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Non-Roster Hopefuls

As Labor Day approaches and fall soon sets in, it's hard to believe that the baseball season is already almost five months complete. Monday is September 1st, and in baseball, that means September call-ups. We have discussed several players who could be promoted. The Twins certainly have a number of options. However, there are a handful of guys not on the 40-man roster who should at least be discussed in the September promotion talks.
Image courtesy of Tommy Gilligan, USA Today (photo of Deibinson Romero)
The Twins will likely call up five to eight players when rosters expand and the Rochester season comes to an end, whether that's on Monday or after a playoff run. They will want to add at least one catcher, an infielder, an outfielder and several pitchers.

There are a lot of players on the 40-man roster who could be called up, but here are five players you should know about and not be 100% surprised if they get a shot. Remember last year, we were all pretty surprised when Eric Fryer and Shairon Martis were added to the 40-man roster and called up for September.

Doug Bernier - Bernier spent most of the 2nd half of 2013 with the Twins. He was designated for assignment following the season, but he came back and, at age 34, put together the best season of his career. He is hitting .284/.354/.406 (.760) while playing his usual good defense. He has played 62 games at shortstop and 41 games at third base, and has also spent time at second base, first base and both corner outfield positions. He has set career highs in games (118), plate appearances (444), at-bats (384), hits (109), doubles (25), home runs (6) and RBIs (53) with five more games to play.

James Beresford - The 25 year-old signed with the Twins in 2005 and has gradually worked his way up the system. 2013 was his breakout season, and 2014 has also been a terrific year for him. He spent the full season as the Red Wings second baseman. He has hit .281/.329/.358 (.687) with a career-high 28 doubles and two home runs. He continues to flash terrific defense and knows how to play the game.

Deibinson Romero - The 27 year-old from the Dominican stayed healthy this year and hit well. He had a strong showing in spring training, impressing the big league staff with his potent bat. He has hit .268/.367/.414 (.781) with 31 doubles and eight home runs. The third baseman has been a minor league free agent the last two year and chose to stay with the Twins.

Eric Farris – The 28 year-old got time in the big leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers: one game in 2011 and 13 games in 2012. He has one big league hit, a single off Eunario del Rosario. He came to the Twins as a free agent infielder. Last year, he spent a little time in centerfield. This year, he has been the regular Rochester centerfielder all season. In 127 games, he has hit .276/.314/.343 (.657) with 23 doubles and two home runs, while playing very good defense.

Reynaldo Rodriguez – The 28 year-old spent all of 2013 in New Britain playing first base. He returned to the Twins this year at a new position, as an outfielder. He has spent time at both corner outfield positions while still getting plenty of time at first base. He did receive a short promotion to AAA Rochester this year where he hit his first AAA home run. He was named an Eastern League Postseason All-Star. He hit .286/.345/.509 (.853) with 37 doubles, two triples and 21 total home runs. When I talked to New Britain hitting coach Chad Allen a month ago, he raved about Rodriguez, talking about his work ethic and his ability to be a good influence on the likes of Kennys Vargas and Eddie Rosario.

There are five hitters who are not on the 40-man roster who are deserving of mention. Maybe, just maybe, one of them can get a September call-up to the Twins.

Of course, there are challenges for each of them. For Beresford and Bernier, their “competition” for a September call-up could come from Pedro Florimon, who is on the 40-man roster. Aaron Hicks would appear to be a given for promotion in September, which makes it less likely that Eric Farris will get his shot. Deibinson Romero could get called up, but would he play? Trevor Plouffe is the regular third baseman with Eduardo Escobar and Eduardo Nunez capable of playing there. Reynaldo Rodriguez is a hitter and a first baseman/corner outfielder, kind of like Chris Colabello and Chris Parmelee and Chris Herrmann.

I didn’t mention the pitchers who are not on the 40-man roster now who could be considered for big league call-ups in September. There are a few.
Although he’s struggled in the 2nd half, AJ Achter has put up impressive numbers again in Rochester. Lester Oliveros had a hiccup last night, but he’s been tremendous for the last month or more in Rochester. Alex Meyer certainly is the name that everyone wants to see, although most rumors indicate that he will not be promoted.

