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Ex-Twins in the Box Scores

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Baseball games are being played again! I know it's only spring training, but I'm a box score junkie and once again I can get my daily fix...
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Article: Trying to Get a Reed on Addison

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:23 AM
Twins fans were thrilled when they signed Addison Reed this offseason on a two year deal worth approximately $16 million. Given the natur...
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Go get Verlander

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:23 AM
http://www.espn.com/...astros-audition   Best possible combination of help in 2017 and help in the next couple years, right where th...
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Article: Is Paul Molitor the Right Man to Lead the Twins?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:23 AM
Shortly after they hired Paul Molitor as manager in November of 2014, the Twins invited me to Target Field for a one-on-one interview wit...
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Article: Twins Minor League Report (6/18): Arraez, Sano L...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:46 AM
While the Rochester Red Wings had the day off, and the Chattanooga Lookouts and Cedar Rapids Kernels started their All Star breaks, today...
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2017: The Year In Debuts

As we reach the end of 2017, it’s always fun to look back at the year. One of my favorite things to do is to remember all of the players who made their major league debuts in a Twins uniform this year. In total, 14 players made their big league debuts for the Twins in 2017, a big number especially when you consider this was a playoff team.
Image courtesy of Daniel Mick (Daniel Mick Creative)
It will likely not surprise anyone to know that of the 14 players to debut, 11 of them were pitchers. The first four pitchers on the list below are no longer with the organization. Of the remaining players, it’s not difficult to see a potential role for each of them at some point in 2018 or beyond.

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As someone who follows the Twins minor league system so closely, it’s fun to watch several of these players work their way through the entire minor league system and get that big league opportunity whether it’s a long-term gig or just a short-term opportunity. That’s part of why I write the Twins Prospect Handbook, and why I encourage Twins fans to do so each year. The 10th Annual Twins Prospect Handbook (2018) is now available in paperback or e-book.
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Justin Haley - April 5

Haley was the Rule 5 draft pick who came to spring training. He made the Opening Day roster and in the team’s second game, he recorded the final three outs of a Twins win. Two outings later, he struck out six in 3.1 scoreless innings to record his first MLB save. He went on the disabled list twice before being offered back to the Red Sox where he finished the season in AAA.



Jason Wheeler - May 30

Wheeler had worked his way up the Twins minor league system since being drafted out of college in 2012. He had been added to the Twins 40-man roster after the 2015 season. He was removed late in the 2016 season, but he kept working, making starts and finally got the call in late May. In his first inning (8th inning against the Astros), he issued a one-out walk but then coaxed a double play. Then the Astros scored two runs off of him, singles by Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, in his second inning. He pitched in relief again the next night. After that series, he was DFAd and claimed by the Dodgers. He also pitched in the Orioles organization.



Randy Rosario - June 2

Rosario was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month in May. He gave up just one run on four hits and two walks in 13.2 innings in Chattanooga. He struck out 18. The Twins had a need at the start of June, and Rosario was called up directly from AA. In his first inning, he came into the 8th inning against the Angels with the Twins ahead 11-2. He worked a 1-2-3 inning. Former Twins outfielder Shane Robinson was his first strikeout. He also got Albert Pujols out. He came back out for the ninth inning and gave up three runs. He worked in one more game, and gave up five runs in 0.1 innings. He was sent down and finished the season with the Lookouts. He was DFAd after the season and claimed by the Chicago Cubs.




Nik Turley - June 11

Turley signed a minor league deal with the Twins and didn’t even get a big league spring training invite. However, in the season’s first two months, he gave up 33 hits, walked 15 and struck out 84 batters in 52.2 innings. Fans (at least those who follow the Twins minor leagues) were clamoring for him to be called up. He made his debut in San Francisco. He gave up four runs on eight hits over four innings. He walked none and struck out four. He made two more (not-so-good) starts before being sent back to the minors. He came up twice more throughout the season and ended the year in the bullpen. Following the season, he was DFAd and claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates.



Alan Busenitz - June 17


Busenitz came to the Twins from the Angels in the Ricky Nolasco/Alex Meyer/Hector Santiago deal. Busenitz may be the best of the traded players. He came up for the first time in mid-June. He struck out the first batter he faced, MVP candidate Jose Ramirez. He walked a batter and gave up a hit in his first inning. He worked a second inning (and gave up a homer to Francisco Lindor). He went up and down a couple of times before coming up for good for the final two months. By season’s end, he became a reliable bullpen arm for Paul Molitor late in the season.



