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Opening Day Roster Becoming Clear With Thursday Transactions

FORT MYERS - On Thursday morning, the Twins announced that right-handed relief pitchers Alan Busenitz and Tyler Duffey were optioned to Rochester. Following the game, outfielder Jake Cave was also optioned to Rochester, and 1B Brock Stassi was sent to minor league camp. Also, the team announced that outfielder Chris Heisey asked for and received his release. In addition, several players, including Erick Aybar, were told they would not make the Opening Day roster. He can opt out of his contract tomorrow.

With these roster moves, the Twins Opening Day roster is becoming more clear.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement, USA Today
Here is a quick look at those players remaining in big league camp:


Catchers: Jason Castro, Mitch Garver

As expected, it appears that Mitch Garver will be Jason Castro's backup behind the plate. Garver can also provide flexibility with his ability to play first base and left field.

Infielders: Joe Mauer, Logan Morrison, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Miguel Sano, Ehire Adrianza, Jorge Polanco (Restricted List)

Joe Mauer will play first base. Brian Dozier will play second base. Absent an MLB suspension, Miguel Sano will play third base. With Jorge Polanco suspended, Eduardo Escobar will be given the first opportunity to start at shortstop. Ehire Adrianza will be the lone utility infielder (if there is not a Sano suspension). Obviously that might create other needs.

Taylor Featherston and Gregorio Petit remain on the roster for now.

Outfielders: Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Robbie Grossman, Zack Granite

The "Nothing Falls But Raindrops" outfield remains intact. Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler will start. Robbie Grossman will play the corners and occasional DH and pinch hit. At this point, it appears that Granite will also make the roster.

Ryan LaMarre remains on the Twins spring training roster.

Starting Pitchers: Ervin Santana (DL), Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Lance Lynn, Phil Hughes, Michael Pineda (60 Day DL)

With Tyler Duffey being optioned on Thursday, the starting staff appears to be set. After the game, Paul Molitor announced that the team will start the year with a four-man rotation. Jake Odorizzi will be the Opening Day starter. He'll be followed by Kyle Gibson and Jose Berrios. Lance Lynn will make the team's fourth start of the year. Molitor mentioned April 11th as the date that the Twins might need a fifth starter.
Relief Pitchers: Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, Zack Duke, Trevor Hildenberger, Ryan Pressly, Taylor Rogers, Tyler Kinley, Gabriel Moya, Trevor May (60 Day DL),

Right now, it appears that one of the only roster decisions needed to be made will be between Rule 5 pick Tyler Kinley and left-hander Gabriel Moya.


The team will leave Ft. Myers on Monday and travel to Washington DC to take on the Nationals in an exhibition game. Jose Berrios will start that game.


So, to summarize the above, the Opening Day roster is close:

Catchers: Jason Castro, Mitch Garver
Infielders: Joe Mauer, Logan Morrison, Brian Dozier, Miguel Sano, Eduardo Escobar, Ehire Adrianza
Outfielders: Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Robbie Grossman, Zack Granite
Starting Pitchers: Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, Jose Berrios, Lance Lynn, Phil Hughes (long relief until needed as a starter)
Relief Pitchers: Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, Trevor Hildenberger, Ryan Pressly, Zack Duke, Taylor Rogers (and either Tyler Kinley or Gabriel Moya).

Also remaining in camp:

Catchers: Bobby Wilson, Willian Astudillo
Infielders: Taylor Featherston, Gregorio Petit
Outfielders: Ryan LaMarre

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59 Comments

Very strange that they're carrying Granite and so little infield depth. Especially since they essentially have six OF with Adrianza. And Logan Morrison isn't an awful 7th OF in a pinch.

  • I wonder if this means that they know Sano won't be suspended?
  • I wonder if this means they'll be bargain bin shopping for shortsop depth as other teams make cuts?
    • 70charger and TheLeviathan like this

Also, let's pretend that Sano and a middle infielder get hurt/ejected in a game. Who plays 3B/2B? I think that answer is Eddie Rosario?

 

Sending Aybar down makes no sense to me unless they've got an eye on someone on another team.

