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2017 Minnesota Twins Opening Day Roster - Where to, Park?

Posted by TwinsTakes-RD , 30 March 2017 · 5,196 views

2017 minnesota twins byungho park derek falvey 40-man roster minnesota twins pitching
2017 Minnesota Twins Opening Day Roster - Where to, Park?

Byungho Park reassigned to the minors? 13 pitchers?


The Minnesota Twins have made their final roster decisions for Opening Day 2017, which is on April 3rd and only 3 days away. They:
  • assigned 1B/DH Byungho Park to minor-league camp
    • along with OF JB Shuck, 3B Matt Hague, INF Benji Gonzalez, 1B/DH Ben Paulsen, and C Eddy Rodriguez
  • named LHP Adalberto Mejia their 5th starter
  • RHP Tyler Duffey will join the bullpen
  • will add C Chris Gimenez to the 40-man roster
  • optioned C John Ryan Murphy to AAA Rochester

So that means the 25-man Opening Day roster, for now, is:
Hitters/Fielders – 12
C – Jason Castro
1B – Joe Mauer
2B – Brian Dozier
3B – Miguel Sano
SS – Jorge Polanco
LF – Eddie Rosario
CF – Byron Buxton
RF – Max Kepler
DH – Robbie Grossman
Bench – C Chris Gimenez, INF Eduardo Escobar, UTIL Danny Santana

Starting Pitchers – 5
RHP Ervin Santana
LHP Hector Santiago
RHP Kyle Gibson
RHP Phil Hughes
LHP Adalberto Mejia

Relief Pitchers – 8
RHP Brandon Kintzler
RHP Matt Belisle
RHP Ryan Pressly
LHP Taylor Rogers
LHP Craig Breslow
RHP Michael Tonkin
RHP Justin Haley
RHP Tyler Duffey

On Disabled List
LHP Glen Perkins (?), LHP Ryan O’Rourke, INF Ehire Adrianza, 1B/DH Kennys Vargas (?)


Why “for now?”

Because, obviously, everyone is most likely wondering how Byungho Park did not make the team after a great Spring Training where he hit 2 doubles, 6 HRs and had 13 RBIs among 19 hits with 6 walks and 15 strikeouts in 51 at-bats for a .353 average and a .414 on-base percentage. He showed that he’s worked on his swing and is taking better at-bats.There might be a few reasons.

First off, he’s not on the 40-man roster and the Twins already have to add backup catcher Chris Gimenez to the 40-man roster. Assuming they’re taking Buddy Boshers off the roster for that spot, who else can you take off of it to find a spot for Byungho Park? Ryan O’Rourke? He’s on the 10-Day DL so he can’t be removed unless they move him to the 60-Day DL and he won’t be out that long. They could move Glen Perkins to the 60-Day DL and they still might but I believe he has to agree to that and he probably doesn’t want to be out until near the end of May if he can get back before that. There may be other players you could take off the 40-man roster but, obviously, the front office and the coaches like those players or they wouldn’t be on the roster.

Second, yes, Park’s stats are impressive but, they’re also from Spring Training, which is hard to take seriously so, maybe the front office would like to see him continue that same type of consistent hitting and good at-bats in AAA. If he keeps mashing the ball like he did in Spring Training, he’ll most likely get called up to the big club. Or if Robbie Grossman or a reliever or someone else struggles early, they could make a move to recall him?

Third, and this might be the biggest one, maybe Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are looking to acquire and/or move a player to make room for Mr. Park. By reassigning him to minor-league camp, some other teams might show some interest. We expect them to be looking for every possible way to improve this team.


Why 13 pitchers?

That seems unusual but, again, that doesn’t mean they’ll stay with 13 pitchers for the whole season or even a month of the season. The Minnesota Twins biggest problem (and need) has been pitching since the losing started 6 seasons ago. So, having 13 pitchers shows how bad it’s been. They might need that many to get through a week. If the starters are pitching bad, that bullpen can get overworked quickly.

So, they might want to get a look at these guys in real games when it counts rather than just evaluate them in spring training. Some, if not all, pitchers are working on new mechanics, new pitches, and/or new grips on pitches, trying to get used to those new tweaks to their deliveries or adding a new pitch. They aren’t that concerned if they get hit hard during a game.

