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Which internal/current options are in the 2022 Opening Day rotation?

Brock Beauchamp

The 2022 Opening Day Rotation  

69 members have voted

  1. 1. How many internal/current options will be in the Twins' 2022 Opening Day rotation?

    • Bailey Ober
    • Randy Dobnak
    • Joe Ryan
    • Michael Pineda (retained via FA, obvi)
    • John Gant
    • Griffin Jax
    • Lewis Thorpe
    • Devin Smeltzer
    • Drew Strotman
    • Simeon Woods-Richardson
    • Jordan Balazovic
    • Andrew Albers

I think Ober has earned a slot.  Ryan is showing that he's ready, albeit in a small sample size.  I'm guessing Dobnak will also occupy a spot.  I'd prefer him to be AAA depth myself.  I'm in the @Vanimal46 camp in that they need more depth.  I'd prefer not to have to rely on prospects too much, but if they've got some decent depth at AAA I could tolerate it.  Dobnak can provide that.  I was wanting to bring Pineda back, but I'm starting to worry about that now.

I think 2022 will be a bit of a transition year, so I'd be looking for prospects to start making impacts next season.  I don't think that will, or should, happen beginning on Opening Day though.  

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Expect much of the above discussion and voting was completed before last night's start by Ryan.  One game doesn't make him a lock for next year, but a couple more very good starts the next three weeks will.

My hope is that they complete one Odorizzi style trade, perhaps giving up somewhat more on the prospect side than in that trade.  Add that to signing one very good, not top tier, free agent and they should be set going into opening day.  Expect the three young arms joining those two will be Ober, Ryan and Dobnak.  The depth will come from guys like Jax, Winder, Strotman and the pair at Wichita, although only Jax would have any big league experience.

As for 40-man spots, will be shocked if Thorpe and Smeltzer are still on the roster come the end of November.  Would love to see one of them included in an early November trade, but expect that is wishful thinking.   

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14 hours ago, Nashvilletwin said:

At the moment a 2022 SP lineup of Ober, Ryan, Gant, Dobnak and Jax (I have not given up on Jax as #5 at the back of the rotation) would run us about $6MM.  We have at least a handful of additional young starters able to be part of the rotation as needed. Give them innings and put the cash into building a shutdown pen.

That’s how a small/mid market team like the Twins can best compete in the modern game. 

While I agree developing prearb starter pitching is key to constructing a roster for a small/mid market team, I disagree with the strategy of building a BP via investing big money in RPs.   Free agent RPs are the worst bet in baseball.  They fail well over half the time and many of them don't just underperform, they perform at or below replacement level.  

There needs to be investment in the BP bust it needs to be measured.  Use the money on a SS and/or invest in the best free agent SP you can convince to come here.  Basically, follow the TB practices but use the incremental dollars we have to invest in keeping a player like Buxton and signing someone like Strohman / Rodon.

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3 hours ago, roger said:

Expect much of the above discussion and voting was completed before last night's start by Ryan.  One game doesn't make him a lock for next year, but a couple more very good starts the next three weeks will.

If anything, seeing a starter effectively go that deep into a game certainly makes bullpen issues easier to resolve.

Edited by Sousy
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1 hour ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

The problem is "do they have enough 40-man space to hold that many starters?" Remember, guys like Balazovic, Duran, and Strotman are also on the 40-man, though I suspect Strotman is converted to a reliever so that problem solves itself.

Still, this is a lengthy list of "depth" and many of these players will need to be exposed at the end of the season:


This is part of the reason why I think the team will open the season with three internal options in the rotation. My biggest hope is that they go bigger with the front of the rotation and make a splash there instead of buying two middling guys who have a higher chance to implode a la JA Happ.

Yeah, I am aware of that (I went over this in my 40 Man Roster Management article). I would DFA Thorpe, Smeltzer, Albers and make room for some FA additions. Yeah, I'd prefer quality over quantity, I suspect we are going to see an approach similar to 2020, when they added (or re-added) Odorizzi, Pineda, Bailey, Hill, and Maeda. Falvine doesn't seem comfortable putting big money into a single pitcher.

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1 hour ago, roger said:

Expect much of the above discussion and voting was completed before last night's start by Ryan.  One game doesn't make him a lock for next year, but a couple more very good starts the next three weeks will.

Even if Ryan sucks for the rest of the year, the only scenario I can envision him not starting next year is if he is injured so badly that he can't pitch.

It's good that he is pitching well in the majors so far, as he always has at any other level he has pitched.  This should instill some confidence in the fan base.  But ready or not, here he comes.  He'll be on the mound next year, you can bet on it.

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I think Ober, Ryan, and Dobnak are all but guaranteed a spot in next year's rotation. It would be fun to see them sign a big name free agent, but I think the FO is more likely to move someone like an Arraez or a Garver for a pre-arb arm. The fifth spot will probably be someone on a one or two year deal -- a Greinke or a Verlander would be great, but I'd guess it'll be someone like Pineda.

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At this point I would like to just give Winder a shot as part of the rotation. 

The Twins probably won't do it, they rarely seem to be aggressive with promotions unless an injury at the major league level forces them to be. 

But he has been a consistent performer, has a deep arsenal, control over it and throws 95-97 mph from what I have heard. I feel like he has the least amount of question marks of all the top SP prospects we have in the high minors and I wouldn't be surprised if he performs relatively well right away. 

Ober should be a lock and the Twins are too thin at SP to not have Ryan in the rotation as well. Even if he struggles, would you rather have a Happ/Shoemaker type starting over him?

Regarding Dobnak, I would prefer to have him as a 6th starter at least on opening day. Injuries will come soon enough and I like him better as depth than someone you pencil in.

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22 hours ago, Sousy said:

My thought is that we'll trade some corner depth (LF/RF, 1B/3B) for pitching prospects.  I don't see it really being Polanco or Arraez just because the Twins really seem to lack options when it comes to 2B/SS/CF both on the MLB club and in the minors. 


I would disagree- we have Celestino already on the 40 man, raking at AAA. Where does he fit? Then you have Royce Lewis and Austin Martin, who will be MLB ready in 2022 and both play SS and CF. Then there's Nick Gordon, also on the 40 man, who also plays 2B, CF, and played SS in the minors but hasn't in MLB. 


Honestly, trading Polo at his peak or trading Arraez, who doesn't really have a position, seem possible. 

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