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Who's the back-up catcher on this squad?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:13 AM
Kurt Suzuki is the Twins everyday catcher, but even as the everyday catcher, someone else is going to need to kneel behind the plate a co...
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The 25th man for 2015

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:47 AM
OK....we're all still waiting for that ONE MORE MOVE that we JUST KNOW TR is going to make. And we all think and hope it's going to be fo...
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What a holiday present

MLB Baseball Today, 04:47 AM
Delmon Young agreed to a contract for  $2.25 million with incentives to 3 million. Think Delmon has a charmed life? He has collected...
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Who will be the 5th starter?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:02 AM
The venerable Strib posted a Q&A with Terry Ryan. His response to a question on pitching is below. I read it as: - He acknowledges Gi...
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Fryer outrighted to AAA

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:37 AM
With Eric Fryer outrighted to AAA, there are only 2 catchers on the 40 man roster. Presumably this means Ryan and Molitor plan a larger c...
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Burroughs' Fairy Tale Ending

Third baseman and non-roster invitee Sean Burroughs reported to Twins spring training camp yesterday and apparently took some time to talk to reporters, as you'll find him in numerous stories today. That's not surprising.Attached Image: burroughs.jpg

Burroughs is a good story - a Little League hero who rose to prize prospect, flamed out in 2007, fell into a life of substance abuse and returned to the majors as a bench bat last year. For now, it's a happy ending. For Twins fans, it has a chance to be happier still, because Burroughs has positioned himself to be in the right place at the right time.

[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]I was asked today how the Twins were the lucky team to sign someone with Burroughs’ upside to a minor league contract. The answer is a bittersweet one to Twins fans. Burroughs likely signed with the Twins because a lot could go wrong at the hot corner this year.

Last year, a heap of unwanted attention was piled on Danny Valencia's defense, and when one plays for a manager like Ron Gardenhire, that's no small problem. But there was also the fact that the right-handed batting Valencia has simply not hit right-handed pitching, posting .242 batting average and just a 654 OPS in 660 plate appearances. For comparison, Nick Punto’s career OPS is 652. Considering right-handed pitchers account for 2/3 of the at-bats an everyday starter faces and suddenly Valencia’s future as a full-time player is in doubt.

Enter Burroughs. Burroughs bats left-handed. Coincidentally, when speaking of Burroughs, Gardenhire specifically praised two areas in which Valencia has struggled: defense and clubhouse impact. ESPN 1500’s Phil Mackey asked Gardenhire about Burroughs and passed along the following quotes:

"He can pick it over (at third base)," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Very intelligent. As I said, very intelligent on the defensive side of the ball. Knows the game out there, positions himself well. Always did. And handles himself very well. (Rochester manager) Gene Glynn had him down in winter ball this year. He had him down in winter ball in Venezuela. He had great reports on him....

"Everything I've heard about him from winter ball, they told me he was one of those guys that everyone couldn't wait until he entered the clubhouse; he brightened up the clubhouse.”


It's unlikely last year’s third base responsibilities would change by Opening Day. But it's not totally crazy to think that Burroughs could find his way onto the 25-man roster. Two bench spots might be in play. Luke Hughes' status is up in the air given his shoulder problems. Burroughs could replace him, especially if he shows he can fill-in at second base in a pinch. And the Twins have enough redundancy at catcher, shortstop and center field that Gardenhire could use that last roster spot for a bench bat instead of a bench glove.

But whether he makes it right now or not, this story isn't over. We don't know the plot twists that will take place yet this spring or summer, but there is plenty of opportunity for all involved to live happily ever after.


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