Some are against promotions of players who may not be part of a long-term plan, who may never be a big league starter. But there are good reasons to give guys like this an opportunity. The Twins have done a terrific job the last several seasons with minor league signings. Casey Fien, Yohan Pino, Jared Burton and Sam Deduno were all signed by the Twins as minor league free agents. Calling up some of these guys would indicate to other six-year minor league free agents that the Twins will reward quality play, even if players are not on the 40-man roster. In general, it’s also nice to know that an organization will reward good players and good teammates if management believes they can help the organization.

Will any of these guys get called up for a September with the Twins? Most likely none of them will. Hopefully at least one of them will. In another frustrating season, having a couple of good stories is a good thing.


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24 Comments

If you are going to call up people that is not in the 40-man, I would prioritize the bullpen pitchers: Meyer (although he is going to be a starter, it would not hurt to give him a few innings from the bullpen as a first try), and Oliveros. From the hitters, maybe Beresford. You can argue for Romero, but as you say, that position seems to be covered by Plouffe, Nunez, and in the future, Sano. Bernier was already here last year, he is not going to help the Twins in any way.

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nicksaviking
Aug 28 2014 09:15 AM

That's not a particularly exciting list.  Unless Meyer gets called up, I don't think there's any non 40-man players that project to be around more than a year or so.

 

If the Twins don't call up Meyer now, they are going to put themselves in the position to be tempted to not call him up until late June 2015 regardless of performance.  If we're hoping he will be effective next year, he needs to be up now even if it's two months too late.  Nothing is certain, but if we use Gibson and May as templates, our young pitching hopefulls need some time to get their feet wet and kill the butterflies. 

If the Twins don't call up Meyer now, they are going to put themselves in the position to be tempted to not call him up until late June 2015 regardless of performance.  If we're hoping he will be effective next year, he needs to be up now even if it's two months too late.  Nothing is certain, but if we use Gibson and May as templates, our young pitching hopefulls need some time to get their feet wet and kill the butterflies. 

 

I think that June 2015 is possible whether he gets a September call or not. Same with  May. 

I hope we see Oliveros.  He's been nearly dominant in Rochester for most of the year.

Thanks for the writeup. Good to know who is likely to 'show up' come September.

 

However, man alive, that list is depressing. I don't see any of those players getting over 45 career games.

 

I'm with NicksaViking, bring up pitchers. Don't overwork starters (Hughes, etc) or the relievers for that matter for a season that won't lead to the playoffs. But give some guys who may be contributors or 'hopefuls' a shot at facing some MLB hitters while

also preserving some of the players who we know will be regulars in 2015.

I wouldn't mind seeing Beresford and Romero rewarded. I believe DFAing Florimon from the 40 should be done to make more room for moves like this. If Rodriguez had not done enough to get a left field shot before now, I do not think a jump over AAA makes sense. The other two have had their cups of coffee and do not need to be called up. I would like to see Meyer called up to see MLB pitching and hitting from the bench or bullpen even if he doesn't pitch. Coaching and exposure to the veterans can have a positive influence too. Achter and Oliveros should also get opportunities but maybe their reward comes after the season being added to the 40 man roster and given ST invites. There are other bullpen options that may get called before these two. (Including some current AAA starters)

Beresford and Romero should be rewarded. Beresford is really consistent (if only he were a pitcher!) and Romero has hit really well for two years in a row. I don't care if he only starts 5 or 6 games.

 

Achter and Oliveros deserve it too. And Oliveros is very likely to be a good setup man.

So if Farris is hitting ok, and playing "very good defense", why do we go out and get a Shaefer? I am not pretending to be an expert on eithers abilities, especially Farris, just more or less curious on the rationale, or lack thereof. Maybe if we brought Farris up to play center we could let Santanna get in some time at SS, ROFL! I hope the whole Santanna thing is not another of Gardy's saying one thing, and doing another. He has some what of a history of that.

Florimon and Burton should both go. Even Colabello. The reason to add the vets is that you don't need to add any of the young Turks. Unless they are going to really play. The others you jettison come November (Fryer and a few pitchers) but you need a spot of two covered by an also ran in case you do sign a free agent. Too bad they can't waive out Pelfrey similar to Blackburn. Pay him alot to pitch at Rochester next year but not hold a roster spot.

