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Projecting the 2022 Twins Opening Day Roster: Version 3.0


Provisional Member
3 hours ago, howeda7 said:

I feel like at least one of Minaya/Coulombe will make the bullpen. I know their stuff doesn't excite anyone but they were both solid last year and have been in Spring so far this year last I checked.

I also feel that Devin Smeltzer deserves a spot. A left-handed long reliever will be critical with the current roster of starting pitching. 

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I mostly agree with the roster, and totally agree on the two catchers thing. Pretty sure Sanchez is going to catch a lot more than Twins fans want. Third catcher to cover a partial game of DH doesn’t make sense (unless it’s an Astudillo type who can play elsewhere).

Agree, though, with several commenters that Rooker doesn’t belong here, especially with his limited play due to injury. Need another infielder? DFA one of the marginal pitchers on the 40 man (Stashak? Romero? Bet both would clear waivers, wouldn’t cry if they didn’t), and let Beckham have a crack at the roster. He’s likely a better hitter than half the position players, and the Twins would have three overall top picks.

Serious question; how is a guy limited by health to 19 innings last year going ramp up to rotation fitness in 10-14 days?

I don’t think he does, so Archer is actually a bullpen arm to start, though maybe in an opener guise. Either way, (and assuming he doesn’t melt down in the next couple weeks) Winder should start on the MLB roster at least as long as it is expanded; maybe as Follower to Archer's Opener. I’d be fine booting Stashak, Moran, or Romero to the minors. Actually make it at least two of them, because Duran has been dominant, and like Winder he can go multiple innings, which will be huge the first few weeks.

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11 hours ago, Nashvilletwin said:

One of my fellow TDers explained how the catching and dh rules work. If your backup C is DHing, he can replace the injured starting but the team loses the DH spot.

That is one reason why we must carry three Cs.  The second reason is that we need someone who can actually catch when we need some solid defensive catching...

 

 

 

I think I was the fellow, and that is indeed a reason for three catchers. But, as Mike notes a couple posts later, that may not be reason in itself, in that pinch hitting for the pitcher's spot is an option on the rare occasions when it happens. That's particularly the case when you get to the relievers, most of whom don't pitch multiple innings. And, at least until you run out of guys, it means you can pinch hit situationally, using the singles guy when you need a leadoff hitter and an RBI guy with runners on base. There's also the double switch option. The one limitation here is that there may not be many bodies on the bench, particularly if one or more guys have already been used. 

But your second part -- bad defense from Sanchez -- may be more reason to carry Godoy. If they are wanting to give Jeffers full days off, I can see many occasions when Godoy would get the last couple innings, coming in after Sanchez appears likely to have gotten his last AB. That's assuming that Godoy is actually good defensively -- I have no idea if that's the case. 

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8 minutes ago, IndianaTwin said:

Major enough to get him to the IL, particularly given that he doesn't have options? 

Fangraphs states that Rooker has not one but two options remaining, so that shouldn't be a consideration, The other players of note with no options remaining are Gordon and Cotton.

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2 minutes ago, stringer bell said:

Fangraphs states that Rooker has not one but two options remaining, so that shouldn't be a consideration, The other players of note with no options remaining are Gordon and Cotton.

My bad -- I thought I'd read somewhere that Rooker didn't have options, which seemed odd, but I hadn't looked it up. Perhaps I was thinking of Gordon. Then yeah, off to St. Paul for Rooker. 

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Projecting what I think, not necessarily what I want:

CATCHER$ Jeffers and Sanchez. 

I like Rocco. I don't find a lot of fault in what he does, though I do argue about his batting order construction at times. And I just can't buy in to his comments  about Sanchez spending at least a fair amount of time at DH. It just doesn't make any sense unless he suddenly, almost miraculously finds his "old self" at the plate. It's OK he's playing daily in ST in attempt to work on things. But Arrzez needs to play, Sano needs to DH when AK plays 1B. And there are half days off for others. Despite maintaining a .300 OB% while hitting near the Mendoza line, and still having big HR power, Sanchez hasn't hit in 3yrs. Now, he can improve to the .230-ish level, OK, maybe I can see some DH time. And despite a fresh start and supposedly great attitude to work on defense, his best attributes as a catcher/player is experience and power. I have nothing against Sanchez. By all reports he's a great guy with a great attitude. And I cross my fingers and hope for the best. But he shouldn't be in the lineup daily unless we see a serious turnaround. Goday begins at St Paul and is only minutes away.

INFIELDERS: Sano, Polanco, Correa, Urshela, Arraez, Gordon.

IF the Twins get the 2019/2020 version of Urshela, they really fleeced the Yankees, all things considered regarding Donald's $ off the books, the opportunity to sign Correa, etc. If they get the 2021 version, they got a good glove,, decent bat utility player who should be working hard at 1B and 2B, which he's played sparingly in the past, to become a really good utility player. If they get a combination of his past 3yrs offensively, they STILL fleeced the Yankees in the deal, and they should STILL work him hard at 1B and 2B because they just might have a super utility infielder on their hands. 

