VMI alum Josh Winder makes big splash in relief effort against Sox
VMI alum Josh Winder threw five and a third innings in relief for the Minnesota Twins in a 4-0 Twins’ loss to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, and looked solid in the process.
Winder, a 6’5”, 210-pound righthander from Richmond, and 2019 VMI graduate, was inserted by manager Rocco Baldelli after starter Sonny Gray was forced to leave in the second inning with right hamstring tightness.
Winder allowed two runs on four hits and a walk, striking out two.
“That was a huge pickup job by him. He went out there and basically gave us a full start out of the bullpen,” Baldelli said. “We lost our starter in the second inning, and we still have a chance to win the game.”
Winder had earned a spot on the Twins’ Opening Day roster coming out of spring training, making him the fourth Keydet alum to make it to the Majors, following Ryan Glynn (9-20, 6.24 ERA in 52 appearances from 1999-2005), Cory Spangenberg (.256, 29 HR, 119 RBI in 419 games from 2014-2019) and Reed Garrett (8.22 ERA in 13 appearances in 2019).
Winder pitched in the 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Coors Field in Denver as part of MLB’s All-Star Weekend. He finished the 2021 season with a 4-0 record and 2.63 ERA in 14 starts in Double-A and Triple-A, striking out 80 and walking 13 in 72 innings, with a .944 WHIP.
He earned his spot on the Opening Day roster after a spring in which he posted a 2.25 ERA in eight innings across three appearances, including two against the Red Sox.
“I faced them twice in spring training, so that definitely helped,” said Winder, who limited Boston to four hits and one run over five spring training innings. “A plan and some history, that kind of gave me some places to go and know what to throw and what not to throw.”
Story by Chris Graham