Twins Add Three Players To 40 Man Roster
Image courtesy of Kelly McGlohonPitching was the theme of the Twins 40-man roster additions. Adding three pitchers to the roster continues the front office's theme of finding and retaining quality pitching.
Stephen Gonsalves was the easiest choice of the group. The lanky left-hander from California has been the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2016 and 2017, and he was the runner-up in 2015. He was invited to spring training in 2017. He had a 9.7 K/9 rate in 2017 in AA and AAA. He will be 23 years old through the majority of the 2018 season.
Gonsalves was excited to learn that he had been added, but knows it comes with more work. He told Twins Daily, "I'm very thankful for the call I received this morning, but this is only a stepping stone to my dream to become a big leaguer. Now it's time to push even a little harder and fight for a jersey."
The Twins acquired right-hander Zack Littell from the Yankees in a late-July trade for Jaime Garcia. On the season, he went 20-1. He went 9-1 with Tampa in the Florida State League. He went 5-0 for Trenton, the Yankees AA team, and then he went 5-0 with Chattanooga. That's 19-1, so I included a playoff win that he got to make it an even 20. His combined ERA was 2.69 and he averaged 8.1 K/9. Littell will be 22 through the 2018 season.
Littell was also excited to learn that he was added to the roster. "It’s awesome to get this news, and I couldn’t be more excited about this year. Obviously this isn’t the end goal, but this step feels really good to have accomplished and motivate me even more to keep going."
Injury always makes 40-man decisions interesting, and the Twins had a couple such decisions. One made the roster.
Lewis Thorpe was a Top 10 Twins prospect as a 19-year-old after a nice showing in Cedar Rapids. Unfortunately, he missed over two seasons due to a Tommy John surgery and a bout with mono. He returned this year, and moved up to Ft. Myers, and he looked good again. He posted a 2.94 ERA in 77 innings in Ft. Myers. He walked 31, but he struck out 84. Thorpe will turn 22 on Thursday.
Thorpe was a little surprised when he got the call today. "It felt awesome when I️ got the call today. I️ was in shock and was just so excited." He continued, "After having two-and-a-bit years out of the game, it’s just a relief they still believe I’ve got what it takes to still get there. I’m very excited for 2018, to see what it has to offer me. I’ve still got to work hard because I️ haven’t made anything yet."
So, there are several players who are more likely to be selected in the Rule 5 draft including Nick Burdi, Jake Reed, Lewin Diaz, Kohl Stewart, Luke Bard, Ryan Eades, Brian Navarreto and Mason Melotakis.
What do you think of the Twins decisions tonight?