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The Twins might have a bit of a 40 man roster crunch in 2022. The Rule 5 eligible players are one consideration, but the six players on the 60 day IL are another. Not all of these players should necessarily be back.

The 60-Day IL allows teams to stash an injured player away without holding a 40 man spot. The Twins have utilized this six times this season in the way of four pitchers and two hitters. With young players needing 40 man roster spots to be protected from the Rule 5 draft this winter, it’s worth revisiting these players on a case-by-case basis.

Alex Kirilloff

This is probably the easiest one. The Twins former top prospect should be back with a healthy wrist by Opening Day and likely penciled in at first base. There isn’t anything that would change the Twins minds.

Randy Dobnak

Despite a nightmare season in which Dobnak put up a 7.83 ERA in 43 innings, he’s an easy add after the Twins extended him through 2026 on a very team-friendly deal. Regarding his role, it’s anyone’s guess at this point how the Twins plan to use him, but he’s been throwing bullpens recently and could even return from a finger injury before the end of 2021. The Twins can’t cut Dobnak loose given their commitment, not to mention his recent success in the MLB.

Devin Smeltzer

Smeltzer only threw 4 2/3 innings without allowing a run before being put on the IL with an elbow injury. His 2022 may largely depend on the nature of his injury and whether his health can be counted on. Perhaps his lack of ceiling may give the Twins pause, but he has shown to be a competent Major League pitcher and perhaps deserves a little bit of run in a bullpen role. If he’s ready to pitch for opening day in 2022, I’d expect to see Smeltzer get one more look.

Edwar Colina

Colina got shelled in his lone MLB appearance in 2020 but boasts what some call the best slider in the Twins system to go along with his high-90s fastball. Colina was an arm many were excited to see get some real run this year before he underwent elbow surgery which ended his season before it began. As the Twins look to rebuild a bullpen in 2022, it’s hard to imagine them not gambling on the upside of Edwar Colina assuming his injury appears to be recovering as expected.

Cody Stashak

It’s possible Stashak was dealing with his back injury longer than the Twins knew, but it was a bit surprising to see him get as much of an opportunity as he did in 2021. With a 91 mph fastball, Stashak’s skillset revolved around his ability to limit walks when he debuted in 2019 which made his 13.3% walk rate this year all the more unacceptable. He upped his strikeout rate to nearly 35% at the expense of every other skill a pitcher could have as he finished with a 6.89 ERA. Stashak will be 28 next year and his ceiling is probably just an okay middle reliever which may make him an easy roster spot to dedicate to protecting another player from the Rule 5 draft.

Kyle Garlick

Garlick looked like the Twins best offseason acquisition for awhile and slashed .232/.280/.465 before being shut down with a sports hernia. Garlick does one thing well and that’s mash lefties, something the Twins were unable to set him up for consistently as injuries piled up. Unfortunately for Garlick, the Twins just don’t have a lot to gain from keeping a defensively-challenged 30-year-old with such a niche skillset. It’s hard to see the Twins not parting ways with Garlick unfortunately.

 

It’s easy to look at this list of players who haven’t been contributing for quite some time and forget about them, but the Twins do have some solid players coming back off injury next year. The tricky part is trying to balance the roster on who is worthy of a return as they try and protect the necessary players to avoid another Akil Baddoo situation. Should any more of these six be definitively kept or let go this winter? Let us know below.

 

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Smeltzer's life story is a great one. But in spite of that I don't see how he should outrank younger rising talent. I think he has pretty much peaked. I'm much more willing to let him try to continue his career elsewhere than to risk losing a prospect who is still improving.

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Smeltzer is the toughest question in this group. He's a useful pitcher...but with limited upside. If the Twins are really crunched on the 40-man with better prospects, someone like him could get left out in the cold. I have no doubt that he'll get a shot at a major league roster from another team in a heartbeat, which is where it gets painful. But I don't think he's got a lot of value in a trade either (he's a throw-in in a bigger deal, maybe). That seems harsh for a guy who has had some success in MLB, but his ceiling looks like 5th starter/long man.