You're much too kind to Duensing, and how did you not mention Fryer?

 

But I suspect your list (other than Pelfrey) will be accurate when it is time to make the decision, and I would add Duensing, Fryer, Ibarra and Milone, possibly Pino and also Schafer if they can't come to an agreement (they won't go to arb with him).

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nicksaviking
Aug 28 2014 10:57 PM

I think that June 2015 is possible whether he gets a September call or not. Same with  May. 

 

It's very possible, however by not calling him up now, it almost certainly will not be possible that he will start the season in the rotation even if he happened to be one of the top five starters.  This time last year most Twins scribes assumed he would be up this past June.  Now we're looking at a year delay and he did nothing to warrant one.  

 

We're talking about a guy who people worry is an injury risk and we're wasting his age 24 and a possibly a good chunk of his age 25 season in the minors.  It makes no sense, and it does the game of baseball a disservice keeping a promising player like him in the minors.

Florimon, Burton, Colabello, Nunez, Parmelee, Deduno, Swarzak, and Pelfrey are 8 guys deserving of immediately removal from the 40-man roster. It's at 39, Pelfrey doesn't count right now, so the removal of these 8 would mean 32 players on the 40 man roster.

 

Maybe you don't remove Nunez, Parmelee and Swarzak for trade purposes of some sort down the line, and the Pelfrey abomination of a salary is reason for his continued pollution of this roster.

Add Fryer. If the guy especially won't be here in 2015 (Burton) why give them any September. That should be the rule. Rather see some more maybees and all of the above (except Swarzak) removed from the 40-man and allowed to walk. Plus Pino, too. Surprised the Twins couldn't trade Duensing and Swarzak. I doubt they will be back in 2015 with salaries wanted. Heck, would like to see Herrmann added to list, too. Give Rohfling some licks, even though his season has been bad.

Let's not forget that we barely got to use the new "Debbie" nickname during Spring Training.

Because this is a lost season, I would like to see as many September callups as possible.  As a fan, this will give me more reason to watch games, and more hope that another prospect will surprise us like Santana and Vargas.  

 

Mauer, Plouffe, Dozier, Escobar and Suzuki could benefit from some days off and I think that it would be fun to watch some prospects take their shots.  It also makes sense to me that rewarding achievement at AA and AAA sends a positive message to all the minor league prospects -- work hard and you will get a shot.

 

What would be lost by calling up a few of the more deserving prospects? 

    • IndyTwinsFan likes this

It's very possible, however by not calling him up now, it almost certainly will not be possible that he will start the season in the rotation even if he happened to be one of the top five starters.  This time last year most Twins scribes assumed he would be up this past June.  Now we're looking at a year delay and he did nothing to warrant one.  

 

We're talking about a guy who people worry is an injury risk and we're wasting his age 24 and a possibly a good chunk of his age 25 season in the minors.  It makes no sense, and it does the game of baseball a disservice keeping a promising player like him in the minors.

 

A September callup will mean nothing in regards to starting the season in the rotation.

There is not much hope in this list of hopefuls. Old players who aren't stars in AAA.

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IndyTwinsFan
Aug 29 2014 08:44 AM

Because this is a lost season, I would like to see as many September callups as possible.  As a fan, this will give me more reason to watch games, and more hope that another prospect will surprise us like Santana and Vargas.  

 

Mauer, Plouffe, Dozier, Escobar and Suzuki could benefit from some days off and I think that it would be fun to watch some prospects take their shots.  It also makes sense to me that rewarding achievement at AA and AAA sends a positive message to all the minor league prospects -- work hard and you will get a shot.

 

What would be lost by calling up a few of the more deserving prospects? 

My answer is little, if anything, noteworthy. 

 

I would also add that I'd do so, regardless of where or how each call-up is perceived to fit within the organization in the short-term future.  In the case of Alex Meyer, that would mean long-term future.  The young man deserves his opportunity.  However, that's a discussion for another thread.

I'm not opposed to throwing a minor league vet a bone, but the priority absolutely has to be giving the vast majority of reps to players that could potentially help next year.

