Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Post Season Rotation

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:57 PM
Listened to Gleeman&Geek podcast. They agreed on Maeda, Berrios & Pineda as the 1st round rotation I'm fine with that. My questio...

Relevant magic numbers with tiebreakers accounted for

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:57 PM
After the games of 9/22:   TB over Min: 2 CWS over Min: 4 Oak over Min: 5 Min over Cle: 2 Min over NYY: 4

Twins developed starting pitching history since Bert

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:15 PM
Using my Cards as an example: The only major miss of the Cards trading young developed starters since trading both Jerry Reuss and Steve...

Fun With Numbers - 2020 Season

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:05 AM
I’m glad to see Ex-Twins in 2020 thread is back up and running. This is also one of my favorite threads over the last 5 years. The Twins...

Playoff tiebreaks

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:05 AM
With three teams fighting for the division title, it seems quite possible there will be a tie for the division winner this year in the AL...

Photo

Projecting the Twins 2020 Opening Day Roster

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 20 January 2020 · 1,825 views

minnesota twins rocco baldelli
After making their biggest splash in franchise history, the Minnesota Twins have all but put a bow on the offseason. There’s less than a month until pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers, and the first season of 26-man rosters will soon be underway. Rocco Baldelli will soon begin year two, and it’s worth wondering who goes north with him.

I think Minnesota could still afford to add a starting pitcher and doing so through a trade has always seemed like the most logical path. That may not come before the games begin to matter however, so now seems like a good time to blueprint what is currently in the fold. No doubt there’s some key cogs on the shelf to start the year, but that leaves a couple of spots open for competition.

Before kicking things off at Spring Training, here’s where I see the 26-man headed as of today:

Catcher (2) – Mitch Garver, Alex Avila

This should be a certainty. Garver is coming off the best year of his career, and Avila was signed to replace Jason Castro. It will be interesting to see if the Twins unleash a bit more Garv Sauce this year, but the load will be handled by this tandem.

Infield (5) – Miguel Sano, Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, Josh Donaldson, Ehire Adrianza

You’ve got a group of four starters that are all but locked into their positions. Obviously, Donaldson’s signing was a massive get for the Twins, and he pushes Sano into a new position. How the infield works, and what steps forward the group takes, are still in question but no one is unsure of who will play where. Adrianza returns as the utility man, and he had a very nice 2019 season.

Outfield (5) – Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jake Cave, Marwin Gonzalez

At this moment Rosario has not yet been dealt anywhere. That could certainly change at some point throughout the year, but the starting outfield should be set in stone. Byron Buxton will be returning from surgery, and hopefully pick back up where he left off. Kepler looks like a guy that could break out as one of the best players in baseball. Cave did some very nice things last year, and Marwin should transition to more of an outfield first utility role.

Designated Hitter (1) – Nelson Cruz

He’s back, and he’ll hit more bombas. Not much else to say here.

Rotation (5) – Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Homer Bailey, Lewis Thorpe, Randy Dobnak

There should be a good deal of turnover in this group as the season goes on, and that’s not something we saw much of in 2019. Berrios and Odorizzi will remain the whole year, and Bailey should be a fine replacement for Kyle Gibson. I think Lewis Thorpe has immense potential and starting in the Opening Day rotation would give him a great opportunity. Dobnak gets the nod here for me over Devin Smeltzer. This spot eventually may be taken by Brusdar Graterol, but ultimately, I think he begins the year at Triple-A.

Bullpen (8) – Taylor Rogers, Trevor May, Sergio Romo, Tyler Duffey, Tyler Clippard, Zack Littell, Matt Wisler, Cody Stashak

This group has six current locks in Rogers, May, Romo, Duffey, Clippard, and Littell. From there, I think they go with two more arms and that includes Wisler and Stashak. Wisler is a slider specialist that Minnesota gave a guaranteed contract to this offseason. Stashak debuted at the end of 2019 and threw 25 innings to the tune of a 3.24 ERA. He made a great first impression, and the 25/1 K/BB was something special out of the gates. Fernando Romero could be on the cusp here, and Ryne Harper may have lost his opportunity.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz




I like Thorpe but crazy things would have to happen in spring training to give him the 4th spot over Dobnak, IMO.

Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 20 2020 02:43 PM

 

I like Thorpe but crazy things would have to happen in spring training to give him the 4th spot over Dobnak, IMO.

I guess I didn't see anything static about picking who was 4th or 5th. Right now, I believe those two round out the rotation is what I was getting at.

I'd be comfortable with this. Picture Willians, depending on production, having an outside chance ahead of Cave. That is the one BIG job fight in spring training.

 

Thorpe and Dobnak might rotate out with others. Again, the 40-man roster will be pretty tight. The Twins will have one opening when Hill goes on the DL. Harper might be out. Poppen a possibility. But that is pretty much it.

 

The job will be Wisler's to win or lose. Stashak also has to come prepared. Romero needs to show that he can stay with the organization. 

 

Stay away...major injuries!