I'm leaving Miranda off making the club initially, but they're going to have to make room for him SOON. I don't believe the Twins are playing a service time game with Miranda. For whatever reason, limited roster expansion in 2021, I think they just wanted him to finish strong without pressure. Now, while playing almost daily, he's been fine and hitting. But with a short ST to get ready, I think he starts the year with the Saints and is a 1st call up. Gordon will, hopefully, do what he's always done previously and improve at least a little bit with the bat. He provides speed and OK defensive versatility and can even give Buxton a day off. For the 100th time, Arraez needs to be in the lineup almost daily as one of the best hitters/OB guys on the team. 

OUTFIELD: Kirilloff, Buxton, Kepler and ?

Celestino and Larnach are going to go the wire as the 4th OF. The problem is both could benefit from another month or two at St Paul to get their legs under them. And the other problem is that Rooker would be a great choice to at least begin the season as a RH bat but hasn't done anything to make a move to make the roster. If you twist my arm, I'm going with Larnach as of now. I wouldn't be shocked if the Twins pick up a waiver wire OF to begin the season.

POSITION PLAYERS: I'm at 12. We need 13. No way they keep both Larnach AND Celestino. Just don't think there enough AB for both.. Assuming, for now, no camp invite or waiver wire addition to the 40 man, it comes down to Rooker, Miranda or Goday. Rooker has been out, and has a week to prove he deserves to go north. Miranda looks good, but can they find daily AB for him? Maybe. Hopefully. I'm going to reverse my earlier opinion and Goday is the 13th man to start the year. 

STARTING PITCHERS: Gray, Bundy, Archer, Ober, and Ryan.

Not much to say here that hasn't been said already, and I don't want to rehash woulda/coulda/shoulda. Like him or not, believe in him or not, a healthy Dobnak provides depth here that is now missing. Honestly, none of the invites provides interest much less confidence. The good news is a plethora of young arms that will get opportunities during the season. It's a double edged sword as young pitchers don't always acclimate immediately. But then again, some do, witness Ober and Ryan in 2021. Every...single...year...there are guys who suddenly figure it out, or suddenly get healthy again. Archer is the latter. Could it happen? Bundy is the former. He's NOT the top HS prospect from YEARS ago. His Orioles career was a mixed bag, but solid, and it was thought escaping Baltimore he might do well. He was outstanding in 2020 before a bad 2021, though he finished strong from all reports. Do we at least get some combination of his previous years? If so, smart move. I remain hopeful but skeptical for both Archer and Bundy. But maybe this is the year where we guess right on a reclamation project? Aren't we due? Crossing my fingers.

BULLPEN: Rogers, Duffey, Lewis, Alcala, Thielbar, Moran, Cotton, Romero, Jax, Stashak. 

I'm going status quo with the OP because it just makes sense at the moment. I really like the Lewis signing even though that's not the direction I would have gone. Even before all the trades and freeing up $, I felt there were a couple strong arms to be had in the $5-7M range that were absolutely affordable to team with Rogers for the back end of the pen. I have to conclude that not only were they confident in Rogers and Duffey being ready to go, but they believe Alcala is about ready to assert himself. Further, and I don't like it to some degree, I think they have decided already that Duran's future is as a power arm capable of some great things in the pen, at least in the short term. And maybe the Twins will do a classic Cardinals move and play him in the pen for now and transition him to the rotation later. But as much as I feel I unwrapped the biggest Christmas gift to only be somewhat disappointed, can you imagine a 1-2 punch of Alcala and Duran mixed with Moran and a couple of other live arms for the future of the pen?

Duran might sneak in here, but he's  been mostly pitching late innings in ST. He's going to AAA to start the year. Minaya and Coulombe have done exactly what they did in 2021, pitch solid. But they aren't on the 40 man, so they are going to wait until needed at some point. Cotton looks pretty good. Still not sure why the Rangers let him go. Lot of potential in that arm. Jax has a decent FB and great slider and smarts. The Twins aren't going to give up on that easily. They also like Stashak, and believe a fully healthy version will get him back to where he was before. 

But make no mistake here, Jax and Stashak in particular have to PROVE IT. And if they don't, guys like Duran will come up soon. And they could very quickly lose their 40 man spot to others.

If you want a wild card for the pen, look at Smeltzer.

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Old-Timey Member
4 hours ago, Minny505 said:

I still don't understand the LF situation. Kirilloff is fine in LF, but he is amazing at 1B and Sano is atrocious at 1B. The gap in defensive value is worth 3-4 wins on it's own. The gap from Kirilloff to just about anyone else playing LF, probably even Sano himself, is not that large.

I'm still hoping for a Brett Gardner signing. He fits so well on this roster. He can start the season as the strong platoon in LF, then transition to the CF capable backup OF once Larnach, Rooker, or Celestino, prove ready for a shot. 

 

3-4 at first? I can't see that at all. No way. What's the largest gap using fangraphs or bref?

