JUPITER, Fla. -- The Twins were hoping that competition would bring out the best in some of their players this Spring Training, but according to assistant general manager Rob Antony, that hasn't happened. With less than two weeks to go until the regular season begins, several players fighting for starting positions or roster spots are scuffling.
"I wish somebody would step up and earn a job," Antony said before Wednesday's 3-1 loss against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. "Nobody's really doing that."
Among those Antony mentioned were some of the candidates for the fifth-starter job. While Kyle Gibson was strong over 4 1/3 innings during his start on Wednesday, and Samuel Deduno has a 2.19 ERA even after giving up two runs in 2 2/3 innings later in Wednesday's game, the others have endured more trouble. Scott Diamond will enter Thursday's start having allowed 20 baserunners in 9 2/3 innings, and Vance Worley sports a 13.50 ERA after giving up seven runs to the Rays on Tuesday night.
Antony said center-field competitors Aaron Hicks and Alex Presley haven't "been anything special," although Hicks went 1-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base on Wednesday. Potential designated hitter Jason Kubel has gone 2-for-25. Among the utility infield candidates, Jason Bartlett broke an 0-for-26 skid with his RBI single in Wednesday's sixth inning, while Eduardo Escobar has hit well, but according to Antony, had "defensive lapses."
It all adds up to one of the more difficult springs Antony has experienced.
"Nobody's really stepped up to try to earn the spots, and that's a bad feeling when you're looking at giving spots away," he said.