I had higher hopes for Stashak as an impact reliever, but he's looking like a fungible guy and proof positive for why you have to be careful in where you put your money on the relief corps. A lot of these guys are going to be good one year and not much the next. He's probably not as bad as this year's numbers suggest, but also probably not as good as he was in 2020. The K's are great, but he's also a bit too hittable, so if his control slips (for whatever reason), then the WHIP is unsustainable. But he could have a nice bounceback year and be a decent middle relief option next year, which I'm sure will cause people to call for Falvine's collective heads if he goes elsewhere. He's another guy who the team will have to balance his potential utility against his lesser upside in evaluating him for a 40-man spot against a prospect with a higher ceiling.

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It is all about depth and where the guys now fall in the pecking order.

 

Colina has age on his side, but will be spending his third year on the 40-man and, assuming he is healed by spring training, more than likely starting in the minors.

 

The team has to look closely if they will be adding Enlow to the 40-man, who will also be spending a year in rehab. Ad you have Duran, who we hoped would be getting a major league tryout this season (along with Balazovic). That would suddenly be four names that you can't count being in the majors to start the season, and you play wait-and-see where they progress during 2022.

 

Stashak is also the same. You can cut him and maybe resign him, but if no one claims him for their own 40-man, I believe he is a free agent. But a 40-man spot is valuable, unless you are arguing keeping him or any of the over 30-arms of Albers, Farrell, Thielbar, Minaya. All of whom could probably also be resigned to minor league contracts if they don't take services elsewhere.

 

I believe Smeltzer may have an option year left with the Twins and they would keep him if no one else claimed him. Remember that all teams are dealing with the same dilemma as the Twins, which is why guys like a Smeltzer isn't waived until the last minute when all teams are adding their Rule 5 saves. I think the Twins could get Smeltzer thru waivers. 

 

The Twins can also move Dobnak off the 40-man. They still control him, they just have to pay him. Shades of Nick Blackburn and Joe Mays. If another team would claim him, the salary would be theirs to keep. The Twins could let him start the season at AAA without having him on the roster, and see where he goes from there.

 

Garlick is so far behind the pecking order, once Buxton returns. Remember, he beat out the now released Broxton, Refsnyder, Larnach and Kirilloff for a spot on the major league roster. Celestino is now also ahead of him. Cave is still in the picture (although he ahs probably priced himself out of an arbitration backup job). And the Twins have Kerrigan and Contreras both performing well in St. Paul, neither of whom would probably be taken in the Rule 5.

 

Do you take the chance someone will grab Colina? Remember, you always need a couple of names on the roster who can be jettisoned if you sign a free agent, and at that time it is often easier to get them thru waivers and late enough that the only alternative for the player is to sign and stay with their team.

 

Be interesting to see how the Twins treat their roster of pitchers like Thorpe, Jax, Thielbar, Stashak, Farrell, Law, Minaya, Coulombe, Albers, Garcia, Garza, Gant, Barraclough, not to mention Hamilton. I would look at each case as a competing general manager looking to improve my club and if any of those names were available, would I leap, run, be joyful adding them to my own 40-man roster at the expense of...whom.

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Kirilloff, Dobnak and Colina stay.  The other three are likely headed out.  Maybe there is a chance that enough spots will open up and one is kept around, either till spring training or to be included as an extra part of some trade this winter.

Unfortunately, there won't be any opportunities to move them in a trade as everyone is looking to get rid of marginal players...not add.

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I think Kirilloff and Dobnak are pretty safe adds.  I know Dobnak had a tough year this year but he showed signs early that he might have potential to be a number 4 starter.  He was starting to K guys and he is a groundball pitcher. The Twins believed in his stuff enough to give him an early contract.  Now would not be the time to completely give up on Randy.

Colina is hard throwing pitcher with a plus slider and the Twins currently lack velocity in their bullpen arms so it would be hard to let him go and one of the bottom teams would surely pick him up if the Twins dropped him.  He likely stays unless the Twins feel his arm will never be the same.

Smeltzer is the tough one.  I don't love the idea of giving up on him without giving him one more shot but from what I have seen his ceiling appears low.  He is a lefty though and we don't have many of those and he could be good out of the pen as well so I don't know I guess it depends on who else we have to expose before I could decide.

What Stashak can do seems to be easily replaceable.  Would I like to keep him yes I would but their seems to be a fair number of pitchers coming up that will have higher ceiling's so if he needed to be sacrificed I could see it happening.

