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Charley Walters: Twins-Saints partnership talks quietly o...

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Very interesting article in Pioneer Press from Charlie Walters. https://www.twinciti...uietly-ongoing/ There’s been a few suggestions in...
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If you missed the live stream of Thursday's scrimmage, here's a quick roundup of highlights:  
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Barry Larkin, former MVP, has been calling for removing the Kenesaw Mountain Landis name from MVP awards.Personally, until I read the art...
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And then there is the case of the Blue Jays to consider

Other Baseball 10 Jul 2020
https://www.sportsne...measures-place/ Here we are, theoretically two weeks away from Opening Day. The Blue Jays aren’t yet certain where...
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Which Twins Will Make the 60-Man Roster?

This weekend, the Twins have a roster deadline. Building their list of eligible players will be an interesting exercise.
Image courtesy of © Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
This Sunday, the Twins will need to submit a 60-person list to Major League Baseball. Only the players on that list will be eligible to play during the frantic 60-game season that begins late next month. That makes for a number of interesting decisions over the coming days, because even in a 162-game season, a team doesn’t usually use 60 players. The Twins will have to select some players to bring along for purely developmental reasons, yet keep enough talent on hand to fill unexpected vacancies.

Of course, a large number of the decisions will be essentially automatic. There are 38 players on Minnesota’s 40-man roster, and all of them are ironclad locks to be among the 60. Michael Pineda, currently suspended, is another easy call, since he’ll finish his carried-over suspension and be eligible to return with a few weeks left in the season. Still, that leaves a lot of talented players who are important to the future of the franchise—and who could be important to the team in 2020—on the edge of the picture.

Let’s run through a few more relatively easy calls. The 40-man roster features three catchers, but the team is likely to carry three more. Juan Graterol, signed as a non-roster invitee over the winter, offers veteran savvy in case of emergency. Ryan Jeffers had an impressive 2019, so much so that keeping him around in case the need arises for an everyday catcher at the last moment makes sense, especially because he’ll be able to continue working on his defense and developing his rapport with key pitchers throughout the system. Ben Rortvedt has neither as high a ceiling nor as short a path to playing time as Jeffers, but he’ll be Rule 5-eligible this winter, so the team needs to evaluate him as fully as possible over the next few months.

Zander Wiel was in the midst of a very encouraging spring training before the world stopped in mid-March. He’s unlikely to hit enough to become a regular, given his lack of defensive value, but he can do so more than well enough to serve as a fallback bench bat option on a taxi squad. Wilfredo Tovar, who’s appeared in the big leagues for cups of coffee in three different seasons, is a fine good-glove, no-hit shortstop, an insurance policy and the kind of player who can facilitate action on the taxi squad via his general competence.

Royce Lewis has such phenomenal upside that not bringing him along, if only on the chance that he breaks out in an unexpectedly brilliant and rapid way, would be silly. Wander Javier has had so much of his career derailed by injuries that he’s no threat to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft this fall, but that only makes it more important that the team finally get him into some form of uninterrupted, supervised, competitive development, a luxury that won’t be available in Fort Myers or anywhere else this summer.

Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach could well be needed, and could even become heroes, for the 2020 team. Both of their bats are MLB-ready; they’re much more desirable as potential replacements if the Twins lose a key hitter to injury than are Jake Cave or LaMonte Wade, Jr. Brent Rooker and Akil Baddoo are both Rule 5-eligible this December, so the team needs to get long looks at them, and their respective profiles make those looks especially valuable and important.

On the other hand, and this is why the calculus will be especially intriguing, the team should (and probably will) keep Gabriel Maciel away from the taxi squad, despite his also being Rule 5-eligible this fall. Maciel is far enough from being big league-ready to be safe from selection, and the team doesn’t urgently need to see him in a competitive setting. Non-roster free-agent signee Lane Adams can do what Maciel would offer, anyway.

Jhoulys Chacín looked unlikely to make the Opening Day roster as a member of the rotation, and looks even less likely to do so now, since Rich Hill seems quite likely to be ready for one of those jobs by the time the season begins. Nonetheless, the team should list him among their 60 eligible players, retaining him as depth and insurance for as long as possible.

