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Moving in the Minors

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The Twins will start making their second round of minor league moves in the next few weeks leading up to the draft and the beginning of the short season. Here are some moves that should be made sooner than later:


Release: Joe Thurston and Clete Thomas (neither one is worth keeping around, stealing plate appearances from players who are either prospects or who could be fill-ins for the Twins in a pinch). I am tired of keeping around such players for no good reason. Why don't they sign Jeff Bailey and Chase Lambin to mess around for a year again?


Filling in for those two departures should be Deibinson Romero and Wilkin Ramirez (Ramirez belongs in AAA in the first place, and Romero is off to a strong start in a bounce-back year for him).

When I complain about the general slowness of Twins minor league promotions, Romero is the kind of player that comes to mind. 592 plate appearances at AA is enough for someone turning 26 in less than four months. He has 2200+ minors plate appearances right now, which is above average for about 3/4 of all systems for total plate appearances before promotion to MLB. In the era of Danny Valencia's struggles, it is time to see what someone like Romero can do when promoted to AAA.

Ramirez is someone who still has upside. His major problem is his BB/K ratio, but he has some speed and some pop and can play everywhere in the OF.


Jairo Perez (and later, hopefully, Oswaldo Arcia). The Twins should probably hold off on Arcia and let him develop, but after 2011, I am curious how Perez would do when pushed, and he can fill in for Romero's vacant spot. Perez is still slugging and drawing walks this year, and that is a very good sign.

Since Perez's defense has it's issues, the Twins may look to sign some younger available player, even from an independent league to join the squad in Chris Colabello fashion.

This would allow Anderson Hidalgo to see if he can still hack it by playing 3B/DH more as well. He struggled early, but has hit well in the past few games, including a 6 rbi performance.

And soon:


Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, and Matthew Koch. Not much needs to said here, but I really want to see if what happened to Oswaldo Arcia at Fort Myers happens to Sano and Rosario.

Koch is a legitimate catching prospect and is 23 1/2 years old. I am also curious to see if he can hold his own in Fort Myers.

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  1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
    This is good stuff, Shane, and I enjoy the discussion. Do you really want to see Sano and Rosario struggle in Ft. Myers the way that Arcia did (and does)? Arcia dominated in Beloit during April last year (almost as much as Danny Ortiz did) and then after his surgery went right to Ft. Myers where he was OK, but really struggled to make contact. We see his splits vs lefties and all those strikeouts. He is where he needs to be. I believe in Rosario and Sano, but I do think that thye should not be promoted until at least the half-way point of the season, just to see if they can make some of the adjustments they need to at Beloit. Again, Ortiz started the season with an 1.100 OPS in Beloit and ended the year well south of .700 OPS. I'm not comparing Sano/Rosario to Ortiz, but I just think that a little patience is good for two guys that aren't going to be with the Twins for 2 1/2 to four years anyway.

    I'm good with Clete Thomas in Rochester until Joe Benson turns things around in New Britain. Once he does that, then they can let him go. But right now, the Red Wings outfield is filled with Mastroianni, Revere, Tosoni, and Carson has played well too. It's about getting at bats, and I don't know that Thomas will get a ton, certainly not in front of those three. Ramirez is interesting because he is still young enough to believe he has a future of some sorts, but again, might as well keep him playing every day.

    DJ Romero used to be a good prospect, one the Twins put on the 40 man roster. But reports indicated that he stopped working and got really lazy. His numbers in AA last year were OK... I think he'd be ready to move up, but frankly, I think that Chang and Burroughs have more of a future with the Twins. But I don't disagree with the thought of finding out based on Valencia's performance.

    I love promotions, writing and talking about promotions, so I really enjoyed this blog. I don't even disagree with it as much as it probably sounds. Look at AAA rosters around MLB... they're not a place for prospects. They're generally for older, veteran, former big leaguers (in many cases).
  2. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Seth, thanks for the response. I did neglect to mention that I would imagine at some point, say, Maloney gets DFAed and the Twins add a position player . . . probably either Mastroianni or Carson, so that would open it up somewhat. You were right to note the congestion that would be there otherwise.

