Twins Announce Non-Roster Spring Training Invites
Image courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsLet’s start with the veterans brought in on minor-league contracts:
- Blaine Hardy: The lefty has spent parts of each of the past six seasons with the Detroit Tigers. In 233 games (13 starts), he tossed 289 2/3 innings and has a career ERA of 3.87 despite missing time in 2019 with injury.
- Daniel Coulombe: The 30-year-old southpaw pitched in 153 games between the Dodgers and A’s between 2014 and 2018, including 72 games for the A’s in 2017. He split 2019 between the AAA affiliates of the Brewers and Yankees.
- Caleb Thielbar: The soon-to-be-32-year-old from Randolph, Minnesota, was the Twins Most Outstanding Rookie in 2013 and played parts of three seasons with the Twins. After spending 2016 and 2017 with the St. Paul Saints, he has pitched well in AAA for the Tigers and Braves the last two years and was throwing harder for Team USA in the Premier12 tournament last fall.
- Ryan Garton: The hard-throwing, 30-year-old right-hander has pitched in 59 big-league games for the Rays and Mariners between 2016, 2017 and 2019.
- Jhoulys Chacin: Initial plan for the veteran hurler is likely to fill Michael Pineda's rotation spot until his suspension ends. Read more about him here.
- Tomas Telis: The 28-year-old Venezuelan played parts of five seasons (2014-2018) in the big leagues with the Rangers and Marlins. He hit .330 last season with the Rochester Red Wings but didn’t get a promotion to the Twins.
- Juan Graterol: The 30-year-old, also from Venezuela, has spent parts of each of the past four seasons in the big leagues, with the Angels (2016-2018) and the Reds in 2019. He also played three games for the Twins in 2018. As you recall, he started the final game of that 2018 season for the Twins behind the plate, and was replaced in the ninth inning by Joe Mauer.
- Wilfredo Tovar: The 28-year-old infielder returns to the Twins organization. He spent the 2016 season with the Red Wings. He had played nine games for the Mets between 2013 and 2014. He returned to the big-leagues in 2019 and played in 31 games for the Angels (.193 with 5 doubles).
- Jack Reinheimer: The 27-year-old played two games for the Diamondbacks in 2017 and then 21 games for the Mets in 2018. He played for the Orioles’ AAA affiliate in 2019. He can play all three non-first base infield positions as well as in the outfield if needed.
We continue with the list of Twins minor league prospects who have been invited to spring training. These players are deemed relatively close to the big leagues and will be given an opportunity to spend the first three or four weeks learning from the big-league coaching staff and being seen by the big-league coaching staff. It’s a good chance to make an impression while also seeing how the current big leaguers, especially the veterans like Nelson Cruz, get themselves ready for a season.
- Royce Lewis, SS: For the second straight year, the Twins top prospect will get to start camp with the big-league club. Last year, he missed time due to injury, but talked about what a great learning experience it was. He’s looking to put together a strong 2020 season.
- Alex Kirilloff, OF: Before the Donaldson signing, Kirilloff may have been a contender for some time at first base for the Twins. He should continue to play the corner outfield spots and first base in 2019. This is his second invitation to big-league camp.
- Brent Rooker, OF: This is the second big-league spring training for Rooker as well. The powerful outfielder may have arrived in Minnesota in 2019 if not for a late-season injury. After a slow start in AAA, Rooker mashed until the injury, showing the elite power he possesses.
- Ben Rortvedt, C: He was the Twins second-round pick in 2016. He reached AA in 2019. Unfortunately his season ended with a knee surgery during the Arizona Fall League. His defense can be very strong, which is why this is the 22-year-olds second big league camp.
- Ryan Jeffers, C: Drafted in the second round in 2018, Jeffers has already rocketed to Double-A and positioned himself for a big-league call-up in the near future. His offense has been outstanding, but the high marks he earns on the defensive side might be even more encouraging.
- Trevor Larnach, OF: The outfielder was the Twins first-round pick in the 2018 draft from Oregon State. He began the season in Ft. Myers where he was a midseason and postseason All-Star and the league’s most valuable player despite moving up to Pensacola in the second half where more of his power potential played. Like Kirilloff, Larnach has a chance to be a special hitter.
- Edwar Colina, RHP: The right-hander from Venezuela may be the least known name on this list, but that won’t be for long. Colina is a starting pitcher. The 22-year-old hit triple digits pretty much every game. He made ten starts in Ft. Myers, made seven appearances (4 starts, 3 “primary” appearances) in Pensacola and pitched twice for Rochester. This is his first big-league spring training.
- Griffin Jax, RHP: The right-handed pitcher was a third-round draft pick in 2016 and has posted a 3.18 ERA across four minor-league seasons. Worked his way up to Class-AA Pensacola last year, where he was outstanding with a 2.67 ERA in 20 starts.
- Charlie Barnes, LHP: The southpaw, known for his standout changeup, has been durable and mostly effective in 300 pro innings since coming aboard in the fourth round of the 2017 draft.
- Jake Reed, RHP: The hard-throwing veteran reliever is back for the fifth straight year as a non-roster invite. He was the Twins fifth-round pick in 2015 from Oregon. He moved up quickly and has spent the past four years in Rochester, awaiting a call to make his MLB debut.
- Sam Clay, LHP: The lefty was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2014 from Georgia Tech. He split the 2019 season between Pensacola and Rochester. He has remarkably allowed just one home run over the past three seasons.
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