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Twins wearing bracelets to honor late prospect Landa

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The tributes keep coming for late Twins pitching prospect Yorman Landa, who died in a car accident on Dec. 10 in Venezuela.All Twins minor-league players and staff members have been issued red rubber bracelets that read: "Siem...

Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Yorman Landa. File photo by Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Yorman Landa. File photo by Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

CLEARWATER, Fla. - The tributes keep coming for late Twins pitching prospect Yorman Landa, who died in a car accident on Dec. 10 in Venezuela.

All Twins minor-league players and staff members have been issued red rubber bracelets that read: "Siempre con nosotros, Burro." Translated from Spanish, that means "Always with us, Donkey."

That nickname was a reference to Landa's durability on the mound. In addition to his name written in white script on the outside of the bracelet, there's also a Bible verse on the inside: Isaiah 41:10.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God," the verse reads. "I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Landa, a right-handed pitcher with a 100-mph fastball, was just 22 when he died.

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Many Latin American players in big-league camp, including close friend Engelb Vielma and left fielder Eddie Rosario, are wearing the bracelet. His photo also appears on the inside cover of the Twins' media guide, and there's a commemorative photo plaque in a prominent place in the home clubhouse at Hammond Stadium this spring.

The Twins are designing a commemorative patch to wear on their uniforms for Opening Day and possibly through the season. Landa will be honored before the game on April 3 at Target Field, but flying in his parents, Osvaldo and Maria, appears too difficult because they don't have visas.

Berrios bids adieu

Right-hander Jose Berrios worked two scoreless relief innings Friday in his final outing before heading west to join Puerto Rico on Monday for the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

Set to face Italy on March 11 in Jalisco, Mexico, Berrios threw just 53 percent of his 45 pitches for strikes but rallied to strike out the side in the fifth inning. He was pleased with his offspeed pitches, especially his changeup.

"I'm going to the WBC, but I'll keep competing and working on my stuff," he said. "I feel great. I feel healthy."

Berrios, who touched 95 mph three times with his fastball, will be under the close watch of Puerto Rico pitching coach Ricky Bones, a former big-leaguer who now works in the New York Mets system. Berrios should have an allotment of 60 pitches when he next takes the mound with seven days' rest.

Briefly

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Lefty Mason Melotakis (oblique) threw a 25-pitch bullpen for the first time this spring on Friday with no issues. ... Closer Glen Perkins is likely to remain on a fourth-day bullpen program until he ramps up close to full intensity, Twins manager Paul Molitor said. Perkins has yet to throw sliders as he works back from June 23 surgery on his throwing shoulder. ... Eddie Rosario played center field for the first time this spring and is slated to play right on Sunday at the Washington Nationals. Those are expected to be the primary spots for the Twins' starting left fielder once he leaves on Monday to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. ... Miguel Sano has struck out seven times in 10 trips this spring but doesn't seem too concerned. "Everybody can strike me out," he joked in the clubhouse while Berrios met the media. ... Right-hander J.T. Chargois loaded the bases on two singles and a walk in the ninth but nailed down the save in a 4-3 win over the Phillies. ... Starter Trevor May recorded seven outs while giving up one run and was pleased with the movement on his two-seam fastball. His strike rate was nearly 60 percent.

The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.

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