Plus, having 13 pitchers could mean they are going to go with this starting lineup for awhile and let them play. They’re going to let Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano figure out if they can stay at shortstop and 3rd base. The bench of Eduardo Escobar, Chris Gimenez, and Danny Santana gives them the flexibility to replace every position as Gimenez has played some 1st base, Escobar and Santana can play 2nd, 3rd or short and Santana can play in the outfield, too. Sano could play some 1st base and in the outfiel…uhh…no, let’s not go back to that. Anyways, this lineup does have some flexibility even if there are only 12 players.

So, basically, let’s wait and see how it goes for the next 3 days before Opening Day. If they’re still the same after that, let’s give them some time to play it out for awhile and see what happens. It might not be as bad as you think.

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  • ashbury likes this



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killertwinfan
Mar 31 2017 08:08 AM

Obviously we have the flexibility to accommodate our current situation injuries and development. I really would like to understand the end game. It seems we are postponing decisions for something?? Hughes health and ability? The emergence of Berrios, Chargois, Wimmers, Tepesch, Park or Vargas?? I think that if you had a strategy for this team these decision would be clearer.  I don't see how Santana fits into the future in any scenario.  Probably the same could be said for others.  

    • TwinsTakes-RD likes this
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TwinsTakes-RD
Mar 31 2017 12:27 PM

I think we'd all love to know the meaning behind these roster decisions. Unfortunately, we just have to wait and see. We're not going to get those answers any other way.

 

With Park, not being on the 40-man appears to me to be the biggest reason he's not on this roster. Spring Training isn't really a great thing for fans because they react to what they see and they only see games unless they actually go down to ST. We saw Park take great ABs and pummel the ball while learning the strike zone and actually earn some walks, too. Maybe they want to see him do more of that in AAA first before bringing him up? 

 

I thought Danny Santana looked alright at the plate & in the field in ST in the few games I saw. Obviously, his ST stats don't support that much at all but maybe he's turning into a decent utility player. He did put up decent stats in the minors and he can play almost anywhere. Or maybe he's gone after a month & replaced by Park. 

 

With the pitching, all 13 pitchers are either veterans or guys that deserve a chance to see what they can do in the majors because they've either done it before or they've done it in AAA so they have nothing left to prove down there. Is Tonkin on the teams because he was out of options? Maybe but it may also be that they like his size and his arm and think it's something they can work with to make him more effective. How long do they give these guys to show they can do something before they make a change?

 

Most fans instantly go negative on these decisions but those guys in the front office and the baseball staff have done this for a long time so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for quite awhile before I second guess their decisions. 

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Lee-The-Twins-Fan
Mar 31 2017 02:04 PM

Is it foolish of me to think they are just keeping Danny Santana around until Adrianza is healthy? If Mauer is playing nearly every game at 1B, he's going to get injured. That's when they'll make a move and call up Park. 

If park and Adrianza are up with the Twins, and I hope they are soon, the offense will click. We need the pitching to click too.

    • TwinsTakes-RD likes this
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TwinsTakes-RD
Mar 31 2017 11:25 PM

Well, I wouldn't say foolish but I don't think that's what they are doing. I think they value both players. Adrianza is a better glove with a little lesser bat yet more plate discipline that Santana but Danny can also play the outfield and has a little more power & speed. 

 

I can see them putting Sano, Gimenez or maybe even Grossman at 1B to give Joe some more rest plus we don't know when Vargas will be back either.

 

The offense should be fine. The pitching should be better. The defense from SS & 3B is the big what if. 

 

I just hope they give these guys time to play and see what they can do. By these guys, I mean Sano and Polanco, mostly. You don't want players out there being nervous that any mistake might get them taken out of the lineup. 

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Hosken Bombo Disco
Apr 01 2017 09:56 AM

 

Is it foolish of me to think they are just keeping Danny Santana around until Adrianza is healthy? 

Good question.

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Hosken Bombo Disco
Apr 01 2017 09:57 AM

when did Vargas get optioned?

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TwinsTakes-RD
Apr 01 2017 11:42 PM

 

when did Vargas get optioned?

I don't believe he did. If you're referring to me saying "plus we don't know when Vargas will be back either", he fouled a ball off his foot so he's day-to-day I assume. Nothing has been officially announced but it does sound like he'll be optioned to AAA. He does have one option remaining - https://www.mlbtrade...k-williams.html