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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:42 PM
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Article: Why Miguel Sano's Strikeouts Are Not a Problem

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Article: Potential Prospect Cost in Twins Trades

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Interesting article about Derek Johnson

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:43 PM
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Your 2016 Twins (no-trades edition)

Posted by stringer bell , 04 October 2015 · 1,997 views

bench bullpen rotation options 40-man roster
The Twins will enter 2016 after recording their best record since 2010. They have added several young players, most of whom are here to stay. As of today, they have some gaps, but overall have a decent team returning for next year. Four players are slated to be free agents--Mike Pelfrey, Torii Hunter, Brian Duensing, and Neal Cotts. Perhaps a player or two will be non-tendered. Candidates would be Casey Fien, Eduardo Nuñez, and Blane Boyer.

Here is my current projection for the Opening Day 2016 Twins. It will have no rookies making their debuts and no trade acquisitions and I will assume that only one free agent is re-signed, either Cotts or Duensing.

Pitchers: (12)--Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco, Tommy Milone, Kyle Gibson, Ervin Santana, Tyler Duffey, Ryan Pressly, Alex Meyer, Cotts or Duensing, Trevor May, Kevin Jepsen, and Glen Perkins.

Catchers: (2)--Kurt Suzuki and Chris Herrmann.

Infielders: (8)--Kennys Vargas, Danny Santana, Eduardo Nuñez, Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Trevor Plouffe and Miguel Sano

Outfielders: (3)--Oswaldo Arcia, Aaron Hicks, and Eddie Rosario

Some of these predictions will look pretty silly, I'm sure. I expect Oswaldo Arcia to get a last chance to be a productive player. This along with Byron Buxton's poor offensive showing at the close of 2015 will be enough to get Buxton more AAA time. I would expect he will be patrolling center field before Memorial Day. Another candidate to make the team would be Max Kepler, who probably needs some time in AAA, but before 2016 is over will have a regular spot on the club. The backup outfielders would be the backup infielders and perhaps Escobar and I think it won't be long before an outfielder is promoted.

I have Nuñez surviving another spring. He has had a good year in 2015. He's a pretty good hitter, has some speed and defensive versatility. It is very possible the Twins will choose to go another way with that roster spot. I have youngsters Vargas and Santana as bench players. I'm pretty sure Vargas has an option, so he could easily not make the team, but if Trevor Plouffe is traded, current DH Sano becomes the third baseman and Vargas could be the primary DH. Backup catcher is a problem. The usual suspects from this season appear, but perhaps Stuart Turner will hit enough to bring his strong defense to the majors. I don't expect it on Opening Day, but I think it will happen sometime in 2016.

Three starting pitchers have long-term contracts. Until and unless they are shown to be ineffective beyond repair when healthy, they are in the rotation. The best starters then are Milone and Gibson. That leaves the heralded JO Berrios to spend some more time in AAA, which would also be a smart business decision. I have listed Duffey as a bullpen option, despite his good work in the last quarter of the 2015 season and Trevor May as a big bullpen arm. Taylor Rogers could convert to to relief and take a spot I've given to Duensing/Cotts. The Twins also could go with O'Rourke, more of a pure LOOGy. I think Ryan Pressly had an underrated season before getting injured and my hope is that Alex Meyer has found it as a relief pitcher--he's been effective for the last several weeks. Meyer, May, Jepsen, and Perkins could be a very effective game-closing combination.

I didn't list Casey Fien or Blane Boyer, veterans who have performed quite well this season, and in Fien's case for several seasons. Unfortuanately for them, their stuff doesn't play as well in this high-velocity, high strikeout bullpen era.




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stringer bell
Oct 04 2015 02:10 AM

Rather than editing, I'll comment on my own blog entry. I wrote this about two weeks ago and didn't publish until the last day of the regular season when the Twins' fate had been determined. No real changes to make, but I'm more in favor of new blood for a left handed reliever, rather than re-signing one of Cotts/Duensing.

 

Also, with the struggles of Dozier and Plouffe noted, perhaps it would be good to have a true utility guy to fill in for them throughout the season. I guess Santana could fill that bill. I understand he has played second in winter ball. I'm pretty sure both Dozier and Plouffe would have benefited from a few more days off over the course of the season.