    • Ted Schwerzler likes this

I wonder if any of the prospects might push Cave off the opening day roster. I'm not sure if he is out of options or not. Seems likely.

Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 20 2020 03:52 PM

 

I wonder if any of the prospects might push Cave off the opening day roster. I'm not sure if he is out of options or not. Seems likely.

He does have an option left, but I don't think he misses the Opening Day nod.

    • Danchat likes this
Photo
howieramone2
Jan 20 2020 05:23 PM
Looks good to me. I like giving Thorpe a solid shot.

The only change I can see is that I suspect Romero makes the team over Stashak since Romero is out of options. I'm not sure he'll hold the spot, but he is likely to be given the first shot to earn it.

Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 20 2020 06:18 PM

The only change I can see is that I suspect Romero makes the team over Stashak since Romero is out of options. I'm not sure he'll hold the spot, but he is likely to be given the first shot to earn it.


Was under that impression as well, but Jeremy Nygaard notes that Romero has been granted a final option year.
    • Danchat likes this
Photo
IndianaTwin
Jan 20 2020 08:28 PM

 

I'd be comfortable with this. Picture Willians, depending on production, having an outside chance ahead of Cave. That is the one BIG job fight in spring training.

 

Thorpe and Dobnak might rotate out with others. Again, the 40-man roster will be pretty tight. The Twins will have one opening when Hill goes on the DL. Harper might be out. Poppen a possibility. But that is pretty much it.

 

The job will be Wisler's to win or lose. Stashak also has to come prepared. Romero needs to show that he can stay with the organization. 

 

Stay away...major injuries!

 

Forgot about Hill heading to the 60-day IL. That will free up a spot to add Taijuan Walker to the roster after he lights up on Ft. Myers on his minor league contract.

Photo
stringer bell
Jan 21 2020 09:08 AM

Astudillo over Cave IMHO. Neither is best suited to play occasionally, but I see Astudillo as slightly better-suited and also has the chance to get some reps as the third catcher. 

 

The raw numbers for Thorpe haven't been very good, but I am intrigued by him. I hope this is a year where he can really take a step forward. If Graterol is considered a bullpen piece, I would probably put him in front of Stashak and Wisler. I'd love to see Romero also convert his potential into performance, but I suspect he'll have to prove himself in Rochester or another major league team.

Photo
MMMordabito
Jan 21 2020 09:35 AM

 

Astudillo over Cave IMHO. Neither is best suited to play occasionally, but I see Astudillo as slightly better-suited and also has the chance to get some reps as the third catcher. 

 

Astudillo has been fun to watch, but I think his opportunities might be numbered. He's a good player to have come up hot out of the shoot when you go 78-84 and only have one other player in the lineup with a .800+ OPS, but talent progression and talent injection to the lineup kind of render his services unnecessary for the most part.Gonzalez and Adrianza are exponentially better defensive super-subs, so I just don't see the innings or PAs for him.

    • bobs likes this
Photo
stringer bell
Jan 21 2020 06:52 PM

With regulars pretty much established at all nine positions, it would appear that Gonzalez would get most of his playing time this year in the outfield, leaving precious little time for Cave, if he makes the original 26-man squad. My thought is that whoever is in that last slot on the roster won't get much consistent playing time. Maximum versatility and the ability to play well after sitting several days on the pine would be optimum for the last guy. My unverified opinion is that if Cave plays regularly, he plays pretty well, but when he gets to play only once or twice a week, he doesn't perform well. I don't know if Astudillo would be better in that very limited role, but he would get opportunities at the infield and outfield corners and catcher when players get nicked and come out of a game or in blowouts. Plus Astudillo has the one outstanding skill of making contact which could come into play in a rare pinch-hitting scenario. 

Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 21 2020 07:09 PM

Plus Astudillo has the one outstanding skill of making contact which could come into play in a rare pinch-hitting scenario.


The thing that’s often glossed over with Astudillo is that his making contract is actually to his detriment. He swings at everything and can put anything in play. When so little of it is quality, and he’s below average everywhere defensively, the utility he brings isn’t all that valuable.
    • bobs and MMMordabito like this

Couple of items.

1,Graterol seems to now be a bullpen piece, that removes Wisler or Stashek, it is also possible Romero makes the team as he is out of options and could be a multiple innings guy early.

2.I think Wade is a better fit than Cave for the 4th outfielder slot.Less swing and miss as a pinch hitter if you need to get a runner in from 3rd.

Astudillo I feel will not make this club and may be shipped elsewhere as with Cave and some of the out of option relievers.These trades often happen later in spring training when clubs know their needs better.

Feel the Twins will have a lot less rope if one of the 4 - 5 starters or lower leverage relievers has a bad spring or early season.This happens on better clubs.

Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 22 2020 08:01 AM

Couple of items.
1,Graterol seems to now be a bullpen piece, that removes Wisler or Stashek, it is also possible Romero makes the team as he is out of options and could be a multiple innings guy early.


The Graterol news did come out a few hours after I posted this, and was incorporated into the pen article I wrote on the front page. Romero does have an option left.