Four relievers whom the team signed to non-roster deals this winter look like good candidates to come in as further depth for the bullpen: right-handers Cory Gearrin and Juan Minaya, and lefties Danny Coulombe and Blaine Hardy. Other teams have already had chances to pluck southpaw Andrew Vasquez and righty Jake Reed, but they still seem like solid options to round out the relief corps for the time being.

That leaves just two spots. With the hard-throwing likes of Jorge Alcala and Jhoan Duran already on the 40-man roster, and with guys like Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, and Lewis Thorpe around to soak up innings in bulk if needed, there aren’t urgent team needs to weigh for these final spots.

The Twins should use those places on two hurlers who will be Rule 5-eligible after the season. Jordan Balazovic will be protected, no matter what, but the team should still keep him close. He’s the kind of pitcher who can benefit from close instruction and a competitive environment, and who could benefit the other players on a reserve squad by giving them a challenging but conventional opponent against whom to prepare for action.

Bailey Ober will be tougher to squeeze onto the 40-man roster, and might not merit as much. However, he’s another hurler whom the team would do well to evaluate under the most normal conditions possible, and his ability to throw strikes with good extension and a deceptive delivery makes him potentially useful in a huge number of ways.

There will be no conventional Minor League Baseball this year. There might be a dramatically expanded Fall League, but at the moment, even that feels like a pipe dream, given the trends in the spread of coronavirus in Arizona and in Florida, and given the continued fears of a second wave of the disease in the autumn. The Twins can’t count on having any way to evaluate their own talent, other than by keeping them around as part of their 60-player reserve list. That’s why they’ll need to weigh the Rule 5 Draft, but also their medium- and long-term future, as well as keeping the best possible players around in the event of injuries or illnesses that would otherwise threaten a very promising (however bizarre) 2020 campaign.

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26 Comments

This was a fun exercise, so I did it before I read through Matthew's choices... Here are mine (in yellow). 

 

 My philosophies: 

1.) Make sure you have enough depth at each position, noting that several players can play multiple positions, but make sure you'll be OK if a starter is out for any extended period.

 

2.) Make sure there is enough pitching.

 

3.) At that point, it's all about the prospects. 

 

The choices: 

 

C: Ryan Jeffers and either Tomas Telis or Ben Rortvedt. 

 

IF: Zander Wiel, Aaron Sabato, Royce Lewis, Wander Javier (just can't have another entirely missed season). 

 

OF: Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Matt Wallner, Brent Rooker

 

RP: Caleb Thielbar, Cory Gearrin, Jake Reed

 

SP: Jhoulys Chacin (who will be on the 40-man probably), Griffin Jax, Jordan Balazovic, Blayne Enlow, Matt Canterino, Cole Sands

 

What do you think? What would your strategy be, and who might make your list?

    • glunn, mikelink45, DocBauer and 1 other like this
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Tom Froemming
Jun 24 2020 08:45 PM

My sleepers are left-handed starting pitcher Charlie Barnes and minor league veteran shortstop Wilfredo Tovar, who Matthew mentioned in the article.

    • glunn likes this
According to a report on mlb.com, each team will have a 3 man taxi squad with 1 player being a catcher. If this is true, then we might as well cancel the season now.
    • glunn likes this
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Tom Froemming
Jun 24 2020 09:44 PM

 

According to a report on mlb.com, each team will have a 3 man taxi squad with 1 player being a catcher. If this is true, then we might as well cancel the season now.

I believe this is the article you're referring to, which has a lot of great information. There are a lot of weird new rules explained in there.

 

It sounds like the plan is for the full taxi squad to be based out of either the U of M's baseball complex or CHS Field, where the Saints play.

 

The thing that irks me about three taxi squad guys they'll take on road trips is, at least last I heard, those guys will still get minor league pay and not earn any MLB service time. What a junk deal for those guys.

    • glunn, mikelink45, DocBauer and 2 others like this

Matthew did some digging for his list... Just noticed he's got Juan Minaya and Lane Adams, two guys that were minor league free agent signings without invitations to big league spring training. 

 

I put Caleb Thielbar over Blaine Hardy since Hardy had Tommy John surgery in March. 

