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  • Lewis, Miranda Among Six Players Added to the Twins 40-Man Roster


    Seth Stohs

    On Friday afternoon, the Minnesota Twins announced that they have added six players to their 40-man roster (four pitchers and two hitters). To make room, the team also had to remove several players from the roster. 

    Image courtesy of Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Lewis), Nathan Ray Seebeck, USA TODAY Sports (Miranda)

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    Top prospect Royce Lewis and 2021 Minor League Hitter of the Year Jose Miranda headline the additions. In addition, starting pitchers Josh Winder, Cole Sands, Blayne Enlow and Chris Vallimont were also added to the roster. 

    Despite missing the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL, Royce Lewis was an easy choice to add. The #1 pick in the 2017 draft (and current Twins Daily #1 prospect) remains a top prospect in the organization as well as in all of baseball. He participated at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul in 2020. Lewis should start the 2022 season at Double-A Wichita and from there we’ll just see how his knee and his swing and his glove respond. It's possible that Lewis ends the season with the Twins. 

    Following the announcement, Lewis said he is excited. "It means a lot! I really appreciate any sort of opportunity." And after a lost season and lots of recovery, he added, "Always great to hear any good news!"

    Jose Miranda was a second-round pick in 2016 out of school in Puerto Rico. He’s always had good power potential and contact skills, but things really came together in 2021 when he hit a combined .343 with 30 doubles and 30 home runs between Wichita and St. Paul. Depending on other offseason moves, Miranda should start the 2022 season in St. Paul, hopefully continue mashing and be ready for an opening at third base, or second base, or first base with the Twins. Miranda was the Twins Daily #6 prospect in August

    After hearing the news, Miranda told Twins Daily, "It means a lot, especially after a lost season last year. (I'm) excited and pumped for what the future holds, and this makes me want to work harder!"

    Josh Winder broke out in 2021 as well. After impressing coaches at Instructional League a year ago and at big-league spring training this year, he was fantastic in Wichita before starting out strong after his promotion to St. Paul. He pitched in the Futures Game before being shut down with shoulder issues. Assuming health, Winder may be competing for a big-league job in spring training. He’s likely to start in St. Paul but could be ready for The Call whenever needed. Winder is Twins Daily’s #11 prospect

    Winder was the team’s seventh-round pick in 2018 from VMI. Two rounds earlier, the Twins selected Cole Sands out of Florida State. Although he missed a few starts with minor injuries, he had a terrific season in Double-A Wichita. Sands should start 2021 in St. Paul and could be ready by midseason. Sands is the #19 Twins Daily prospect

    Chris Vallimont had an ERA over six and he walked far too many batters in 2021, but the former Marlins prospect was added to the 40-man roster because he has electric stuff.  While there may be questions about if he’ll be a starter long-term, the worst case is he can be a strong bullpen arm. Vallimont is the Twins Daily #25-ranked prospect

    Blayne Enlow was certainly a more difficult choice, but the team decided to believe in the future of their 2017 third-round pick. His potential, even as he continues to rehab from his May 2021 Tommy John surgery, remains very high. In 2021, he was throwing harder, mixed all of his pitches and was missing a lot more bats than he previously had. If all goes well, maybe he is making rehab appearances in June or July. If things go well and he continues to progress, he could debut by the end of the 2023 season. He ranked #17 on Twins Daily's prospect list

    After hearing the news, Enlow told Twins Daily he's "just getting started." 

    The goal, of course, is to avoid a situation like a year ago when the Twins lost Akil Baddoo to the Tigers and Tyler Wells to the Orioles. Both not only made their team out of spring training, but they both became important contributors. Last year, due to Covid, there were no minor league games in which to evaluate players. At least this year, they have game video and stats and more with which to do their evaluations. But, that doesn’t make all of the decisions easy. Here are several players at risk to be lost in the Rule 5 draft. 

    Austin Schulfer is a potential Rule 5 pick. As a starter in 2021 in Wichita, he was touching 96 mph with good secondary pitches. Again, he might end up a reliever, but there is certainly potential in his right arm 

    Others who could be at-risk to be selected in the Rule 5 draft include shortstop-turned-pitcher Jordan Gore who was Twins Daily’s Right-Handed Relief Pitcher All Star for his work in Cedar Rapids and Wichita in his first season on the mound. 