Garlick has a nice bat and can play left field OK.  He is a beast against lefties and would be good in a platoon but there is a reason he has been on the fringes of the 40 man for most teams and that is he doesn't look like a guy that hold down a spot on a regular basis and looks more like a situational bat.  I could be wrong but he is also about to turn 30 and left fielders are not that hard to find.  Refsnyder looks more versatile and I think his bat plays against lefties and righties as well.  I don't see Garlick coming back unless it is on a minors deal. 

 

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Kirilloff and Edwar Colina. Everyone else has been lapped by the field in the minors, particularly Dobnak and Smeltzer. Twins bet on Dobnak with a new slider would improve him further and it was a disaster. Good luck, but next man up. Pruning this list helps avoid the next Baddoo situation. 

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Don't even have to comment about AK. 

Dobnak is a very easy choice and not because he has some committed $. He's still a relatively young and inexperienced SP still learning. We've seen glimpses of what he can do when healthy. You don't walk away from that.

Same with Colina. Healthy, there's a good chance he's up with the Twins for about half this year with Alcala, honing his stuff and gaining experience. 

Smeltzer MIGHT be kept as he's LH and has looked solid at times. Agree his ceiling is a 5th SP and is probably a useful BP piece. I'm going to root for the guy whatever happens. But I think a numbers crunch will leave him off the 40 man. I'd like to see him back on a milb deal.

I'd also like Stashak to remain in the organization on a milb deal. He's shown real promise, even in SSS, but I don't think there's enough there to warrant a 40 man spot at this point. 

Garlick just isn't a fit at this point. Rooker is younger and has more potential. Celestino is better than both, but a different type of talent. And I think it's time we just admit that Refsnyder, a former decent prospect, really has re-invented himself as at least a decent bat with solid OF play.

 

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The Twins have 39 players on the roster now. 

Things to remember:

  • The number of players the Twins have signed to long term deals is in the single digits.
  • The number of players in this article is in the single digits.
  • The number of players who won't be back next year, especially on the pitching side, is higher than either of the above.

 

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2 minutes ago, Nine of twelve said:

Rooker and Garlick are similar players, but Rooker is younger and better. Why would we want or need to keep Garlick?

I don't think I said we should, I just noted Garlics positives.  I like Refsnyder better than Garlic and there is no guarantee Rob stays on the 40 man either.  I still am backing Rooker to a degree (he needs to be better at the plate) but keep in mind both Refsnyder and Garlic have performed better than Roooker at the MLB level to this point.

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4 hours ago, DocBauer said:

Don't even have to comment about AK. 

Dobnak is a very easy choice and not because he has some committed $. He's still a relatively young and inexperienced SP still learning. We've seen glimpses of what he can do when healthy. You don't walk away from that.

Same with Colina. Healthy, there's a good chance he's up with the Twins for about half this year with Alcala, honing his stuff and gaining experience. 

Smeltzer MIGHT be kept as he's LH and has looked solid at times. Agree his ceiling is a 5th SP and is probably a useful BP piece. I'm going to root for the guy whatever happens. But I think a numbers crunch will leave him off the 40 man. I'd like to see him back on a milb deal.

I'd also like Stashak to remain in the organization on a milb deal. He's shown real promise, even in SSS, but I don't think there's enough there to warrant a 40 man spot at this point. 

Garlick just isn't a fit at this point. Rooker is younger and has more potential. Celestino is better than both, but a different type of talent. And I think it's time we just admit that Refsnyder, a former decent prospect, really has re-invented himself as at least a decent bat with solid OF play.

 

I like quite a few of our minor leaguers even guys like Mark Contreras and Jimmy Kerrigan, Jermaine Palacios, Trey Cabbage, Moran, of course Miranda, Joe Ryan and more. Honestly, as far as people I’m sure can help the Twins in the future, only Alex Kirilloff is definitely worth keeping.

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Honestly IMO,  it’s a no-brained to DFA Dobnak. If someone wants his contract, fine…if not, he’s filler at AAA…the contract is nothing. If the prospects (and literally any FA) aren’t at least immediately as good (bad) as Dobnak, you’ve got bigger issues. I guess maybe they think he can be a useful bullpen arm. I don’t…unless you consider the guy who comes in and eats innings in blowouts ‘useful’. Keeping guys like this around simply because you gave them a contract, a small one at that, is exactly how losing organizations stay losing organizations.