Trevor Hildenberger - June 23

Hildenberger was well known to Twins Daily readers as he was the Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2015 and 2016. He was well on his way to a third straight award when he was called up in late June. In his first game, he came in for the ninth inning with a 5-0 lead. Roberto Perez was the first batter he faced, and the first strikeout victim. After a double, Hildenberger got Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez to ground out to end the game. It didn’t take long for Hildenberger to become the most reliable, and used, reliever in the Twins bullpen.





Felix Jorge - July 1

Jorge washttp://m.mlb.com/cut.../239860898/null directly from AA Chattanooga as the 26th man and started the second game of the doubleheader against Kansas City. He gave up two runs in the first inning, but then he put four straight zeroes on the board. He gave up a leadoff single in the 6th inning and was taken out. That man later came around to score. He recorded his first MLB Win. He went down after the game, but four days later, he came back up to make a second start. This time he didn’t get out of the third. He was sent down again after that game and didn’t return. However, he showed enough stuff that he should remain on the 40-man roster and continue to get opportunities.



Zack Granite - July 8

Zack Granite was scheduled to play in the AAA All-Star Game, but Jason Castro went on the 7-Day disabled list and Granite was called up.

When Castro came off the DL, Byron Buxton was hurt so he stayed, and he played well. In his major league debut, Granite was called on to pinch-hit late in the game. He worked an 11-pitch at bat before popping out. His first hit was a double just out of the reach of Jose Altuve.



Late in the season, Granite got hold of one for his first Major League home run.



And while he may not be quite Byron Buxton in center field, Granite can cover some serious ground in the outfield.





Dietrich Enns - August 10

Enns came to the Twins with Zack Littell from the Yankees in exchange for lefty Jaime Garcia. Just a couple of weeks later, he was called up to make a start in Milwaukee. In it, he went just 2.1 inning and gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits. The highlight of that game for him was probably getting his first big league hit. Five days later, he came out of the bullpen and gave up two runs in five outs. He was sent down, and then he spent most of the rest of the season on the disabled list. He remains on the 40-man roster.



Aaron Slegers - August 17

Aaron Slegers has gradually worked his way up the Twins system, one year at a time, and in 2017, he was the Twins minor league pitcher of the year for a very good season in AAA Rochester. In mid-August, he was added to the 40-man roster and called up to start Game 2 of a doubleheader as the team’s 26th man. Through six innings against Cleveland, he gave up just one run. He got a strikeout to start the 7th, but then he gave up a hit and was removed. The game-tying run scored after he left. But Slegers gave up two runs on two hits and two walks over 6.1 innings. He was sent down after the game but came back up with the September call ups. He remains on the Twins 40-man roster and should be a candidate for starts in 2018.



Mitch Garver - August 19

In mid-August, Robbie Grossman dove for a ball, collided with Byron Buxton and broke his thumb. Grossman was placed on the DL, and Mitch Garver was called up. In his debut, he struck out as a pinch hitter. The next day, he went 1-4 with a walk. His hit, as expected, was an infield single. He had a total of nine hits in 46 at-bats including three triples and a double. At this point, Garver appears to be the backup catcher option for the Twins heading into the 2018 season.




John Curtiss - August 25

Curtiss was the Twins Daily choice for Minor League Relief PItcher of the Year in 2017. It’s been a quick ascension for Curtiss in the last two seasons. He began 2016 in Cedar Rapids, then was promoted to Ft. Myers a month later, and then pitched in the Arizona Fall League. He began this season in Chattanooga and moved up to Rochester midseason. He was surprised when he got his promotion to the big leagues. In his debut, he came into the 9th inning with the Twins leading Toronto 6-1. He struck out the first batter he faced, Steve Pearce, and then got fly outs from Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak to end the game. His fastball/slider combination make him a potential late-inning option for years to come.




Niko Goodrum - September 2

Goodrum could have become a free agent last offseason, but instead he quickly re-signed with the Twins. He moved up to AAA and put together a solid season while showing he is capable of playing all over the diamond. It was that skill that likely got him called up on September 1st. He mostly played right field and second base for the Twins in his brief time. He didn’t get many at-bats, but he was able to record his first major league hit, an infield single. Goodrum was DFAd following the season and quickly signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers



Gabriel Moya - September 12

Gabriel Moya came to the Twins in late July in a trade with the Diamondbacks for John Ryan Murphy. He was so good all year in Double-A, that MiLB.com named him the top relief pitcher in all of the minor leagues this year. He continued the dominance and helped the Chattanooga Lookouts to a share of the Southern League championship. As soon as that series was done, the Twins added him to the 40-man roster and called him up. He worked 6.1 innings over seven outings. In his debut, he came into the ninth inning with the Twins leading 16-0. He issued a one-out walk to Wil Myers, but he struck out Jabari Blash to end the inning and the game.