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Here's my guess:

 

Catchers (3): Godoy, Jeffers, Sanchez

Infield (6): Arraez, Correa, Miranda, Polanco, Sano, Urshela

Outfield (4): Buxton, Kepler, Kirilloff, Larnach

Starters (5): Archer, Bundy, Gray, Ober, Ryan

Relievers (10): Alcala, Cotton, Duffey, Duran, Jax, Moran, Rogers, Romero, Smith, Thielbar

 

Then I've got Gordon standing by for infield depth and Rooker standing by for outfield or DH depth. I guess if you don't think that Miranda or Larnach would get enough playing time, you could swamp them with Gordon or Rooker so that they are playing every day in St. Paul. But I'd like to see them helping the big club and I'd like to see Rocco make space for them with regular rotations.

On the mound, Winder is standing by as the next starter available, and Cano, Coulombe, Minaya, Smeltzer, and Thorpe as relief call-up options.

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Community Leader
2 hours ago, Alex Schieferdecker said:

Here's my guess:

 

Catchers (3): Godoy, Jeffers, Sanchez

Infield (6): Arraez, Correa, Miranda, Polanco, Sano, Urshela

Outfield (4): Buxton, Kepler, Kirilloff, Larnach

Starters (5): Archer, Bundy, Gray, Ober, Ryan

Relievers (10): Alcala, Cotton, Duffey, Duran, Jax, Moran, Rogers, Romero, Smith, Thielbar

 

Then I've got Gordon standing by for infield depth and Rooker standing by for outfield or DH depth. I guess if you don't think that Miranda or Larnach would get enough playing time, you could swamp them with Gordon or Rooker so that they are playing every day in St. Paul. But I'd like to see them helping the big club and I'd like to see Rocco make space for them with regular rotations.

On the mound, Winder is standing by as the next starter available, and Cano, Coulombe, Minaya, Smeltzer, and Thorpe as relief call-up options.

Miranda has not been seeing much time as a starter in spring from what I've noticed and it feels to me like he's already pegged for a St Paul start. If you were considering him for Minneapolis you'd want to be getting him many more ABs against the top arms and not having him be the late game replacement facing guys further down the other team's roster. Gordon is out of options so I'd be shocked if they kept Miranda and tried getting Gordon through waivers.

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2 hours ago, Alex Schieferdecker said:

Here's my guess:

 

Catchers (3): Godoy, Jeffers, Sanchez

Infield (6): Arraez, Correa, Miranda, Polanco, Sano, Urshela

Outfield (4): Buxton, Kepler, Kirilloff, Larnach

Starters (5): Archer, Bundy, Gray, Ober, Ryan

Relievers (10): Alcala, Cotton, Duffey, Duran, Jax, Moran, Rogers, Romero, Smith, Thielbar

 

Then I've got Gordon standing by for infield depth  

Gordon is out of options. If he is to be sent to the minors, he has to be exposed via DFA and could be claimed by any team. 

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15 hours ago, PatPfund said:

Serious question; how is a guy limited by health to 19 innings last year going ramp up to rotation fitness in 10-14 days?

I don’t think he does, so Archer is actually a bullpen arm to start, though maybe in an opener guise. Either way, (and assuming he doesn’t melt down in the next couple weeks) Winder should start on the MLB roster at least as long as it is expanded; maybe as Follower to Archer's Opener. I’d be fine booting Stashak, Moran, or Romero to the minors. Actually make it at least two of them, because Duran has been dominant, and like Winder he can go multiple innings, which will be huge the first few weeks.

Archer has been throwing in Arizona and following a normal ST schedule so he is up to 60 pitches in a game already. Or at least that's what they're claiming. So he's on pace with the rest of the rotation, and perhaps even ahead of Gray in terms of pitch volume.

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13 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

3-4 at first? I can't see that at all. No way. What's the largest gap using fangraphs or bref?

The gap in UZR/150 at 1B in 2021 was about 55 runs. Have not checked b-ref.

I don't believe the gap is 5+ wins, but I can reasonably see the gap being 3 wins. Sano is terrible by the metrics.

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Old-Timey Member
1 minute ago, Minny505 said:

The gap in UZR/150 at 1B in 2021 was about 55 runs. Have not checked b-ref.

I don't believe the gap is 5+ wins, but I can reasonably see the gap being 3 wins. Sano is terrible by the metrics.

thanks for the info. He was staggeringly bad at first! I had no idea it was that bad. Ya, he should be the DH......

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Catchers: Sanchez, Jeffers, Godoy
Infielders: Sano, Polanco, Correa, Urshela
Outfielders: Kiriloff, Buxton, Kepler, Rooker
Utility: Arraez, Gordon

Rotation: Ryan, Gray, Ober, Archer, Bundy
Bullpen: Rogers, Duffey, Smith, Stashak, Jax/Smeltzer, Alcala, Thielbar, Moran, Cotton, Romero

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Lineup: 
Buxton, CF
Polanco, 2B
Correa, SS
Arraez, DH
Sano, 1B
Kepler, RF
Sanchez, C
Kiriloff, LF
Urshela, 3B

With Sano and Sanchez getting DH time, Rooker replacing Kepler or Kiriloff against lefties, Jeffers catching, and Arraez with less exposure against lefties. One reason I have Sano and Kepler where they are is because we really want them to be hitting well this year. Because, if so, this lineup is stacked and that's before the arrivals of Miranda and Larnach.

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