Kirilloff In, Donaldson Out - Twins Wild Card Series Roster
Image courtesy of Jeffrey Becker, USA TodayThe Twins won the AL Central Division title on Sunday. In that moment, they knew they had the #3 seed in the American League playoffs and will take on the Houston Astros in the Wild Card round starting on Tuesday. On Tuesday morning, the Twins announced their 28-man roster for the Wild Card round. Game time is 1:00 central time today.
Catchers (4): Alex Avila, Mitch Garver, Ryan Jeffers, Willians Astudillo
The Twins are going with four catchers. That said, Astudillo’s ability to play some third base and pinch hit likely make him viable for this series.
Infielders (5): Miguel Sano, Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, Ehire Adrianza, Marwin Gonzalez
Obviously the big news here is that Josh Donaldson is not on the Twins roster for this series. Hopefully his calf heals up and he could be ready for a potential ALDS series.
When trying to predict the roster, we assumed (and maybe just hoped) that Luis Arraez would be on the roster. Fortunately, he was activated from the Injury List on Saturday and played in two games. The fact that he returned with four hits on Saturday should make fans feel very comfortable.
Outfielders/DH (6): Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jake Cave, Alex Kirilloff, Nelson Cruz
Clearly the surprise here is seeing Alex Kirilloff on the playoff roster. The Twins top pick in the 2016 draft has been working at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul and had recently been added to the team’s 40-man playoff pool. It is good to see that Byron Buxton is on the Wild Card roster. Buxton was suffering from mild concussions symptoms since being hit by a pitch in in the helmet on Friday night, but he has been cleared to play in this series.
Starting Pitchers (3): Kenta Maeda (Game 1), Jose Berrios (Game 2), Michael Pineda (Game 3)
We have really known the three starters for several days now, and it comes as no surprise. The nice thing to know is that Rich Hill pitched well down the stretch and had to have at least made that Game 3 starter decision interesting.
Long Reliever Options (2): Jake Odorizzi, Randy Dobnak
The Twins (and all teams) simply need to have at least one pitcher who could eat multiple innings and save the bullpen for the next day. Jake Odorizzi returns from the Injured List and is on the roster and can fill that role. Also, Randy Dobnak gets a roster spot for this series. Rich Hill, having pitched on Sunday would not be able to pitch until, maybe, Game 3 on Thursday, so he is not on the roster.
Bullpen (8): Taylor Rogers, Sergio Romo, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May, Tyler Clippard, Matt Wisler, Caleb Thielbar, Cody Stashak.
I think the surprise omission from this list is Jorge Alcala who has been pitching quite well out of the Twins bullpen. The rest of the bullpen is as expected.
Also of note, Sean Poppen was DFAd to make room for Alex Kirilloff on the 40-man roster.
So there it is, the Twins roster that will attempt to top the Houston Astros over the next few days.
Pitchers; Jorge Alcala, Edwar Colina, Jhoan Duran, Rich Hill, Juan Minaya, Devin Smeltzer, Lewis Thorpe
Infielders: Travis Blankenhorn, Josh Donaldson,
Outfielders: LaMonte Wade, Jr.
Here is the Game 1 lineup:
- mikelink45, dbminn, ToddlerHarmon and 1 other like this