I don’t think you have both Rooker and Garlick on the 40- man, at least in 2022 (unless you move Sano, I suppose). That makes it tough to keep Garlick, even though he’s outperformed Rooker to this point.

In general, I’m not high on 5-11 pitchers with any history of arm issues. But I suppose desperation warrants that you give Colina a chance.

 

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Honestly, outside of Kiriloff, none of these guys has to be kept. None were/are highly regarded prospects. Some are getting pretty long in the tooth. I suspect there will be many comparable arms looking for jobs in the offseason. None of these guys should be a priority.

The FO has to fix the bullpen and a few of these guys might fit into their plan (scary thought) but I would be surprised if we kept more than two of them, counting Kiriloff.

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48 minutes ago, jkcarew said:

Honestly IMO,  it’s a no-brained to DFA Dobnak. If someone wants his contract, fine…if not, he’s filler at AAA…the contract is nothing. If the prospects (and literally any FA) aren’t at least immediately as good (bad) as Dobnak, you’ve got bigger issues. I guess maybe they think he can be a useful bullpen arm. I don’t…unless you consider the guy who comes in and eats innings in blowouts ‘useful’. Keeping guys like this around simply because you gave them a contract, a small one at that, is exactly how losing organizations stay losing organizations.

I don’t think you have both Rooker and Garlick on the 40- man, at least in 2022 (unless you move Sano, I suppose). That makes it tough to keep Garlick, even though he’s outperformed Rooker to this point.

In general, I’m not high on 5-11 pitchers with any history of arm issues. But I suppose desperation warrants that you give Colina a chance.

 

Dobnak probably plays better when put on a team that treats him like a human being.  He proved himself to be competent in the preseason (and heck in previous years, too), then they have in pitch in the 8th and the 9th, roles he has never done and is not suited for, and then tossed him aside.  Dobnak will probably be back, but mostly because, as you say, at the moment he has been backed into a spot where he has no other options.  The Twins are in a similar pinch.

I always thought the Shoemaker signing was a joke, but I believe him when he said the Twins tried to make him be someone he wasn't.  He wasn't around too long after he spoke up about that. 

On the topic of treating people like cattle, the Twins recently publicly aired their grievances with Buxton's contract.  This should help the "roster crunch" -- but not help in any way the fans want.

During the 1991 reunion tour last week, the old timers were all pushing a consistent message -- unity.  Unity with the front office, with management, with the players.  I think they talked about this for a reason, and note the difference with the way the Twins played while the old team was around.

Unity starts from the top.  The only face we see behind these decisions is Baldelli's.  If these are his decisions, he has lost his mind.  He should either be fired or have his medication adjusted.  If this is Baldelli following marching orders, he should step into his given role and take charge.  You can have all the talent in the world, but if you let others make bad decisions for you, none of that matters.

 

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9 minutes ago, Dodecahedron said:

Dobnak probably plays better when put on a team that treats him like a human being.  He proved himself to be competent in the preseason, then they have in pitch in the 8th and the 9th, roles he has never done and is not suited for, and then tossed him aside.  Dobnak will probably be back, but mostly because, as you say, at the moment he has been backed into a spot where he has no other options.

I always thought the Shoemaker signing was a joke, but I believe him when he said the Twins tried to make him be someone he wasn't.  He wasn't around too long after he spoke up about that. 

On the topic of treating people like cattle, the Twins recently publicly aired their grievances with Buxton's contract.  This should help the "roster crunch" I suppose.

During the 1991 reunion tour last week, the old timers were all pushing a consistent message -- unity.  Unity with the front office, with management, with the players.  I think they talked about this for a reason, and note the difference the way the Twins played while the old team was around.

 

Not sure how I’m supposed to feel sorry for Dobnak. He was awful as a starter this year almost immediately. I’d venture a guess that he was happy to have an opportunity to move to the pen…not to mention very happy with the contract that the Twins gave him…and absolutely 100% didn’t have to or need to give him. To be fair to him, he’s still just 26 years old…so, there’s still a chance, I guess.

And while the old-timers were around, they watched the Twins take 2 of 3 against the best team in the AL.

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7 minutes ago, jkcarew said:

Not sure how I’m supposed to feel sorry for Dobnak. He was awful as a starter this year almost immediately. I’d venture a guess that he was happy to have an opportunity to move to the pen…not to mention very happy with the contract that the Twins gave him…and absolutely 100% didn’t have to or need to give him. To be fair to him, he’s still just 26 years old…so, there’s still a chance, I guess.

