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GAME THREAD 4/13/2021: Twins vs. Red Sox, 1:10 CDT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:50 AM
The Minnesota Twins will play today! (I think, anyways....)Although the weather is ghastly today, the precipitation will come down as sno...
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Joe West wins lawsuit against Lo Duca

Other Baseball Today, 11:41 AM
https://www.msn.com/...artan-dhp-feeds   I was a bit surprised he won this but good for him, I guess.
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Ex Twins in 2021: Where Are They Now?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:47 AM
One of my favorite annual threads on the site. Let’s stay updated on ex-Twins in the news... This is a start of a list, and feel free to...
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Twins Moving Up Power Rankings (Week of April 11)

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:38 AM
MLB.com published their updated power rankings Sunday. The moved the Twins up from sixth to fourth. The Athletic (subscription required)...
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The 5 Rule Draft

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 08:08 AM
This year's Rule 5 draft we lost Akil Baddo and Tyler Wells. So I thought I'd check to see how they were doing. 1st I checked on Baddo, h...
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Projecting the Twins Opening Day Roster: Version 1.0

After a flurry of moves last week, the Twins roster is slowly coming into focus for the 2021 season. With pitchers and catchers reporting later this month, let’s examine who could come north with the Twins for Opening Day.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
Catchers (3): Mitch Garver, Ryan Jeffers, Willians Astudillo
Garver and Jeffers might be the best catching duo in all of baseball, especially if Garver can rebound after a rough 2020 campaign. Jeffers was tremendous last season and he has the potential to take home AL Rookie of the Year honors if he continue to produce at the same level. Astudillo is coming off a tremendous winter season in the Venezuelan Winter League where he finished as the MVP runner-up. His defensive versatility gives Rocco Baldelli some flexibility on Opening Day.

Infielders (5): Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco, Luis Arraez, Josh Donaldson, Andrelton Simmons
Donaldson and Simmons on the same side of the infield is quite the defensive pairing as both players have won Gold Gloves in the past. Moving Polanco to second base will help to improve his value by taking away some of the weaknesses he showed at shortstop. Sano was solid at first base in 2020 and he will only get better as he learns the nuances of his new defensive position. One of the toughest tasks for Baldelli might be finding enough at-bats for Arraez as he shifts to a utility role.

Outfield (4): Jake Cave, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Brent Rooker
One name noticeably missing from this list is Alex Kirilloff. Due to MLB’s arbitration rules, Minnesota will likely keep Kirilloff in the minors to start the year, so the club can pick up another year of team control. This means Cave and Rooker are the likely winners in this scenario because both should start the year on the big-league roster. The Twins can also use Arraez and Astudillo in the outfield, but that is not likely a preferable option. However, Baldelli might want to find extra at-bats for these players and the outfield can offer an open position until Kirilloff is called up.

Designated Hitter (1): Nelson Cruz
The Boomstick is back to anchor the middle of the Twins line-up. Father Time hasn’t caught up to him yet and the Twins are hoping the 2021 season matches his output from his first two seasons in Minnesota.

Rotation (5): Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda, J.A. Happ, Randy Dobnak
Berrios has been the Opening Day starter in each of the last two seasons, so it will be interesting to see what direction Baldelli goes for the team’s first game. Maeda is coming off a runner-up finish for the AL Cy Young, so he could get the honor of starting Opening Day. Pineda is looking to play his first full season in Minnesota after missing time due to Tommy John surgery and suspension. J.A. Happ slides nicely into the back end of the rotation and Dobnak should round things out unless the team makes another move in the coming weeks.

Bullpen (8): Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Alex Colome, Jorge Alcala, Hansel Robles, Caleb Thielbar, Cody Stashak, Ian Hamilton
This bullpen has the potential to be one of the team’s strengths in 2021. Rogers had a rough 2020 season, but some of the peripheral numbers point to him bouncing back. Duffey might be the team’s best relief option and he is a weapon the club can utilize in a variety of roles. Colome has been an All-Star level closer for multiple seasons so it will be interesting to see what role he fills in Minnesota. Alcala can be the Twins breakout player in the bullpen, and he might be one of the team’s most valuable set-up men this season. Hamilton might be the biggest question mark with Edwar Colina, Devin Smeltzer, and Lewis Thorpe having a chance to beat him out.