Aybar is actually a huge surprise at this point. Thought he was a shoe-in as an experienced 2nd utility guy.

Bullpen makes sense. Disappointed in Duffey and Busentiz not making it, but they didn't have good springs. But just like last year, the bullpen shuttle will move guys in and out and up and down. The pen is not a finished product yet.
    • curt1965, caninatl04 and bobs like this

 

 

Very strange that they're carrying Granite and so little infield depth. Especially since they essentially have six OF with Adrianza. And Logan Morrison isn't an awful 7th OF in a pinch.

  • I wonder if this means that they know Sano won't be suspended?
  • I wonder if this means they'll be bargain bin shopping for shortsop depth as other teams make cuts?

 

It's funny you say that because many said that having both Adrianza and Aybar is redundant. Granite gives the Twins a legitimate backup outfielder so Grossman doesn't have to be playing out there as often.

 

It seems like they think Sano isn't going to be suspended, but there's no way to confirm that right now.

    • gagu, Minny505, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this

With Polanco out, Adrianza's ability to be a backup outfielder is nil.Thus, they may want the fifth outfielder...Granite. 

 

Is it possible that they go north with 13 pitchers?That would mean they can keep all of the above.Is it also possible the left handed pitcher who will be sent down isn't Moya, rather, Rogers.He has been terrible this spring, although none of us know if he has been working on stuff which may have affected his results.

 

Can't believe that even with Polanco and Santana out, this team still looks sooo much better than any opening day team in a long, long time.

    • beckmt, South Dakota Tom, RaymondLuxuryYacht and 5 others like this

Also, let's pretend that Sano and a middle infielder get hurt/ejected in a game. Who plays 3B/2B? I think that answer is Eddie Rosario?


So you think they need a contingency plan, on the roster, in case 2 out of a specific subset of 4 players get hurt/ejected in the same game? Seems about as likely as needing the emergency catcher.
Photo
TheLeviathan
Mar 22 2018 05:22 PM
Are there any guys out there that could operate as a corner OF and infield? I guess I'd like another guy around with Sano's lingering issues.

Or can Aybar go to AAA as that insurance?

<p>

Very strange that they're carrying Granite and so little infield depth. Especially since they essentially have six OF with Adrianza. And Logan Morrison isn't an awful 7th OF in a pinch.

  • I wonder if this means that they know Sano won't be suspended?
  • I wonder if this means they'll be bargain bin shopping for shortsop depth as other teams make cuts?

Twins still have to remove 2 players from the 25 man roster. Granite is probably 1.
Did I miss a transaction/60 day dL of Phil Hughes?

LaMarre could still make the Team.As far as Moya, Kinley goes.At this point you keep Kinley.Nothing hurt. Moya is young and never pitched at AAA.Kinley can be used in low pressure situations because we have late inning guys.As far as Granite, Grossman goes.I'd still rather have Vargas on the Bench then two outfielders that should never see the field because we have three studs. We have 9 good starters, we might need a bench bat. 

    • LA VIkes Fan likes this

Also, Chargois and Bard have done well.It will be interesting to see how they do.The Chargois thing is just weird.There was no point in it.He had options left. At this point why do you ditch him for Kinney?We could have had them both.

    • Original Whizzinator likes this

I wouldn't read too much into the Sano situation. They can make another roster move when that's announced.

 

I wouldn't read too much into the Sano situation. They can make another roster move when that's announced.


I think the concern is more, who is available? Aybar was no great shakes but I have no idea who they'd call up in the infield right now.

Are there any guys out there that could operate as a corner OF and infield?


Mark DeRosa?
    • USAFChief, gil4, James and 4 others like this

 

 

I wouldn't read too much into the Sano situation. They can make another roster move when that's announced.

Agreed, any AAAA guy can sit the bench.No one cares who is sitting the bench.Why, because they are sitting on the bench and not playing. We are not platooning starters. 

 

Also, Chargois and Bard have done well.

