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Twins Send Six To Minor League Camp

On Monday morning, the Minnesota announced that four players were sent to minor league camp. Officially, Stephen Gonsalves and Aaron Slegers were reassigned to minor league camp. Mason Melotakis was optioned to AAA Rochester. Fernando Romero was optioned to AA Chattanooga.

Following the game, the team announced that lefty Randy Rosario and right-hander Felix Jorge had been optioned to Chattanooga.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
As expected, the Twins started cutting down their spring training roster as six pitchers were told by manager Paul Molitor and members of the front office that their time in big league camp has come to an end.

The cut list includes the team's top two pitching prospects.

Twins Daily's #1 Prospect Fernando Romero had a strong showing this spring. In three games, he worked three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, walked one and struck out two. He impressed with his upper-90s fastball and a sharp upper-80s slider. Romero is on the 40-man roster, hence his first option has been used.

Molitor discussed the idea of Romero as a starter or a reliever. "Very confident kid, who we still think has the potential as a starter. I can see him as a reliever, but I think that people envision him being a very high-end starter, so we're going to stick with that here in the short-term and try to get him stretched out."

He continued, "I asked because I see the power, and you can see how he could be a late-inning game guy, but they say he's got sustainability in terms of being able to carry that kind of stuff throughout the course of a game. He'll be able to get more work and more innings and more experience. I can see down the line with innings and his injury past that you could protect his workload sometime during the season."

Twins Daily's second-ranked prospect is lefty Stephen Gonsalves. He also pitched well in his first big league spring training. He worked 3.1 innings over three appearances. He also did not give up a run. In fact, he didn't even give up a hit. He walked one (Gregory Polanco) and struck out three. He missed time the last few days with a soreness in the back of his shoulder, though he is expected to resume pitching today. Gonsalves is not on the 40-man roster.

Molitor said, "He had a nice go until he had the flare up there." (referring to his shoulder)

Aaron Slegers was also a non-roster invite to spring training. He took the loss in yesterday's game in Ft. Myers against the Orioles. But the tall right-hander also showed glimpses of big league potential. He worked 2.2 innings over three appearances. He gave up two runs on two hits, walked two and struck out one.

Molitor said, "Slegers came even better than advertised for me. I'd heard a lot of very positive things about makeup. But the way that he threw the ball was good."

Mason Melotakis strained his oblique just before spring training started. On Sunday, he worked some live BP down on the minor league fields and said he felt really good. This morning I asked him if he had any soreness. He said that his oblique felt great and his soreness today was simply day-after-bullpen soreness that he expected from his outing. He was hoping to get a chance to pitch in a big league game, but he was optioned to AAA. It is his second option as he was also optioned in 2016.

Molitor said, "Melotakis unfortunately didn't get to show us too much."

Felix Jorge had pitched very little in spring training, but Molitor said, "We all realize that he's someone we think highly of. We need to get him on track to start the season."

Randy Rosario finished out the game with a scoreless ninth and was told after the game that he would be optioned as well. Before the game, I chatted with him. I asked whether he preferred to start or pitch out of the bullpen. He said, "Relief. No question."

He thought that it would be better for him and his arm. He said that his elbow was feeling very strong.

Following the game, he told me that he was told that he will spend the season in the bullpen, so he was very happy. Molitor noted, "He's still trying to figure out his routine and the differences between relieving and starting. But we all see that he's got a lot of potential too."

Feel free to discuss. Certainly a lot fewer players sent down than I would have guessed, but it is a new regime. It will be interesting to see how it plays out with them.


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18 Comments

This has me thinking about options...

 

If a player has never been on the 40-man roster, then say mid-year or September that player is added to the 40-man roster and called up, and they stay with the MLB team the rest of the year.  That does not use an option, correct?

 

Also, if a player is removed from the 40-man roster (e.g. ByungHo Park) and is sent to the minors, does that still count as using an option?

The player has to be on the 40 man roster for an option to be used when a player is sent down. Park is off the roster so if he starts in the minors he is not using an option.

 

Players added mid-year who do not get sent back down, do not use an option. The 'option' is only used when the player is sent down from the big league team while still being on the 40 man roster.

 

 

    • Seth Stohs, Oldgoat_MN, spanman2 and 5 others like this

so we still don't officially know if Gonsalves starts in AAA? Or did I read it wrong?

 

This has me thinking about options...

 

If a player has never been on the 40-man roster, then say mid-year or September that player is added to the 40-man roster and called up, and they stay with the MLB team the rest of the year.  That does not use an option, correct?

 

Also, if a player is removed from the 40-man roster (e.g. ByungHo Park) and is sent to the minors, does that still count as using an option?

 

That player in that scenario would not have been optioned, so no option used. You are correct. 

 

If Byungho Park is re-assigned to minor league camp, that will not be an option. 

    • glunn, spanman2 and Respy like this

 

so we still don't officially know if Gonsalves starts in AAA? Or did I read it wrong?

 

We don't yet know where Melotakis and Romero will start the year. We won't know where they'll start until a week (or less) before the season starts. 

Guess the first cuts are not the deepest...

All expected.

    • Mike Sixel and HitInAPinch like this
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Deduno Abides
Mar 13 2017 02:20 PM

We don't yet know where Melotakis and Romero will start the year. We won't know where they'll start until a week (or less) before the season starts.


Seth, I was happy to see that Romero was optioned to Chattanooga, because I'd like to see the teams push his velocity and command, but it sounds like you are saying that doesn't mean he'll start the season in Chattanooga. Is that correct?
Photo
Homer Hanky
Mar 13 2017 03:47 PM

Palka... his stance and swing remind me so much of Thome... anyone else think so... ?