Congratulations to each of these players! Share your thoughts on these debuts and these players.

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21 Comments

Zack Granite. I will never forget watching the two of the most idiotic plays I have ever seen in all my years of watching baseball. Both involved first base. The first was at Dodger Stadium in July, where he threw a ball in from centerfield to first base were there was nobody there, and cost the game. The second was when he decided it was best to not even touch first base in the Wild Card game at Yankee Stadium, and killed comeback momentum. Both mind blowing to me. I don't know what it will ever take to consider him an asset, but it hasn't happened yet. 

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theBOMisthebomb
Dec 29 2017 08:52 AM
That is a lot of first time pitchers, especially for an 85 win team. My hope is that 2017 was a transition year and the Boy Wonders can stabilize the pitching staff in 2018.
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Original Whizzinator
Dec 29 2017 09:54 AM
With Busenitz, Moya and Hildenberger I think we're on to something. Of the three only Busenitz is the conventional big armed bullpen guy but, hey, I like the variety. Could serve us well. Curtis has a chance too.
    • bluechipper, sploorp, RaymondLuxuryYacht and 1 other like this

It was great to finally see some of these guys. Mostly I liked what I saw!

    • DocBauer, RaymondLuxuryYacht and caninatl04 like this

This really emphasized how erratic our call ups were.No Gonsalves who was our best, Rosario from AA and then released.The process shows no clear organizational philosophy. 

    • notoriousgod71 likes this

 

With Busenitz, Moya and Hildenberger I think we're on to something. Of the three only Busenitz is the conventional big armed bullpen guy but, hey, I like the variety. Could serve us well. Curtis has a chance too.

 

I'd add Curtiss to that group and project that he'll be the best of them. And, Jake Reed is still around... There are definitely still some big bullpen arms out there. 

    • bluechipper, caninatl04 and Original Whizzinator like this

 

This really emphasized how erratic our call ups were.No Gonsalves who was our best, Rosario from AA and then released.The process shows no clear organizational philosophy. 

 

I'm not sure about that, and I'd probably have to give it more thought.. .but my quick response is that they gave opportunities to the guys who were performing at the time of the need. When Rosario was called up in June, most thought it would be Melotakis, but Rosario was pitching much better at the time. Nik Turley earned his call up. As much as I wanted to see Gonsalves, Tim Melville was pitching great. So, individually, I never really had any issue with the call ups... but overall, I can agree that it looks kind of scrambled... then again, there were definitely times when the pitching staff was more than a little scrambled... 

That was a lot of fun to read and watch.I was surprised at how many of them I actually watched as they were happening.Thanks for putting it up!

    • blindeke likes this

I made it to two Twins games last season - and through some crazy luck, I was able to see the debut for Granite and Garver. 

 

It's always fun when a guy gets announced for the first time. Most of the crowd knows it's his debut - and the excitement, regardless of the score, is palpable. 

    • birdwatcher likes this

Hopefully Busenitz and Hildenberger can continue their good rookie seasons and parlay that into even better sophomore seasons, and later on Curtiss and Moya can find their way up and stay up. With other guys like Jay, Reed, and Chargois possibly pushing for the majors, the bullpen could be filled with some young guns.

    • Seth Stohs, bluechipper, blindeke and 3 others like this

Hopefully Busenitz and Hildenberger can continue their good rookie seasons and parlay that into even better sophomore seasons, and later on Curtiss and Moya can find their way up and stay up. With other guys like Jay, Reed, and Chargois possibly pushing for the majors, the bullpen could be filled with some young guns.


Think about that for a second. You rattled off 7 guys who either debuted or are very, very close to doing so. Add in Duffey getting more comfortable, Rogers and Pressly just finding a little more consistency you have the makings of a really nice pen.

I know we want FA and trades to stack the pen NOW, but are we really that far away from putting together a really nice bullpen from within?
    • Blackjack, milldam, twinssouth and 3 others like this
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Original Whizzinator
Dec 29 2017 03:34 PM
Chargois is the wild card. He didn't have TJ right? With that there would be a timetable. His problems are more unknown and could eventually lead to TJ. That is the scary part. He seemed to have real potential.

