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My prediction for the new 29 man roster

stringer bell



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MLB and the MLBPA agreed yesterday to accommodations for a shortened 2020 major league schedule. Many things are to be determined, especially since there is no firm date for the season to begin. I choose to be optimistic that there will be baseball this summer, perhaps without crowds in the stands. One thing agreed to unofficially was an expanded roster. The number that has been published is 29. I am going with that information and will now name the 29 players I expect will be on the roster for Opening Day 2020 whenever that happens.


Pitchers--(15) Berríos, Maeda, Odorizzi, Bailey, Chacín, Dobnak, Wisler, May, Clippard, Stashak, Duffey, Romo, Littell, Thielbar, Rogers


Catchers--(3) Garver,Avila, Astudillo


Infielders--(6) Sanó, Arraez, Polanco, Donaldson, Adrianza, Gonzalez


Outfielders--(4) Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Cave


Designated Hitter--(1) Cruz


This would take the current roster, subtract Rich Hill and add both Thielbar and Chacín. My reasoning for this roster includes that the schedule will probably have doubleheaders and perhaps will fill some off days with games, meaning that a larger pitching staff in today's environment would be essential. I have included both Dobnak and Chacín, who have been competing for a starting spot and assume that either the Twins will go with a six-man rotation or that one of Dobnak or Chacín will be a "long man" in the bullpen. I assumed that if the staff were expanded by three that the Twins would add a lefty, even though specialists will be minimized by the three-batter rule. Having an occasional different look could be helpful.


The fight for the 13th position player is over--they both win. I had thought Astudillo's ability to make contact and play many positions would win out over Cave's general competency, but with an additional position player spot available, both make the team.


As for the pitching staff, it is murkier. First of all, Rich Hill has stated he could be ready to pitch in June. Suddenly, he might miss only a couple weeks or perhaps no time at all. Michael Pineda has two-thirds of his sixty game suspension to serve. I would expect that his suspension is prorated, much as service time will be prorated. If the season is 100 games, his suspension would be 25 games. There is nothing official, but that is what I will go with. I am assuming that Hill won't quite be ready when the season starts and that Pineda will have at least three weeks of suspension to serve.


I think the Twins have seen enough of Chacín to want to see a bit more. He may not survive the return of Pineda and debut of Hill, but I don't think the Twins want to give up on him quite yet. Dobnak has pitched the best in exhibition games of those competing for a spot and he was outstanding last year in his brief time with the Twins. Wisler and Stashak both make the bullpen and there still is room for a lefty. I picked Thielbar over the others--Barnes, Clay and Coulumbe all had some moments, but I think Thielbar has pitched better. Hardy just had TJ surgery so he is out for 2020.


I think a 29-man roster demonstrates the depth that the Twins possess. In other years, all of the players mentioned would easily make the Opening Day roster and more would have a chance. I have not added Devin Smeltzer to the 29, but believe he could be an option to pitch several doubleheader games if that happens. I don't really see him as a reliever and he has an option to use, so if he were called on to pitch as a long man, he could be shuttled to Rochester this year.



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I feel bad for the careers going forth of most minor league free agents. I wonder how the minor league rosters would fill out, and the need for short-schedule ball at Eliz and GCL. Maybe jsut keep players downm there playing in-house games and see Eliz disappear a season early. All the Twins propsects will need playing time in the minors and since most (especially pitchers) seldom play a full season of hard ball, this aprtial season would be great for them.

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