And while the old-timers were around, they watched the Twins take 2 of 3 against the best team in the AL.

Dobnak started the year in the bullpen after having a nice preseason as a starter.  If the Twins wanted him to be a set up guy or in the closer rotation, they should have worked on that at the proper time. When that predictably failed, they moved him to start some games after he was no longer stretched out and treated him like rubbish.

Yes, I agree the old-timers being in the clubhouse made the Twins play with more fire.  It was fun watching the old timers being interviewed on TV.  Many of the pitchers had some great stories about how the manager treated them fairly and gave them consistency.  Some also talked about how having a good pitcher in the wrong role was a real thing.  As I said, I don't think they talked about this by coincidence.

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1 minute ago, Dodecahedron said:

Dobnak started the year in the bullpen after having a nice preseason as a starter.  If the Twins wanted him to be a set up guy or in the closer rotation, they should have worked on that at the proper time. 

Yes, I agree the old-timers being in the clubhouse made the Twins play with more fire.

Dobnak started 5 games…and the numbers speak for themselves. And nobody proves their worth in spring training facing lineups peppered with minor leaguers. Nobody. I agree that he was serviceable in previous years, though, so maybe there’s hope. I’m not optimistic.

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11 minutes ago, jkcarew said:

Dobnak started 5 games…and the numbers speak for themselves. And nobody proves their worth in spring training facing lineups peppered with minor leaguers. Nobody. I agree that he was serviceable in previous years, though, so maybe there’s hope. I’m not optimistic.

Dobnak started games after failing miserably as a late-inning reliever.  Remember, these guys are human.  I expected him to struggle for a while after moved back to starting.  Didn't we see this episode before, starring Glen Perkins?  You simply can't treat people this way, where you surprise a pitcher with a new role, a role that many will see as a demotion, with no warning and with no reason, on day 1 of a baseball season. 

The team should have also seen by Dobnak's repertoire that he is not a late inning reliever.  They should not have needed to put him there to know what the result was going to be, and no one should be surprised that the effects were going to linger.

Dobnak is no superstar, that's for sure, but he's better than what we saw this year.  And they jerked him around to make room for ... Shoemaker?  Good lord.  A total system failure in two acts.

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I do not protect Garlic, Stashak or Smeltzer. Colina is shorter but a bull. He has upside. The other one I'm on the fence with is Dobber. Skeptically that he hasn't turned into a pumpkin. He didn't finish that great last year and more of the same this year. He was jacked around a little. 

Low ceiling guys, Smeltzer, Stashak and ALBERS have no place on the 40 man.

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I keep AK and the rest can walk. They bring nothing extra to the table that you can't find elsewhere. Others on the 40 man that will be gone or are expendable: Albers, Barnes, Barraclough, Colome, Coulombe, Duffey, Farrell, Gant, Garcia, Law, Minaya, Thorpe, Simmons, and Cave, That's 19 spots. Move on, move up, not sideways.

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Confused by people saying you can find Colina types anywhere. 24 year old who's dominated the minors, throws 100, and has the best slider in the org and you think you can just cut him and find someone else who fits that mold? He's the type of arm we've all been begging for in the Twins pen. Nobody is saying he's a sure fire stud, but he's most definitely somebody you keep on the 40 man and give a shot to next year. 

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On 8/21/2021 at 7:46 PM, gunnarthor said:

Honestly, outside of Kiriloff, none of these guys has to be kept. None were/are highly regarded prospects. Some are getting pretty long in the tooth. I suspect there will be many comparable arms looking for jobs in the offseason. None of these guys should be a priority.

The FO has to fix the bullpen and a few of these guys might fit into their plan (scary thought) but I would be surprised if we kept more than two of them, counting Kiriloff.

Agreed. But I'd protect Colina I think also. 

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Releasing Stashak has Matt Wisler, Zack Littel, and to a lesser extent, Nick Anderson, regret potential written all over it. 

He's at the top of the list of guys you keep if the decision comes to dropping fungible relievers vs guys like Albers, Colome, Minaya, Barraclough, Albers, Farrell, Law, Garza, and maybe even Gant or Garcia.

That's 8 easy decisions before you get to Stashak. Will that be enough to protect him?

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