 

Think about that for a second. You rattled off 7 guys who either debuted or are very, very close to doing so. Add in Duffey getting more comfortable, Rogers and Pressly just finding a little more consistency you have the makings of a really nice pen.

I know we want FA and trades to stack the pen NOW, but are we really that far away from putting together a really nice bullpen from within?

It's kind of hard to place where Pressly and Duffey are in the bullpen. Pressly had a disappointing season but had stretches of total dominance, and I think he deserves another shot. Duffey was even worse and many of those appearances were in low leverage situations. Right now, I see the bullpen as:

 

Rodney

Hildenberger

Rogers

Duke

Pressly

Busenitz

Hughes/Enns/Duffey/Moya/Anyone but Kinley

[potential 8th reliever]

 

If Hughes is healthy, he gets a roster spot solely because of his salary. I kinda see Duffey as the odd man out, as he's been a poor pitcher these past two seasons. Kinley has no business being in the majors in 2018. I can see Moya or Curtiss being the first call-ups.

 

As a random side note, I'd really like to see the Twins re-sign Dillon Gee and utilize him as a long reliever again. He did a fantastic job in that role and he could be a spot starter too. Much better than keeping Hughes around.

    • h2oface, Wizard11 and Original Whizzinator like this
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ashburyjohn
Dec 29 2017 04:29 PM

Chargois is the wild card. He didn't have TJ right? With that there would be a timetable. His problems are more unknown and could eventually lead to TJ. That is the scary part. He seemed to have real potential.

He had TJ surgery in 2013. Presumably we're past the timetable you might have in mind. :)

    • twinssouth and Original Whizzinator like this

 

Chargois is the wild card. He didn't have TJ right? With that there would be a timetable. His problems are more unknown and could eventually lead to TJ. That is the scary part. He seemed to have real potential.

 

Not this time, but he was out with a mysterious "stress reaction on the outside of his elbow" that never seemed to heal. At least it wasn't bilateral elbow weakness. He did have TJ in 2013 and was out 2013-2014 because of it. 

    • Original Whizzinator likes this

 

It's kind of hard to place where Pressly and Duffey are in the bullpen. Pressly had a disappointing season but had stretches of total dominance, and I think he deserves another shot. Duffey was even worse and many of those appearances were in low leverage situations. Right now, I see the bullpen as:

 

Rodney

Hildenberger

Rogers

Duke

Pressly

Busenitz

Hughes/Enns/Duffey/Moya/Anyone but Kinley

[potential 8th reliever]

 

If Hughes is healthy, he gets a roster spot solely because of his salary. I kinda see Duffey as the odd man out, as he's been a poor pitcher these past two seasons. Kinley has no business being in the majors in 2018. I can see Moya or Curtiss being the first call-ups.

 

As a random side note, I'd really like to see the Twins re-sign Dillon Gee and utilize him as a long reliever again. He did a fantastic job in that role and he could be a spot starter too. Much better than keeping Hughes around.

 

 

Isn't Hughes signed until 2050 or something like that?:confused:

    • Original Whizzinator likes this

 

Think about that for a second. You rattled off 7 guys who either debuted or are very, very close to doing so. Add in Duffey getting more comfortable, Rogers and Pressly just finding a little more consistency you have the makings of a really nice pen.

I know we want FA and trades to stack the pen NOW, but are we really that far away from putting together a really nice bullpen from within?

 

Sure! Just like last year, and the year before, and the year before that. It is imminent. Has to be! The FO doesn't have to do anything except wait.:go:

    • Vanimal46 likes this
I believe with our call ups and signings the bull pen is there already. With a decent rotation in front of them, they could be really good (if used right and not over extended)
    • twinssouth likes this

It was certainly an odd mix of first-timers on the roster this season. Not all of our favorite prospects were called to the show, but that'sno tragedy either. Of course, many of those decisions were based on injuries, the need for a 26th-man, and other factors, so it's all understandable to a certain degree. Looking over the list, didn't Melville also make his major league debut this year? .

It was certainly an odd mix of first-timers on the roster this season. Not all of our favorite prospects were called to the show, but that's no tragedy either. Of course, many of those decisions were based on injuries, the need for a 26th-man, and other factors, so it's all understandable to a certain degree. Looking over the list, didn't Melville also make his major league debut this year? .


Melville pitched 3 games for the Reds last year.

Looking at these rookies gives me more hope for the rotation and bullpen in 18 and 19.  

We Twins fans should all be thankful and look forward to another interesting year of Twins Baseball.  :)

 


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