    St. Paul Saints relievers Ian Hamilton and Ryan Mason are also now eligible to be Rule 5d next month. Both found success in Triple-A in 2021 and could contribute in the big leagues when called upon. Other relievers that could be selected include lefties Kody Funderburk and Zach Featherstone, along with recently-acquired Alex Scherff

    Utility players are often taken in the Rule 5 draft. The Twins could potentially lose Jermaine Palacios (who re-signed with the Twins quickly this offseason), Michael Helman (who broke out power this year while playing six positions well), and Yunior Severino (former big-time prospect who hit well when he joined Cedar Rapids late in the season). In addition, Mark Contreras was left unprotected after hitting 30 doubles and 20 home runs, mostly in Triple-A St. Paul in 2021. He could be a team’s fourth outfielder right now if selected. 

    For more information on the players added or left unprotected, click here.  

    In order to make room, the Twins dropped several players from their 40-man roster. While the players added to the 40-man roster are very excited, the players removed from the 40-man roster are on the opposite end of the excitement spectrum. 

    The Twins have signed OF Jake Cave to an MLB deal. They outrighted LHP Devin Smeltzer and outfielder Kyle Garlick to Triple-A St. Paul. Lefty Charlie Barnes and C/IF Willians Astudillo have been DFAd. The 40-man roster is now at 40.

    Jake Cave was a very productive fourth outfielder for the Twins in 2018 and 2019. Over those two seasons, he hit .262/.329/.466 (.795) with 27 doubles and 21 homers in 163 games. Over the past two seasons, he has played in 118 games and hit just .202/.263/.332 (.595) with nine doubles and seven homers. His OPS+ over those two seasons was just 64. As an arbitration-eligible player, it is likely that he agreed to a deal at the Twins terms. 

    Willians Astudillo (aka, La Tortuga) has been a fan favorite since he was first called up to the Twins and his .355 in 29 games in 2018. He has spent time with the Twins each of the past four years, but taking out that first season, he hit just .251/.278/.382 (.659) in 138 games since the beginning of the 2019 season. That is an OPS+ of just 77, 23% below league average. Will he clear waivers? Will there be a team that thinks his ability to stand at five positions, as well as squat behind the plate, provides value?

    Kyle Garlick was claimed by the Twins before spring training in 2021. His ability to his left-handed pitching gave him and chance and he took full advantage of it. He hit well against southpaws, until he got hurt. He tried to rehab and come back, but he ended up having surgery on a sports hernia. He was drafted in 2015, so he could become a free agent. 

    Devin Smeltzer made an impressive first impression in his debut in 2019. He tossed six shutout innings in his big-league debut against the Brewers and had a 3.86 ERA over 49 innings. Unfortunately, he pitched to an ERA over six in just seven games in the shortened 2020 season. In 2021, He was hurt after just one appearance and missed the rest of the season (though he did toss 4 2/3 scoreless innings). He cleared waivers. 

    Charlie Barnes made nine appearances (8 starts) for the Twins in 2021, usually spot starts, he went 0-3 with a 5.92 ERA. However, he went 6-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 16 starts for the St. Paul Saints, so I'm sure the Twins hope that he passes through waivers unclaimed and they can outright him to Triple-A. 

     

    Let's discuss the Twins additions and subtractions from the 40-man roster. 

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    3 minutes ago, miller761 said:

    Is Jake Cave related to someone in the FO? Please don't subject us to watching another season of him swinging and missing.

     

    Yeah, the last couple years he's been just plain bad. A .249 OBP for a major league outfielder is just not acceptable. And when you consider they have a bunch of young guys who need at bats and can play OF, the decision to retain Cave is even more puzzling.

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    I really don't understand the need to keep Jake Cave. If the Twins signed him for less than proposed arbitration, I can't imagine that the market for him moutside of MKinnesota would've been huge. I would rather try and replace him than eat his salary if the time came.

     

    Astudillo and Garlick and Smeltzer and Barnes. Will all four remain with the Twins, or try their luck elsewhere. Watch, both Barnes and Smeltzer will become those situational lefties always in demand and find a long career at the back of a rotation or bulpen for years to come.

     

    Astudillo...well, now is his chance...to shine elsewhere or just be a contracted minor league guy.

     

    At least the Twins can now guarantee that they will have two easy to open roster positions when the season begins, with Maeda and Enlow on the IL-list. Of course, Enlow will have to be added back on if and when he finishes any rehab and accepts a minor league assignment.