 

Pinto, Herrmann, Hicks and whatever relievers need to get a look. Probably about time to move away from Fryer, Parmelee, Duensing, Burton, Swarzak, Deduno.

Hoping not to sidetrack the thread, and would be willing to open a separate one if there is a problem...

 

In all our losing seasons, both TK and Gardy have repeatedly stated that, when facing a team in contention for the playoffs,  they are compelled to put their best team on the field. How do others feel about this? How do you feel about it after I tell you that 21 of the final 29 games are against teams within 4 games of the playoffs?

 

I happen to agree with this tenet, and I do not think that anyone on the AAA roster (not named Meyer) is an immediate improvement over their ML counterpart. I love and value player development as much as anyone, but (to me) this is one of those real world truisms that cannot be avoided. Therefore, I agree that the players should be called up, but there might not be as many ABs or innings available as we think.

    • glunn likes this

Deolis Guerra is another interesting non-roster name that could be considered.

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stringer bell
Aug 30 2014 08:47 AM

Aaron Hicks is hitting .246 with a .658 OPS at Rochester.  I don't know if that screams "promote me".  Last year, in the same number of games, he hit .222 with a .650 OPS.  While the Twins might need another outfielder and Hicks has an upside, I don't see anything that shows Hicks is finally "getting it" at AAA. 

 

Herrmann is hitting over .300, so I guess if any rostered player has earned a promotion it is him.  Pinto has slumped the last week, but he has been Rochester's best hitter and is catching about half the time.  Of the non-roster guys, Oliveros, yes.  Achter, maybe.  I don't think adding guys you intend to DFA at the end of the season is very smart, especially if they've already been DFAed once before.  They can declare free agency rather than accepting assignment.  I know that Oliveros, Romero, and Guerra have all been on the 40-man, so if they are promoted and DFAed again, they can become free agents.  In a typical year, I would say Beresford should get a look.  However, the infielders have all been pretty healthy, and I think the Twins want to see Santana some at short and maybe see what they have in Nuñez. 

Plus, Escobar deserves to get playing time. 

Hoping not to sidetrack the thread, and would be willing to open a separate one if there is a problem...

 

In all our losing seasons, both TK and Gardy have repeatedly stated that, when facing a team in contention for the playoffs,  they are compelled to put their best team on the field. How do others feel about this? How do you feel about it after I tell you that 21 of the final 29 games are against teams within 4 games of the playoffs?

 

I happen to agree with this tenet, and I do not think that anyone on the AAA roster (not named Meyer) is an immediate improvement over their ML counterpart. I love and value player development as much as anyone, but (to me) this is one of those real world truisms that cannot be avoided. Therefore, I agree that the players should be called up, but there might not be as many ABs or innings available as we think.

Question -- would it be unfair to the contenders if Gardy used 3 callups in every game to be consistent?

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ashburyjohn
Aug 31 2014 11:33 AM

Question -- would it be unfair to the contenders if Gardy used 3 callups in every game to be consistent?

I think the other managers will respect Gardenhire and/or Ryan (which to me is the main issue at stake) if every game they put together a representative lineup that includes sensible callups, e.g. when lefty-righty matchups call for it.  It's not a winning team so having the nominal "starters" always in the lineup isn't necessarily better.  I doubt some obvious metric like "3 callups" would improve anything; moreover the Twins aren't facing all the contenders in equal numbers of games so consistency in numbers won't matter with the teams not being played against.

    • glunn likes this

 I don't think adding guys you intend to DFA at the end of the season is very smart, especially if they've already been DFAed once before.  They can declare free agency rather than accepting assignment.  I know that Oliveros, Romero, and Guerra have all been on the 40-man, so if they are promoted and DFAed again, they can become free agents.

Won't all those guys become (minor league) free agents at the end of season anyway, if they are not on the 40-man?  I think Oliveros, Romero, and Guerra were all (minor league) free agents last offseason, and simply re-signed with the Twins (they all have 6+ years of minor league service).

 

At this point, a month of MLB service and salary might be good incentive for them to sign back here (if we want them back), even if they are taken back off the 40-man roster.

    • glunn likes this

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