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Making Room for Ervin


Matthew Lenz

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blog-0567378001527622984.pngA week ago Ervin Santana made is 2018 debut with the double-A Chattanooga Lookouts and threw 2 innings (45 pitches) giving up 4 hits, 0 walks, 2 earned runs, while striking out 1. He was pulled early as there was a concern about his velocity, which topped out at 90 mph while he usually sits around 94. Because of this concern he will move down and pitch today for single-A Fort Meyers Miracle, according to Brandon Warne. With this development it is fair to think that we won’t see Ervin on the Twins roster until the end of June at the earliest. Whenever he is ready to make his season debut for the Twins there will be a tough decision for Paul Molitor to make on what to do with his rotation, and that’s what I want to address in this piece assuming the current starting 5 stays healthy.

 

Option #1: Demote Fernando Romero

As much as Molitor and Twins fans would not like to see this, I think it is a very likely scenario. Because of options (or the lack thereof) and performance, Romero is the only realistic candidate from the starting rotation. I couldn’t find data on minor league options (does anyone have a resource for this?), but I would guess that Odorizzi, Lynn, and Gibson are out of minor league options while Berrios has been the Twins best pitcher. That leaves Romero as the odd man out. In this case, he would be the first pitcher called upon after an injury or for double headers.

 

Option #2: DFA Grossman and move a starter to bullpen

This would be another tough decision for Molitor. Mauer is set to return very soon and I would think that will result in the demotion of Gregorio Petit, which then leaves the Twins with Adrianza, LaMarre, Grossman, and Wilson as their 4 bench players. If Molitor decides to go this route, then we would probably see LaMarre or Grossman as the player to be demoted which would leave a thin bench but a stacked bullpen. Personally, I think Grossman has earned the demotion but I thought that out of spring training too.

 

It’s not uncommon for a starting pitcher to get some time in the bullpen early in their career and with how electric Romero has been this year I think this would be a great option. With the way successful teams have been built the last few years it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Twins to stack their bullpen with another dominant pitcher. Only downside of this is that he most likely wouldn’t be available to start again this year as his arm wouldn’t be ready to throw that much.

 

Option #3: DFA Grossman and utilize 6-man rotation

See above on why Grossman is the position player getting demoted. To be honest, I think this option is highly unlikely but it is something to consider. Pitchers (and baseball players in general) are creatures of habit and by nature are not fans of a 6-man rotation. This option allow him to continue to face major league hitting and it allows the Twins some flexibility if they do have injuries. Again, I don’t see this happening but also wouldn’t mind if it did.

 

Personally, I would like to see Romero stay in the majors with whatever roster moves it takes. Realistically, I think option 1 is what is going to happen.

 

Which option do you think is the best? Is there another option I didn’t consider? Lets discuss!

11 Comments


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Romero has been their best pitcher. Are you really going to demote him?

 

Over the next 30 days, odds are someone is going to become hurt or ineffective. It'll probably sort itself out. More likely May will come off the DL first. I assume he'll get optioned to AAA. 

 

If everyone stays healthy and effective through June, there's always a trade. I'd try a 6 man rotation until the end of July and swing a trade for a Catcher or 4th outfielder.  

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What about Lynn to the bullpen? Or trade Lynn to a contender for some prospects.

IMO, I don't think Lynn has the stuff to be a great bullpen pitcher.  I guess he could be a long reliever and give us those innings as needed.  lukeduke1980 brought up a good point about possibly having an innings limit put on Romero in which case a move to the bullpen would make the most sense for him.

 

I know they don't look great now, but I'm not ready to write off the Twins has a non-playoff team.  That said, things may be different in a month and if we are clearly not a playoff team then trying to dump Lynn would be a good solution.

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Santana is not ready to come back now why would you be worried about what roster spot will be used. If the return is not likely until the end of June the answer will be clearer at the end of June.

1) You could tell by the title what this was about, so why waste the time to read and/or comment on it if you aren't worried about it? I'm all about constructive criticism, but your comment serves no purpose.

 

2) You must not like much of the content that is written on Twins Daily or any sports website for that matter. Much of what is written, and what is fun about writing, is trying to think ahead and predict what will happen.

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1) You could tell by the title what this was about, so why waste the time to read and/or comment on it if you aren't worried about it? I'm all about constructive criticism, but your comment serves no purpose.

 

2) You must not like much of the content that is written on Twins Daily or any sports website for that matter. Much of what is written, and what is fun about writing, is trying to think ahead and predict what will happen.

1 and 2. You might have an good take that is worth commenting on. You could be predicting a setback for Santana. because his fastball was not coming back as before   Thus the headline becomes sort of a teaser As it was you had a bad take.  Much of this website, or others, is not about predicting injury rehab. In the future I will remember that you did not have a creative take and overlook your postings.

 

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Romero has been their best pitcher. Are you really going to demote him?

 

Over the next 30 days, odds are someone is going to become hurt or ineffective. It'll probably sort itself out. More likely May will come off the DL first. I assume he'll get optioned to AAA. 

 

If everyone stays healthy and effective through June, there's always a trade. I'd try a 6 man rotation until the end of July and swing a trade for a Catcher or 4th outfielder.  

You jinxed Romero. All your fault. I hope you are proud of your actions. Just kidding

 

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1 and 2. You might have an good take that is worth commenting on. You could be predicting a setback for Santana. because his fastball was not coming back as before   Thus the headline becomes sort of a teaser As it was you had a bad take.  Much of this website, or others, is not about predicting injury rehab. In the future I will remember that you did not have a creative take and overlook your postings.

We had a similar discussion related to Ervin's recovery in a roundtable two weeks ago. And you know what? It was fun.

 

It's impossible to pinpoint when a player might return and what the rest of the roster may look like at that time, but that doesn't mean you can't speculate and ask questions, right?

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