    How much of a signing bonus did Romero get. I wouldn't think that sweet minor league monthly money would allow for laziness! This year's reduced K rate and increased slugging might deserve a reward though.

    I don't want to see Sano and Rosario struggle, but I am going to want to see them challenged in a month or so. Sano, in particular, facing better pitching will be good for him. Right now I have to wonder if he isn't just swinging as hard as he can at everything and since the pitching is fairly weaker at low-A, it doesn't really matter because they groove enough pitches. And if they do struggle a bit, that might tell us more about Arcia, and to a lesser extent Morales, than Sano and Rosario.

    Fair enough about AAA. But there is a difference between Matt Carson and Joe Thurston . . .

    Notice that I didn't touch pitching. That is a stranger animal when trying to figure out promotions and probably requires more "eye" scouting.
  3. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Another thought: I would prefer that Rochester were a place where the vast majority of the roster was serious, meaning either legitimate prospects or older veterans who the big club wouldn't hesitate at all to call up to fill in here and there. Of course you need some other guys too, like one or two catchers who are planted at AAA for stability's sake and working with pitchers, and super utility guys who provide flexibility. You know, like Drew Butera and Brian Dinkelman, guys one would never dream of calling up . . . wait (I realize that isn't fair to Dinkelman and I like that he got to play some for the Twins last year).

    Without looking back past last year, I am thinking of Jeff Bailey, Chase Lambin, and Matt Brown. What on earth? Bailey was actually pretty good too, but apparently they weren't serious about him. I know that people are going to talk about making Rochester competitive with solid AAA veteran players, but that doesn't necessarily make the team more competitive. Sometimes prospects and smarter minor league free agent signings will do that.

    (I originally started this as a forum post, but then it got longish and bloggish--that decision is probably detrimental for discussion perhaps)
  4. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
    Sano and Rosario need a challenge Seth. They are killing opposing pitchers in Beloit and would also benefit from the better coaching. I love promotions too!
  5. Seth Stohs's Avatar
    Shane - If they didn't sign minor league veterans for Rochester, the Twins wouldn't have Jared Burton. Aaron Bates was a pretty good signing. Rene Rivera has been of value. Chris Colabello has been a good sign. Bailey and Lambin were long-time International League All Stars. Bailey had some big league success. Matt Brown had big league time. Wilkin Ramirez was a good signing this year. Where would the Rochester pitching staff be without some minor league veterans? All organizations hvae to sprinkle in some minor league veterans. Bailey was terrible, so was Lambin. If they would hvae been at all good, they probably would have been given a shot with the Twins.

    Link the 'blog' in the forums. Comments in two places, I guess... but may be more.

    YHIMH - I just have a hard time believing that a guy with 40 strikeouts in about 120 plate appearances isn't being challenged. I might, as a manager or minor league decision-maker, challenge him to say... hey, if you cut your K-Rate to 25 in your next 120 plate appearances, we'll move you up.
  6. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Seth, I think they probably have a different attitude towards players like Burton and players like Bailey (who was not terrible last year) and Lambin. Burton wasn't merely a AAA fill-in player--he was going to be given a chance to compete. And that was a good sign. And the other ones this year have been good signings as well. I didn't say that no such veterans should be signed, but rather that I would like the veterans-as-AAA-fill-ins only kept to a minimum.

    The Twins did a very good job in the off-season with players who were bound to start at Rochester or New Britain. But in-season they then turn to Clete Thomas for the Twins and Joe Thurston for Rochester. That's what I don't understand.

    I can agree about Sano and Rosario for now, yes.
  7. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    By the way, somewhere I recently called out Andy Leer as quite replaceable at 3B at Fort Myers. Granted, he was playing 1B tonight, but he hit two homers . . .
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