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Article: Twins in Arizona

byron buxton eddie rosario max kepler taylor rogers mason melotakis
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 02:17 PM

On Thursday afternoon, MLB announced its 2014 Arizona Fall League rosters. Six Minnesota Twins were announced as members of the Salt River Rafters, including a couple of their top prospects. According to Dustin Morse, the Twins will add an additional pitcher. The season will open on October 7.

The Arizona Fall League is a good place for some of baseball’s best prospects. It’s also a great place for players who missed time during the regular season to get some playing time. The Twins have sent some who fit into either of these categories, and sometimes both.The plan is for Byron Buxton to repeat in Arizona after playing well there last year. It’s been a long, frustrating season for the outfielder. In his 2013 season, split between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, he was named the Twins minor league hitter of the year and in the offseason was the consensus #1 prospect in all baseball. He received an invite to big league spring training.

Unfortunately, he has been mostly hurt since mid-March when he dove for a ball in a minor league spring training game and hurt his wrist. After returning, he was hit by a pitch in the right wrist and missed about a week. More recently, he was promoted to AA New Britain but in his first game he collided with right fielder Mike Kvasnicka and suffered a concussion that cost him the rest of the regular season. He has been named to the Arizona Fall League despite the fact that he has not yet been given clearance to resume baseball activities. If Buxton is unable to play, he will be replaced by another Twins farmhand.

Like Buxton, Max Kepler will be spending another stint in the Arizona Fall League. Last year, he was very young and probably not quite ready for the competition, but he generally held his own. He has also missed a bit of time in 2014 due to injury and illness. On the season, he is hitting .257/.330/.386 (.716) with 17 doubles, six triples and five homers with the Ft. Myers Miracle. However, he has been much better of late.

The third Twins position player returning to the AFL this year is Eddie Rosario. The 2B/OF from Puerto Rico missed the first 50 games this season due to a suspension for a drug of abuse. In 71 games with New Britain, he has shown flashes despite overall numbers of .237/.281/.389 (.670). He has hit 19 doubles, three triples and six home runs for the Rock Cats.

Taylor Rogers will be pitching in the Fall League. He was my choice for Twins starting pitcher of the year in 2013. He really struggled in the first four starts of this season, but he has rebounded very well. Overall in 23 starts, he has gone 10-6 with a 3.42 ERA in 137 innings. He has walked just 37 and struck out 104. Rogers missed a couple of starts last month with biceps tendinitis.

Another left-hander, Mason Melotakis, was also named to the AFL. He began the season as a starter in Ft. Myers, but he was moved to the bullpen where he has thrived. He has struck out 17 and walked just two over 14.2 innings in twelve outings. Melotakis missed two of three weeks with elbow inflammation earlier in the month.

The final Twins representative in the Fall League is the newest member of the organization, right-hander Jason Adam. He came to the Twins from the Kansas City Royals in the Josh Willingham trade. He had moved to the bullpen with the Royals AAA team, but the Twins want him to start and sent him to AA to do such.

UPDATE: For what it's worth, the Salt River Rafters' roster includes RHP Nick Burdi.

Of course, injury and other things could alter this roster, but please feel free to discuss. Who could the seventh player be? There are certainly several options.

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#2 Twins Twerp

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 02:34 PM

Sweet, I wish Sano would have been added too, but not so sure he is eligible being from Dominican and such. Is Sano even playing winter ball? Thought i saw something saying he was waiting until Spring training to participate? Any clarity on that?

#3 h2oface

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 02:35 PM

Buxton surprises me.  To have the most valuable prospect play in a league that is not directly under the parents control.... especially in the post concussion period ...... it surprises me.  Here I am, thinking Buxton is too fragile to play baseball, and is just going to get hurt.  I guess it will take at least a full year where he can stay on the field to have that change now.


#4 h2oface

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 02:39 PM

Sweet, I wish Sano would have been added too, but not so sure he is eligible being from Dominican and such. Is Sano even playing winter ball? Thought i saw something saying he was waiting until Spring training to participate? Any clarity on that?

I recently saw a video of him hitting in the cage.He looked to be free swinging.


#5 jokin

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 02:44 PM

I recently saw a video of him hitting in the cage.He looked to be free swinging.

 

 

Here're two videos just released:  

 

 

 Pretty impressive looking at this stage of his rehab.

