Mailbag: New Rules, Roster Cuts, Leadership
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
Baseball’s new rules are certainly going to take some adjustment time. The three-batter minimum for pitchers is going to be one of the toughest adjustments but there are some ways to avoid the problem. An end of an inning can also signal the end of a player’s time on the mound. This could be helpful for the LOOGY (left-handed one out guy). If there are two outs in the inning, come in and get the out you need, and your day will be done.
“I think without question it is the most significant strategic on-field change relative to the changes that were announced,” Falvey said. “That one’s going to be interesting for a subset of players. We’ve all long thought that there might be a player that’s a left-on-left situational guy and you worry a little less about his exposure against right-handed hitters. Well, that will change.”
There are going to be situational players that are hurt by this rule. Front offices are going to have to change roster construction and managers are going to have to change what they do on the field. I don’t like that it takes away a strategy from teams. I also don’t think it will save that much time, since the ultimate goal is to speed up the pace of play.
Minnesota is slowly whittling down the roster. Over the weekend, Tyler Duffey was optioned to Triple-A and Chase De Jong was reassigned to minor league camp. Monday saw Tomas Telis, Brian Navarreto, and Randy Cesar sent to the backfields. This left 41 players in camp including 21 pitchers. There are also 10 non-roster invitees among the 41 remaining players.
If I was creating the roster today…
Rotation (5): Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda, Martin Perez
Bullpen (7): Trevor May, Blake Parker, Taylor Rogers, Trevor Hildenberger, Adalberto Mejia, Matt Magill, Addison Reed
Catchers (3): Jason Castro, Mitch Garver, Willians Astudillo
Infielders (5): CJ Cron, Jonathan Schoop, Jorge Polanco, Ehire Adrianza, Marwin Gonzalez
Outfielders (4): Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jake Cave
DH (1): Nelson Cruz
This will leave some players like Michael Reed open to waivers. Reed has the possibility of latching on with another team as a fourth outfielder, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he made it through waivers.
On the offensive side of things, Adam Rosales has been having a great spring. Tom wrote about him as a possible winner of the Sire of Fort Myers. He’s 35-years old and the Twins seem to have some younger options ahead of him on the depth chart. Lucas Duda could have a shot too, but CJ Cron and Tyler Austin are ahead of him.
The most likely non-roster choice might be on the mound. Ryne Harper has been outstanding this spring and Minnesota’s bullpen could offer him an opportunity. A player like Trevor Hildenberger has options left. Addison Reed has seen some rough spots this spring. Harper has certainly looked like he has earned a big-league job.
Things are definitely going to be different in the Twins clubhouse this season. Spring training already saw some of those changes with workouts and schedules changing. Baldelli is not that far removed from his own career. This should help him relate to his players. He’s also coming from a Tampa organization that was very forward-thinking.
As far as leaders in the clubhouse, Nelson Cruz was signed to fill some of that veteran leadership role. He’s been one of the best home run hitters of the last decade and he brings instant credibility. Kyle Gibson is a strong leader in the rotation, and I think he could serve in that capacity for the entire pitching staff. Minnesota is entering the Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano era, so it would be nice to see them take on leadership roles as well.
What are your thoughts on this week’s questions? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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