    • glunn, mikelink45, Minny505 and 2 others like this

I doubt that the taxi squad will do much if anything this year.60 games really means injury replacements, except for pitchers who we like to rotate on and off.So I lean more to MLB ready pitchers and the team needs to think about this as the minor league season and put all their best prospects on the list.I really hate the way MLB is treating minor leaguers and the minor leagues.  

    • glunn likes this

Have a couple questions. Will Pineda be included in the 60 man list? Or because of his suspension will he be added when he is available?

 

Will teams have the opportunity to add players to the 60-man list if/when someone goes on the long-term IL and out for the season, ie, Tommy John or other major injuries? 

    • glunn likes this

 

Matthew did some digging for his list... Just noticed he's got Juan Minaya and Lane Adams, two guys that were minor league free agent signings without invitations to big league spring training. 

 

I put Caleb Thielbar over Blaine Hardy since Hardy had Tommy John surgery in March. 

 

I could have sworn I saw that Thielbar retired a couple weeks ago but I can't find a source. Did a different "twins reunion" LOOGY miLB signing retire?

 

I could have sworn I saw that Thielbar retired a couple weeks ago but I can't find a source. Did a different "twins reunion" LOOGY miLB signing retire?

 

Ryan O'Rourke retired a couple of weeks ago and announced that on social media. Maybe that's who you were thinking of?

 

    • glunn, Shaitan and Minny505 like this

Just FYI...

 

Sounds like the Twins made the phone calls yesterday... I've heard from one player who is heading to Minneapolis, and another who said he is not on the 60 man team. So it will be interesting to see how this gets announced. 

    • glunn and Danchat like this
Are there any changes to service time calculations with the shortened season?

Are we going to see prospects left off the bench to train elsewhere for the sake of service time?

If you start poorly and go 2-8, do you just blow it up and send any prospects that could accrue service time home?

I’m just trying to nail down pros and cons of dragging a guy like Royce Lewis around with the team, but not giving him playing time/ABs.
    • glunn likes this

 

Are there any changes to service time calculations with the shortened season?

Are we going to see prospects left off the bench to train elsewhere for the sake of service time?

If you start poorly and go 2-8, do you just blow it up and send any prospects that could accrue service time home?

I’m just trying to nail down pros and cons of dragging a guy like Royce Lewis around with the team, but not giving him playing time/ABs.

 

There is no service time if they're not on the MLB active roster. Only active roster counts toward service time. 

 

Lewis doesn't have to be added to the 40-man roster unless he is added to the 26-man active roster at some point. 

    • glunn likes this

 

I believe this is the article you're referring to, which has a lot of great information. There are a lot of weird new rules explained in there.

 

It sounds like the plan is for the full taxi squad to be based out of either the U of M's baseball complex or CHS Field, where the Saints play.

 

The thing that irks me about three taxi squad guys they'll take on road trips is, at least last I heard, those guys will still get minor league pay and not earn any MLB service time. What a junk deal for those guys.

Read the article, interesting they will be reducing roster size as season goes.Also, it does not explain how movement off the major league 30 to 28 to 26 squad will work.Do they need to have options available like normal to be moved off active roster to bring in someone eles, I would assume so.If they move a player from the 60 to the 40 will a player on the 40 need to be on 45 IL(if you did not read they dropped 60 to 45 for this season, still whole season basically).What if all your CF are in COVID issues can you swap them off 40 without a DFA and clear waivers.I am sure the league is figuring it all out, but these are questions I have. 

 

In terms of who I would include.I would make sure I have at least 2 viable defensive replacements at CF and SS.Assuming the possiblity of injury or illness you are going to want to be able to bring in defensive replacements as soon as possible.The chance of signing a FA to bring in will be reduced because of what they would have to do health screening wise and getting up to speed. 

    • glunn and DocBauer like this
You can see my list here: http://twinsdaily.co...ad/#entry969643

After looking through these, I would subtract a couple pitchers and add Tovar as another SS and a veteran catcher (either Telis or Graterol).

I believe Blaine Hardy opted for Tommy John. Replace him with Randolph native Caleb Thielbar and it looks good to me!

