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Twins Make First Roster Cuts

As minor league camp starts today, the Minnesota Twins made their first cuts from big league spring training.

Pitchers Zack Littell and Lewis Thorpe were optioned to AA Chattanooga. Pitchers Felix Jorge and Dietrich Enns were optioned to AAA Rochester.

Catchers Brian Navarreto and Wynston Sawyer were reassigned to minor league camp.
Image courtesy of Jesse Johnson, USA Today
No real surprises among this first group of players sent across the parking lot to minor league camp.

Zack Littell has had a very strong camp including a win and two saves among his outings. Felix Jorge pitched well at times as well. He debuted with the Twins last year. Dietrich Enns and Lewis Thorpe didn't pitch a lot.

With minor league camp starting today, there is definitely a need for more catchers in that camp, so two non-roster guys (Navarreto and Sawyer) find themselves back over there. Both are likely to play in Chattanooga in 2018.

The spring training roster is now at 53 players.
  • 26 pitchers (3 non-roster)
  • 5 catchers (3 non-roster)
  • 13 infielders (5 non-roster)
  • 9 outfielders (4 non-roster)

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51 Comments

Surprised Littrell was assigned to AA. But if I recall correctly, this is more of a procedural action at this time and not necessarily his opening assignment.
    • Thrylos and adorduan like this

After those ST showings, I'm becoming a Littell bit of a believer.

    • ashburyjohn, glunn, SgtSchmidt11 and 6 others like this

 

Zack Littell has had a very strong camp including a win and two saves among his outings.

Not to pick on you, Seth, but no one should ever reference spring training saves. :)

    • ashburyjohn, ThejacKmp, VOMG and 2 others like this

FWIW, B-Ref has Littell's first two outings (they haven't updated for the third one yet) with a 5.8 Opposition Quality score, which basically means he was facing sub-AA quality hitters. I guess that's what happens when you are racking up saves in spring training. :)

 

https://www.baseball...id=littel000zac

 

Attached Image: oppqual.png

    • rukavina, Twins33, Jham and 2 others like this
Photo
nicksaviking
Mar 07 2018 09:16 AM

I'd prefer Littell at AAA but he's still only had 14 starts at AA so far. 

 

But I think the bigger news is that Fernando Romero wasn't sent down. Typically the top prospects with injury history get sent packing right away just in case they get hurt and start accruing service time. If he wasn't cut there must at least be some possibility of giving him a shot at winning a 25-man job, even if still slim.

    • Han Joelo and MN_ExPat like this

No Fernando Romero? That's a surprise. I mean, good for him, but I'd be shocked if he actually has a chance to break camp with the big club.

 

Not to pick on you, Seth, but no one should ever reference spring training saves. :)

 

It's actually to point out that he was usually pitching very late in the games, against the other team's minor leaguers as well. 

    • jorgenswest, rukavina, ThejacKmp and 1 other like this

 

But I think the bigger news is that Fernando Romero wasn't sent down. Typically the top prospects with injury history get sent packing right away just in case they get hurt and start accruing service time. If he wasn't cut there must at least be some possibility of giving him a shot at winning a 25-man job, even if still slim.

I don't think we've had enough top pitching prospects recently to make this determination. :)

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, nicksaviking and 1 other like this

I had heard that Romero came into camp a bit pudgy, so if that is accurate, I'm surprised they didn't send him down just make a point that he has to be professional and put in the work.

    • Major League Ready and RegularJoe62 like this

 

It's actually to point out that he was usually pitching very late in the games, against the other team's minor leaguers as well. 

If that was your intent with the line "Zack Littell has had a very strong camp including a win and two saves among his outings", I'd suggest rephrasing it or adding this additional context. "Zack Littell has had a very strong camp, albeit against mostly minor league competition as evidenced by his late appearances in games."

 

No Fernando Romero? That's a surprise. I mean, good for him, but I'd be shocked if he actually has a chance to break camp with the big club.

I've seen many people make similar comments in other threads and I don't understand this sentiment. Or at least I don't understand why Romero is getting singled out.

 

Everything I've read says he has the best stuff in the organization, Graterol excluded. He was absolutely dominant last season at AA until he got tired in his last couple of starts. If he is firing on all cylinders again why would any other rookie stand between him and a rotation spot?

    • Thrylos, mikelink45 and MN_ExPat like this

 

I've seen many people make similar comments in other threads and I don't understand this sentiment. Or at least I don't understand why Romero is getting singled out.

 

Everything I've read says he has the best stuff in the organization, Graterol excluded. He was absolutely dominant last season at AA until he got tired in his last couple of starts. If he is firing on all cylinders again why would any other rookie stand between him and a rotation spot?