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howieramone2
Oct 04 2015 11:55 AM
I'm guessing they rehab Meyer as a starter. After Berrios, I don't see a top starting prospect until Stewart and Gonsalves. Any starting pitcher we bring up now, needs to be able to step into a pennant race. I feel we need to stick with Meyer until we absolutely can't, because we do have numbers on our side for power relievers in our farm system.
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stringer bell
Oct 04 2015 03:06 PM

If Plouffe isn't traded or if Hunter returns, it will be tough to shoehorn Vargas onto the roster. I'm not sure on his number of options remaining, but I'm pretty sure he can be optioned, so he could go down to Rochester again replaced by someone like Hunter.

    • nytwinsfan likes this
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HitInAPinch
Oct 04 2015 05:33 PM

After his start today [and his previous performance] is it possible the Twins could make an injury settlement with Nolasco? 

I'd probably do whatever I could to trade Hughes and Milone, although I do like Milone.

 

If there are trades to be made for either Dozier or Plouffe, I'd take advantage. 

I like Polanco as a replacement for Dozier and Sano for Plouffe.I haven't see much of either :-)

I just don't see Danny Santana as a utility guy or Vargas as a bench guy.

I'd say Escobar is the full time starting SS next year.

 

    • nytwinsfan likes this

 

After his start today [and his previous performance] is it possible the Twins could make an injury settlement with Nolasco? 

I'd probably do whatever I could to trade Hughes and Milone, although I do like Milone.

 

If there are trades to be made for either Dozier or Plouffe, I'd take advantage. 

I like Polanco as a replacement for Dozier and Sano for Plouffe.I haven't see much of either :-)

I just don't see Danny Santana as a utility guy or Vargas as a bench guy.

I'd say Escobar is the full time starting SS next year.

I agree with pretty much all of this. But I also think Terry Ryan agrees with almost none of it, except (I hope) Escobar.

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stringer bell
Oct 04 2015 09:15 PM

I don't think it's fair to judge Nolasco in a meaningless game. He hasn't been healthy for most of his two seasons. Also, I'll admit that he's made it damn tough to like him. He has at times seemed arrogant, disinterested and unhappy, all while making maximum money for his resumé.

 

He's been a decent pitcher in the past and he hasn't put many innings on his arm for two years. It isn't out of the realm for him to come back and be effective next year.

 

    • howieramone2 likes this
C- Weiters (S) (260/320/400/720) 1B- Mauer (L) (265/360/360/720) 2B- Dozier ® (255/320/440/760) 3B- Plouffe ® (260/330/420/750) SS- Escobar (S) (275/345/410/755) LF- Arcia (L) (235/300/425/725) CF- Hicks (S) (280/380/390/770) RF- Rosario (L) (270/300/430/730) DH- Sano ® (285/390/550/940) Bench- Vargas (1B/DH), Nunez (2B/3B/SS), Hunter (RF), Suzuki © Seems like Molitor likes to play his starters all 9 innings. Hunter comes back because the young guys like Kepler and Buxton need to play every day in AAA. Same for Santana. You could make the argument to keep Vargas in AAA as well, but, time appears to be running out on him (1?remaining opition). Hell, same goes for Arcia. That kid is gonna need a really strong Spring. Vargas is on the bench because Plouffe and Mauer will begin the season on the roster. If either are moved, Vargas becomes the DH. SP Santana (13-9, 3.85ERA) SP Hughes (12-10, 4.15) SP Duffey (14-7, 3.50) SP Gibson (12-11, 3.90) SP Nolasco (10-12, 4.30) LR/SP Milone CL Perkins (for about 4 weeks) SU Jepsen RHRP Mays RHRP Boyer RHRP Pressly LHRP O'Rourke/Rogers Guys making a REALLY strong push in Spring Training these guys will be in the mix through the last week of Spring Training and are interchangeable with guys like Arcia, Vargas, Pressly, Boyer, O'Rourke, Rogers. Berrios Meyer Burdi Chargois Buxton Kepler Polanco Ortiz Santana If Terry Ryan surprises this Winter (probably won't) and moves any of the aforementioned Starting Pitchers (except the guys under 25; I'm looking at YOU Tyler Duffey) and/or one of MAUER (ain't gonna, but should, happen), Plouffe (don't recommend it, yet), or Arcia (also, don't recommend it) then things look different. 2016 will be another year of finding out what we have in these young guys. Like every year, 2016 success will hinge upon pitching because we have offense and defense (depending on the configuration) locked up decently. I'm guessing about 85-88 wins and into contention for a Wild Card spot. We'll see Berrios and maybe Meyer fill in for injuries/trades. Buxton and Kepler for similar reasons. Next year wil be fun for sure. 2017 will be the year we turn the corner and make the big push for about 5-7 years....shoulda started my own thread.