Who do you think makes the Opening Day roster? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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Barring injuries, which always seem to happen. Thorpe and Dobnak get to fight it out.


Kirilloff has the job if he wins it in spring training.,


Rooker is coming back from a pretty powerful injury. Question is who do you want to have play everyday here or in the minors.


The turtle is a luxury. Of course, do you want Jeffers to catch alot, or Garver. I could see Jeffers starting in the minors if Garver is hot, just to get solid regular play. It will be Jeffers job to win and Garver's to lose.


Hamilton will have to pitch to prove he stays in the majors. 


I think the Twins are sitting pretty darn good. Likes like Gordon gets screwed out of a job again. Talk about a guy in the wrong place at all the wrong times.

I'd place the odds that Nick Gordon is DFA'd before ever playing an MLB game at 60/40 or better. I'm surprised at the number of people who think he's close.

    • ashbury and Vanimal46 like this

well, Rooker was injured. He probably would have gotten the call if he hadn't had that fluke injury. and Buxton wasn't healthy either. I don't think giving Kirilloff his first start in MLB in a playoff game was a preferred option.

They had other OFs at the alternate site to fill in, but they chose Kirilloff. Rocco said he was more than ready to fill in at that time. It would be quite ironic if he’s ready to play in an elimination playoff game, but not ready for opening day 6 months later.
    • Shaitan likes this

I sure hope the Twins do not try to manipulate service time of Kiriloff.One, after next CBA I expect a very different service time clock as that is a huge issue with players right now.It was less of issue when 29 or 30 first time FA were still getting big contracts but now that they are not seeking earlier FA is a huge thing for players.  


Two, if I was a player I would never sign back with a team that did this, nor would I sign any team friendly deals during arbitration times, similar to what Kepler did.I know nothing about Kiriloff personality or what drives him for making decisions, but for me, any time a team manipulates service time I would never want to deal with that team again.  


I get the benefit to a team like the Twins, but gaining 1 year of control or one extra half year of cheap control should have consequences.Also, you should want to put out the best team all season long, the games in April count just as much as the ones in September. 

Feb 10 2021 10:07 AM

Rooker is in the same service time-manipulation boat as Kirilloff, and Rooker was really dang good in his short audition last year. If he ends up getting the opening day spot I don't think there'd be any reason to think anything is amiss.


Unless another outfielder of note is added, one of Kirilloff or Rooker absolutely should be on the club, but there's probably only room for one of them.

Rooker is in the same service time-manipulation boat as Kirilloff,

Both these gentlemen were born in the month of November, Rooker three years sooner than Kirilloff. I don't think you bother playing service time games with a 26-year old.

    • BK432, Major League Ready and JLease like this


Could Arraez be the opening day left fielder and lead off batter? And then stay out there. Then Austidillo can be left off for more of an utility infielder


I expect Arraez on Opening Day and Kirilloff as the "regular" LF. As others have said, it's possible they start with a Cave platoon of some fashion and buy more time with Kirilloff.


My 2021 goal is to learn to spell Kirilloff's name correctly.

    • ashbury likes this


Rooker is in the same service time-manipulation boat as Kirilloff, and Rooker was really dang good in his short audition last year. If he ends up getting the opening day spot I don't think there'd be any reason to think anything is amiss.


Unless another outfielder of note is added, one of Kirilloff or Rooker absolutely should be on the club, but there's probably only room for one of them.


And Rooker was technically getting service time while on the DL, though a relatively minor difference. 



Kirilloff is only on theroster if he's playing 6 days per week. I think they might give Rooker a bench spot given his age and career projection. Personally I think Cruz took that roster spot, as Rooker is pretty bat-first for a bench role.



Major League Ready
Feb 11 2021 01:40 PM

This is not a Ryan / Gardenhire team and I don't think this regime will find it absolutely necessary to have 3 catchers. One of the interesting parts of this roster construction is that adding Simmons puts Polanco in the backup to SS role. This offers more flexibility in terms of the bench players. It will be interesting to see how they use that 26th spot on the roster.

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