 

Because with Berrios, Santana, Odorizzi, and Mejia definitely ahead of him, and with Gibson, Hughes, Sanchez, and Slegers having more experience (and more dollars, for better or for worse), it's not as simple as you might put it, team-wise.

 

Also, he's never pitched above AA, and we all know that we can't trust spring training stats to overcome a real track record. So I'm going to assume that that's not what you're doing. But speaking track record, he's never even pitched a full season.

 

Also, even if he is the best option right away, the question is "by how much" because by leaving him down in the minors for a month they get an extra year of service time. Remember Kris Brant? I'm going to assume that you do. Is an extra win worth a year of a guy who can be an ace? I doubt it, but you may disagree.

 

Also, if he gets injured he gets service time, and again, that's a huge waste.

 

It's not about him being the best rookie. It's about whether he's among the best five right now, it's about how he fits into the organization, it's about how the decision impacts the team money-wise, it's about how the risk stacks up, it's about how much you can trust his stuff absent a real track record, etc., etc., etc.

 

You act like it's a super easy decision not to option him. For a million reasons it's not. And that's why people are bringing it up.

    • ThejacKmp, Danchat and howieramone2 like this

I wonder if they want to get a better look at Romero against Major League hitters in order to decide when and what order they start to bring up minor league prospects up during the season.He perhaps has opened some eyes in front office and could be the first arm called up if someone goes down or under performs.

    • spycake, mikelink45 and howieramone2 like this

 

Because with Berrios, Santana, Odorizzi, and Mejia definitely ahead of him, and with Gibson, Hughes, Sanchez, and Slegers having more experience (and more dollars, for better or for worse), it's not as simple as you might put it, team-wise.

 

Also, he's never pitched above AA, and we all know that we can't trust spring training stats to overcome a real track record. So I'm going to assume that that's not what you're doing. But speaking track record, he's never even pitched a full season.

 

Also, even if he is the best option right away, the question is "by how much" because by leaving him down in the minors for a month they get an extra year of service time. Remember Kris Brant? I'm going to assume that you do. Is an extra win worth a year of a guy who can be an ace? I doubt it, but you may disagree.

 

Also, if he gets injured he gets service time, and again, that's a huge waste.

 

It's not about him being the best rookie. It's about whether he's among the best five right now, it's about how he fits into the organization, it's about how the decision impacts the team money-wise, it's about how the risk stacks up, it's about how much you can trust his stuff absent a real track record, etc., etc., etc.

 

You act like it's a super easy decision not to option him. For a million reasons it's not. And that's why people are bringing it up.

You're misunderstanding my point. I get why he would be behind all the veterans. I get the service time issue. I even understand your point about injury. But all those apply to Slegers, Gonsalves, Enns, Littell, and Jorge too. You, and people in other posts as well, singled out Romero specifically. That is the part I don't understand. 

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

You're misunderstanding my point. I get why he would be behind all the veterans. I get the service time issue. I even understand your point about injury. But all those apply to Slegers, Gonsalves, Enns, Littell, and Jorge too. You, and people in other posts as well, singled out Romero specifically. That is the part I don't understand. 

 

Oh. Well I singled him out because I think he's the best pitcher in the bunch. The only one who has a chance to be an ace.

 

Let's put him up for comparison against Gonsalves, who is a comparable pitcher in age, level, and prospect ranking, and who even has better results and less injury. I'm more worried about the service time risk for Romero because having him under team control for a longer time is priceless if he's an ace. Since Gonsalves is more likely a 3 or 4, the risk diminishes. You lose a year of a number 4 and you're not really out that much. And then you can continue on down the line to guys like Enns or Jorge who might ride the shuttle for a couple years and then maybe stick in the bullpen. 

 

It probably sounds like a heartless calculus, and to an extent it is, but Romero's ceiling is so much higher that I think singling him out for being a higher risk makes sense.

    • howieramone2 likes this

I remember when Tom Kelly was here there was a general belief that AA was the key and AAA was not necessary.A good prospect can make the leap from AA to the majors and I am ready to push the envelop and go for the really good arm.Keep Romero until he proves he does not belong.  

 

Since it is not my team and not my dollars I am ready to drop any of those who have less talent and block his way.Can anyone tell me Mejia has a higher ceiling than Romero?

 

This quote - "The top prospects generally jump from AA to the majors and skip over AAA completely. It seems like the once a guys masters AA baseball, teams deem them ready to play in the majors if they have a long term opening. They don't want to move this top prospect to AAA because they have their former major leaguer there in his position. They don't want to release the former major league player from their system in case they need him. Teams also want guys playing everyday, so that they are ready to come up when needed." describes what I think about the AAA promotion.  http://baseballguru....isbunko22.html

    • Circus Boy and MN_ExPat like this

 

Oh. Well I singled him out because I think he's the best pitcher in the bunch. The only one who has a chance to be an ace.