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#6 sactfan

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 02:51 PM

Nick Burdi is also listed on the Salt River Rafters roster.Not sure why the twins haven't released his name yet.


#7 Mike Sixel

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:06 PM

Not sure why Nick Burdi isn't resting.....

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#8 sactfan

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:12 PM

Why should he be resting?Is 55 innings to many?


#9 Mike Sixel

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:16 PM

Well, he pitched in college this year, then went straight here, so I would guess this is a lot of innings for him. but maybe not. If he won't be in MN next year, not sure why you'd send him to the AFL, so hopefully this means a serious fast track.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#10 drjim

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:18 PM

Well, he pitched in college this year, then went straight here, so I would guess this is a lot of innings for him. but maybe not. If he won't be in MN next year, not sure why you'd send him to the AFL, so hopefully this means a serious fast track.

 

It is, and not surprising.

 

Perkins and Fien are the only guarantees going into next year. He has a legit shot to break camp with the Twins.

Papers...business papers.

#11 drjim

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:20 PM

Sweet, I wish Sano would have been added too, but not so sure he is eligible being from Dominican and such. Is Sano even playing winter ball? Thought i saw something saying he was waiting until Spring training to participate? Any clarity on that?

 

I don't want to look it up for link, but latest report was he would be in extended until December then play winter ball in the Caribbean.

Papers...business papers.

#12 Monkeypaws

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:22 PM

Good choices - give some guys who missed time to catch up.


#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:30 PM

Good catch on Nick Burdi being on the AFL team's roster... I can't imagine why the team wouldn't announce that, or what would be going on.

 

The Twins have said for a month or two now that Miguel Sano would not play in the Arizona Fall League or the first half of the Dominican Winter League. He will be rehabbing in Ft. Myers. It's possible he will play in the DWL following the holidays in preparation for big league camp.


#14 jokin

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:30 PM

It is, and not surprising.

 

Perkins and Fien are the only guarantees going into next year. He has a legit shot to break camp with the Twins.

 

Yes, I called for it earlier.  Combined with his Louisville college numbers, he's only thrown 53 innings this year.  And his numbers and stuff indicate he's as close to a finished product as a relief pitcher coming out of college as is humanly possible.

 

Isn't the 7th AFL guy kind of a swing roster player, anyway...?... ie., just there to fill in when someone else isn't available.  I doubt whatever few innings he throws would be deleterious to his pitching health, and on the positive side, it might give him a chance to match up with some of the best prospect hitters who are knocking at the major league door.

 

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#15 Seth Stohs

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:31 PM

Well, he pitched in college this year, then went straight here, so I would guess this is a lot of innings for him. but maybe not. If he won't be in MN next year, not sure why you'd send him to the AFL, so hopefully this means a serious fast track.

 

Yeah, Burdi will be up quick while not overdoing it. It does make some sense for him to pitch there, though it's been such a long season for a college pitcher, considering he started pitching in january!


#16 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:35 PM

Sweet, I wish Sano would have been added too, but not so sure he is eligible being from Dominican and such. Is Sano even playing winter ball? Thought i saw something saying he was waiting until Spring training to participate? Any clarity on that?

Are there specific rules to being in the DWL or the AFL?


#17 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:36 PM

Looks like Adam already pitched a game for NB... I don't remember seeing his name announced as the PTBNL for the Willingham trade.

#18 Seth Stohs

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:51 PM

Are there specific rules to being in the DWL or the AFL?

 

It's the same as has happened the last two years with Eddie Rosario. Sano (like rosario) is not eligible to play in the AFL because he's on the roster of another Winter League team... unless that team gives the Twins/MLB a waiver saying they can. So, Rosario's team in Puerto Rico is allowing Rosario to play. It's unlikely that the Twins asked Sano's team for such a waiver this year, but they could have tried.

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#19 nater79a

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:51 PM

Would be great to have Burdi up with the big league club next year. Fill a role like Betances with the Yankees. A power arm you can bring in in the 6th or 7th inning with the bases loaded and get a much needed strikeout.

#20 Seth Stohs

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:51 PM

Looks like Adam already pitched a game for NB... I don't remember seeing his name announced as the PTBNL for the Willingham trade.

 

He's pitched in 2-3 games for the Rock Cats already. He wasn't a PTBNL. He was named right away when the deal was made. 




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