Friday, March 9, 2007

Sidney assesses Sidney

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Sidney Ponson hit the showers after giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk in two innings against a Dodgers lineup that featured about half of the regulars.

"I'm not going to beat myself up for it," Ponson said. "Giving up four runs in two innings is not proving anything to anybody."

It was Ponson's second spring-training start, his first in Grapefruit League play. Trying to prove himself on a minor-league deal, Ponson said he didn't put pressure on himself today.

"If I do get my walking papers, then I walk," Ponson said. "It's no secret. I know the situation. I have to work for (the job)."

Garza, get ready

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Sidney Ponson gets the start this afternoon against the Dodgers, and so far he looks like the same pitcher who was designated for assignment twice last year.

In the first inning, Ponson allowed three runs on four hits and a walk. The big blow was Andre Ethier's rocket of a double into right-center that drove in a run.

A Twins fan sitting off to my left here in cozy and beautiful Holman Stadium seems ready for Ponson to be released. "Hey, Joe!" the fan shouted. "Tell him to throw strikes! He's going to hit his pitch count in the first inning!" I heard the same fan grumbling about the rotation prior to the start of the game.

Yes, it's Ponson's first official spring outing. But I'm sticking with my prediction that Matt Garza will fill the open vacancy in the rotation.