 

Let's put him up for comparison against Gonsalves, who is a comparable pitcher in age, level, and prospect ranking, and who even has better results and less injury. I'm more worried about the service time risk for Romero because having him under team control for a longer time is priceless if he's an ace. Since Gonsalves is more likely a 3 or 4, the risk diminishes. You lose a year of a number 4 and you're not really out that much. And then you can continue on down the line to guys like Enns or Jorge who might ride the shuttle for a couple years and then maybe stick in the bullpen. 

 

It probably sounds like a heartless calculus, and to an extent it is, but Romero's ceiling is so much higher that I think singling him out for being a higher risk makes sense.

If you believe there is no real chance a rookie makes the rotation when the Twins head north that makes sense.

 

EDIT- Which, by the way, I agree that no rookie will break camp in the rotation.

    • ThejacKmp likes this

 

If that was your intent with the line "Zack Littell has had a very strong camp including a win and two saves among his outings", I'd suggest rephrasing it or adding this additional context. "Zack Littell has had a very strong camp, albeit against mostly minor league competition as evidenced by his late appearances in games."

 

Thank you...

    • ThejacKmp likes this

 

If you believe there is no real chance a rookie makes the rotation when the Twins head north that makes sense.

 

EDIT- Which, by the way, I agree that no rookie will break camp in the rotation.

 

Well then I suppose I ought to say that I don't think a rookie will head north in April.

 

I guess I should also say that, because of service time games allowing an extra year of team control for a few weeks in the minors, Fernando Romero in particular absolutely should not head north in April.

If you believe there is no real chance a rookie makes the rotation when the Twins head north that makes sense.

EDIT- Which, by the way, I agree that no rookie will break camp in the rotation.


Slegers would be the only one with a small chance.
Absolute best case for Romero is that he opens enough eyes to be in line for a call up after you're guaranteed another year of service time.

 

Well then I suppose I ought to say that I don't think a rookie will head north in April.

 

I guess I should also say that, because of service time games allowing an extra year of team control for a few weeks in the minors, Fernando Romero in particular absolutely should not head north in April.

I'm a bit on the fence but I'm leaning towards disagreeing with your second point. Presumably any rookie would be up with the intention of being sent back down when Santana returns. That leads to four likely outcomes.

 

First, Romero is pitching poorly and when Santana returns and he is sent back to the minors. This extends his service time another year.

 

Second, Romero is pitching ok but is still sent down when Santana returns thus extending his control.

 

Third, Romero is pitching phenomenally and another pitcher leaves the rotation instead. He could still be sent down at a later point in time or even in a future season to regain that seventh year of control.

 

Fourth, Romero gets injured and accrues MLB service time. If it is a short term injury then the first three outcomes still apply. If it is a major injury then the likelihood of Romero being the impact pitcher we are all hoping for is greatly reduced making the concern over service time, not moot, but certainly lessened.

 

The only scenario where service time is lost is if he is pitching amazing in which case, I'm glad they brought him up anyways. The Twins are in contention and the time is now!

    • Han Joelo and MN_ExPat like this

 

Since it is not my team and not my dollars I am ready to drop any of those who have less talent and block his way.Can anyone tell me Mejia has a higher ceiling than Romero?

 

If you want to do a comparison in a vacuum, I doubt you will get many, if any, supporters of Mejia having a higher ceiling.But, circumstances do exist, and they favor Mejia being higher in the pecking order at present. Said circumstance are going to weigh more heavily on a team in the Twins market, especially considering the historical MO of ownership.

Thanks for the update, Seth,

 

It is appreciated.And you have a good day!

    • RaymondLuxuryYacht likes this

 

If that was your intent with the line "Zack Littell has had a very strong camp including a win and two saves among his outings", I'd suggest rephrasing it or adding this additional context. "Zack Littell has had a very strong camp, albeit against mostly minor league competition as evidenced by his late appearances in games."

Now, now... Let's not break out the Grammar Inquisitors just yet. ;)

    • Puckett34 and spycake like this

 

Now, now... Let's not break out the Grammar Inquisitors just yet. ;)

Ha, yeah, I was probably too hard on him. At first I was just needling him, but honestly I don't think it reads quite the way he intended either.

 

Taking a look at the spring training save leaderboards for the last few years was a fun exercise, though! I should thank him for that. :)

    • MN_ExPat likes this

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