season and Rocco Baldelli who takes over for Paul Molitor as the manager. Bremer believes he will fit in nicely in Minnesota, calling him a down-to-earth individual.
The annual Twins caravan visits about 40 communities each January, leading up to Twinsfest which is January 25-27 this year. The caravan will stop at Treasure Island Casino in Red Wing Thursday, January 17 at 5:30 pm. There is no charge to attend.
AM 1390 KRFO is your hometown station for Twins' baseball again in 2019. Review the KRFO / Kat Kountry 105FM sports broadcast schedule which includes the MN Twins Hot Stove Show Wednesday nights at 6 pm.