 

Pick one:

 

Luke Bard: 10-1/3 IP, 2 BB, 7 K, 7 R, .225 OBA, 1.06 WHIP, 6.10 ERA
Tyler Kinley: 10 IP, 6 BB, 11 K, 5 ER, .237 OBA, 1.50 WHIP, 4.50 ERA
Gabriel Moya: 10 IP, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 R, .171 OBA, 0.80 WHIP, 0.90 ERA

 

 

    • sloopjont likes this
Photo
KirbyDome89
Mar 22 2018 07:44 PM

 

As far as Moya, Kinley goes.At this point you keep Kinley.Nothing hurt. Moya is young and never pitched at AAA.Kinley can be used in low pressure situations because we have late inning guys. 

FWIW Kinley hasn't had much success above A ball and Moya has been much more impressive in both AA and ST. If Kinley is the low leverage guy then what is Hughes role? 

I think the Twins are seriously watching the waiver wire as final rosters are set. Watch for a grab if it happens.

 

I think they are still seeing if Rosario will start the season with the team. A lot can happen in the next few days.

 

Both Kinley and Moya will audition again. Both are pretty much in the same state (would start at AA-ball if push came to shove). I'm curious to see how the pitching rosters do end up at AAA and AA ball for the Twins.

 

Kinda wonder who is expendable, now, on the 40-man. Duffey? Busenitz? They may still have an open spot and just cut ties with Aybar as a formality at this point.

 

The bigger question will be what happens when Santana returns. I guess the pitches will play out that option in the first four weeks.

 

 

 

 

Did I miss a transaction/60 day dL of Phil Hughes?

 

FWIW Kinley hasn't had much success above A ball and Moya has been much more impressive in both AA and ST. If Kinley is the low leverage guy then what is Hughes role? 

It seems Hughes will be making the team as a reliever and playing the role of the mop-up man for any short starts. They're going to put him in the rotation as the 5th starter on April 11th (I believe that's the date when they need a 5th starter) for better or for worse.

    • KirbyDome89 likes this

 

So you think they need a contingency plan, on the roster, in case 2 out of a specific subset of 4 players get hurt/ejected in the same game? Seems about as likely as needing the emergency catcher.

 

Is it? Sano gets ejected more often than most and is also relatively injury prone. You've also got Escober, not a spring chicken, and Adrianza, not someone who has played everyday in his career. I don't think it's crazy to think that might happen?

 

The issue is how completely unprepared they'd be then. Like I don't even know who plays third. Mauer? Logan Morrison?

 

Especially when it seems like the reason to keep Granite is to . . . have a pinch runner? The defensive replacement aspect of being a reserve outfielder is unlikely to be relevant. He hits lefty so he's not spelling Kepler against lefties. 

 

If Granite solved some other issue, I'd get going light in the infield. It might cost you one game sometime. But I don't see any issue Granite on the roster solves.

 

Kinda wonder who is expendable, now, on the 40-man. Duffey? Busenitz? They may still have an open spot and just cut ties with Aybar as a formality at this point.

Busenitz is coming off a great 2017 season in both AAA and the majors. A handful of lousy Spring Training innings isn't suddenly going to make him expendable. Duffey hasn't pitched well since 2015, so his roster spot should be getting tumultuous. 

    • jun likes this

Busenitz is coming off a great 2017 season in both AAA and the majors. A handful of lousy Spring Training innings isn't suddenly going to make him expendable. Duffey hasn't pitched well since 2015, so his roster spot should be getting tumultuous.


I don't agree that Busenitz was great at mlb in 2017.
Lucky, yes. 4.20 FIP, unimpressive k rate, extremely lucky babip and strand rate.
Between Hildenberger and Rogers, one should be sent down. Kinley and Moya should stay. Hildenberger was more consistent and effective than Rogers last season.
    • Thrylos likes this

Let's give Ryan LaMarre a chance. He's right handed and can play all three outfield positions. Give him a couple of weeks and if he doesn't hit, bring up Granite or Cave. 

    • Ryan Atkins, Twins33, TNTwinsFan and 5 others like this
LaMarre should stay and Granite should be sent down. LaMarre is having a solid spring.
    • Ryan Atkins, TNTwinsFan, LA VIkes Fan and 2 others like this

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