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twinstalker
Jun 25 2020 12:44 PM

Apparently, Trov, nobody can answer your question about the 40-man roster and DFAing. I've spent two days looking for that answer. It almost bugs me more that people don't seem to care. It was literally my very first question when MLB said taxi squad.

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yarnivek1972
Jun 25 2020 02:47 PM
2020 was supposed to be the year the league implemented it’s anti-loogy policy. No doubt why Ryan O’Rourke retired. Is that still going to be the case? Pitchers are going to have to face at least 3 hitters or record the final out of an inning?

Isn’t it amazing how many details the geniuses on both sides didn’t work out already?

 

Apparently, Trov, nobody can answer your question about the 40-man roster and DFAing. I've spent two days looking for that answer. It almost bugs me more that people don't seem to care. It was literally my very first question when MLB said taxi squad.

 

I haven't looked. I figure I don't need to know until they start up. But, I thought they might be creative with that kind of stuff, but it doesn't sound like it. 

this was in the star today, hope its fake--While the Twins won't name players, Sano, Buxton, Rodgers and Donaldson have been granted a waiver to report 2 weeks late.

Without taking time to put pen to paper and really go in depth, I think Matt's and Seth's roster are both interesting and largely accurate. With 3 catchers already rostered, and Jeffers as an absolute addition, I'm really not sold on Graterol or Telis. Hopefully, the taxi squad will get hands on instruction and play some sort of simulated games. I like Seth's idea of Rortvedt getting developmental time as the 5th catcher. Never in a million years did I consider Javier as part of the 60 man roster. But I think it's a brilliant choice. Most, if not all, of the extra 20 guys selected will not see the field. Hopefully. So it's about coaching and development. Wander remains an enigma, but is also one of the most gifted players in the system. And he's had a run of injuries/bad luck. It makes so much sense to keep him around to work with him and get him ready for 2021. I hadn't thought about Ober before this OP. And he may or may not turn in to anything special. But healthy, his numbers are crazy good. Considering most, if not all of the "extra" 20 are about prospects, who are really included for development and potential emergency, why not let Johnson work with him and see what happens. I mean, we're talking about one of the last spots on the 60 man roster.

Without taking time to put pen to paper and really go in depth, I think Matt's and Seth's roster are both interesting and largely accurate.

With 3 catchers already rostered, and Jeffers as an absolute addition, I'm really not sold on Graterol or Telis. Hopefully, the taxi squad will get hands on instruction and play some sort of simulated games. I like Seth's idea of Rortvedt getting developmental time as the 5th catcher.

Never in a million years did I consider Javier as part of the 60 man roster. But I think it's a brilliant choice. Most, if not all, of the extra 20 guys selected will not see the field. Hopefully. So it's about coaching and development. Wander remains an enigma, but is also one of the most gifted players in the system. And he's had a run of injuries/bad luck. It makes so much sense to keep him around to work with him and get him ready for 2021.

I hadn't thought about Ober before this OP. And he may or may not turn in to anything special. But healthy, his numbers are crazy good. Considering most, if not all of the "extra" 20 are about prospects, who are really included for development and potential emergency, why not let Johnson work with him and see what happens. I mean, we're talking about one of the last spots on the 60 man roster.

"The first cases of COVID-19 among Twins players were detected this week, President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey announced Thursday, and those players — “it was a few,” both major and minor leaguers, Falvey said while declining to be more specific — are quarantined until they can clear MLB’s virus protocols."- from Phil Miller in today's Tribune

"Most, if not all, of the extra 20 guys selected will not see the field. Hopefully. So it's about coaching and development."

 

While I really hope this is the case, I'm not so sure it will be. I think you have to be prepared to lose several players to illness for 2-3 weeks at a time (overlapping periods, in most cases), especially if this "second wave" increases in intensity. So, I'd make sure my 60-man pool is mostly composed of players I would be willing to put on a Major League field in games that count. 

 

 

    • dbminn likes this
I’m in Ft. Myers for a PG tourney with my son this week. Kind of bummed we will miss most of the players as they won’t report until our last day here. He was at Jet Blue Park today, not quite as nice as the Twins complex, but still pretty cool.

Colina needs to be on the list, IMHO.

    • DocBauer likes this