 

 

    • glunn likes this

 

Palka... his stance and swing remind me so much of Thome... anyone else think so... ?

The open stance, yes.  But Thome kept his hands much higher and always kept two hands on the bat.  Palka keeps his hands low and whips the bat head more, and usually finishes his swing one-handed.

    • glunn and Homer Hanky like this

 

Seth, I was happy to see that Romero was optioned to Chattanooga, because I'd like to see the teams push his velocity and command, but it sounds like you are saying that doesn't mean he'll start the season in Chattanooga. Is that correct?

 

It doesn't necessarily mean he will go to Chattanooga. I think that may be most likely, especially knowing the Randy Rosario is moving to the bullpen full-time. 

That's A Who's who Twins pitching prospects.
    • Seth Stohs and Homer Hanky like this
I know it's only SSS, but I was impressed by what Gonsalves, Romero and Rosario accomplished in their short time, these are talented, young guys getting a small taste of ML life and competition, and instead of being intimidated or trying too hard, they just went out and performed well.

I find Rosario's comments about relieving to be very interesting. Not sure the last time I've heard a young pitcher stating that he prefers relieving, unless he was a closer. Not a knock on the kid, just interesting. Boy oh boy, can you imagine over the next 12 months or so guys like Rogers, Melotakis and Rosario from the left side in the pen? (Mejia or Jay possibly joining them). Combine that with Pressly, Duffey, Hildenberger, Chargois, Reed and Burdi? (Maybe Wimmers and Baxendale).

I find Slegers interesting. I'm not quite sure what to make of him. Despite his huge frame, he doesn't throw overly hard, though I'very also read his FB plays up because of his frame. Despite his huge frame, which usually screams poor mechanics, his WHIP has been solid, same with ERA, and he has held a 3-1 SO/BB ratio. At 24yo, is he still growing in to his body? Could maturity and even better mechanics add velocity? Is he a control pitcher big man with deception? Like I said, I find him interesting.
    • mikelink45 likes this

You cut first from the 40-man of guys who have pretty much no chance of making the team in case of injury during spring training. If in major league camp, they go on the major league disabled list. Minor League free-agents aren't in that category, as well as other minor league guys. You will see players shuffle over at times from minor league camp to offer some depth during spring training. But right now, you don't want to pay them a major league salary if injured.

 

I know it's only SSS, but I was impressed by what Gonsalves, Romero and Rosario accomplished in their short time, these are talented, young guys getting a small taste of ML life and competition, and instead of being intimidated or trying too hard, they just went out and performed well.

I find Rosario's comments about relieving to be very interesting. Not sure the last time I've heard a young pitcher stating that he prefers relieving, unless he was a closer. Not a knock on the kid, just interesting. Boy oh boy, can you imagine over the next 12 months or so guys like Rogers, Melotakis and Rosario from the left side in the pen? (Mejia or Jay possibly joining them). Combine that with Pressly, Duffey, Hildenberger, Chargois, Reed and Burdi? (Maybe Wimmers and Baxendale).

I find Slegers interesting. I'm not quite sure what to make of him. Despite his huge frame, he doesn't throw overly hard, though I'very also read his FB plays up because of his frame. Despite his huge frame, which usually screams poor mechanics, his WHIP has been solid, same with ERA, and he has held a 3-1 SO/BB ratio. At 24yo, is he still growing in to his body? Could maturity and even better mechanics add velocity? Is he a control pitcher big man with deception? Like I said, I find him interesting.

 

Yeah, I did a double-take yesterday before the game when Rosario told me that he preferred the bullpen. He thinks it just suits him better. His stuff definitely can play in the bullpen. He's got a chance to be very good in that role.

 

And Slegers is also very interesting. Throws strikes. Has better stuff than we often give him credit for. He has touched 94 at times. Mixes well. Obviously has that good downward plane. I think there are a lot in the organization that really like him. 

I certainly hope we see Romero in AA and Melotakis in AAA. That would be nice to see the Twins be aggressive with these pitchers. Melotakis had a high WHIP in AA last year, so that will have to come down.

 

The comment by Randy Rosario is really unusual. Perhaps his agent pointed out that the Twins tend to let starting pitchers hang out in MiLB and never see MLB even if their numbers are better than those of other pitchers (Baxendale and Wheeler vs Dean and Albers last season). Going full time into relief opens an avenue that maybe they see as more likely to result in MLB exposure.

If so, smart kid.

    • mikelink45 likes this
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Dave The Dastardly
Mar 14 2017 03:12 PM

 

Guess the first cuts are not the deepest...

All expected.

Charlie Chan says "Death by a thousand cuts most painful. Expectations sharpen blade."

I enjoy the analysis of the individuals along with their placement.  I do wonder if the Twins will find a new approach to getting the starters to the MLB team earlier than in the past.  Of course that entails dropping the older replacement players.  

 

I suppose Tepesch, Vogelsong, Stubbs, Paulson,  etc will hand around since they can be placed or jettisoned at any time and fill up lineups when needed, but I do not feel any attachment to them and I hope the Twins do not either. 

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ashburyjohn
Mar 15 2017 10:57 AM

Typically the first cuts are of the highest-ceiling non-roster guys, to get them to the proper group where they'll receive more in-game reps after having rubbed elbows with the major leaguers for a few weeks. These moves all seem in keeping with that.


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