     

    Sands could surprise in spring training. Vallimont has an opportunity. Let's hope Balazovic, Winder, Duran and Strotman can also be ready for the majors sooner...rather than much later.

     

    Again, looking at other teams (like Baltimore having multiple roster spots) and openings, the Twins could very well lose all four guys cut.

     

    And, from hereon out, any one added will replace the lesser on the roster.

     

    Still shaking my head over the need for Cave. I like the guy, don't get me wrong, and he did mostly what the Twins required of him.....but they do have 4th outfielder options internally and also showed they could find decent options outside on minor league contracts last season, if really needed.

     

    If we lose ANYONE in the Rule 5 draft, we can complain that it was all about keeping Jake Cave signed on the roster.

     

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    Cave likely signed for a very low contract. With OF like Larnach and Celestino and possibly even Kirilloff needing some time at the beginning of the season, they keep him around. Not sure what it means for Buxton, if anything. As guys prove themselves ready, the contract is low enough to just drop. 

    That's a minor note in today's story, by the way... the Six adds are the big thing. 

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    31 minutes ago, Rosterman said:

    Still shaking my head over the need for Cave.

    Since the inclusion of Cave led in large part to the Wade and Baddoo blunders, you'd expect a FO to learn from these kind of mistakes. Seems they haven't. Seems they don't.

    And with a 2022 MLB contract? No other team in MLB would have done this - there is NO competition for Cave's services at this point. Twins would have lost nothing by waiting and offering him an MiLB deal later, if he was somehow needed. Just yuck.

     

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    1 minute ago, LastOnePicked said:

    Since the inclusion of Cave led in large part to the Wade and Baddoo blunders, you'd expect a FO to learn from these kind of mistakes. Seems they haven't. Seems they don't.

    And with a 2022 MLB contract? No other team in MLB would have done this - there is NO competition for Cave's services at this point. Twins would have lost nothing by waiting and offering him an MiLB deal later, if he was somehow needed. Just yuck.

     

    To quote Seth ... 

    17 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

    That's a minor note in today's story, by the way... the Six adds are the big thing. 

    Do you have something to say about who was added? Or not added who are Rule 5 eligible?

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    Interesting to see them add so many arms. Not super shocking, and they're all guys I think are worthy of protecting, but it makes me think signing multiple FA arms is likely not in the plans. There's still a couple guys they could move on from if they find multiple guys they want to bring in, but my first thought is that they're going to turn the pitching over to more young guys than many would probably like. Or look to make trades that would have them moving guys on the 40 man. 

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    56 minutes ago, miller761 said:

    Is Jake Cave related to someone in the FO? Please don't subject us to watching another season of him swinging and missing.

    21 minutes ago, Linus said:

    LaMonte Wade got NL MVP votes. 

     

    Makes me wonder, Cave had a couple of good years with his bat in the beginning but he has always been a well below average CF. My wish was that they dropped Cave 1st with hope of the possibility that he'd be picked up. Even if didn't get selected, I surely didn't want them to sign him because Baldelli stick him CF. He has to be related to someone in the FO. FO said they'd be retooling if they had any sense of evaluation, you'd throw away your useless tools 1st. that would be Cave.

    I have given up all hope that this FO will change. If this FO stays the hand writing is on the wall and it's not good

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    43 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

    Do you have something to say about who was added? Or not added who are Rule 5 eligible?

    Sure. 1) It's not a "minor" or unrelated note - Cave's signing directly impacted the number of slots available to protect prospects. 2) I believe that Severino and Palacios had a real shot at impacting this team, and I'll be sad to see them lost if they are selected.

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    Interesting. Keep the lefty and younger Charlie Barnes, or the aging righty Griffin Jax. Wonder if they did rock/scissors/paper to make that call.

     

    Or, better yet - Thorpe or Barnes, if you have to make a choice.

     

    Wonder where all three will be in 2022?!

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    I agree with the priority of the prospects selected but I'm worried about the next bunch of prospect that are unprotected. I believe that there's more dead weight to be cut and be more active in trades that can create more space on the 40 man.

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    A little surprised on Vallimont but I guess the K rate was just too good to ignore.  With the control problems where he isn't even close to the strike zone he remains a wild card and I think the pen is his best chance for success.

    Personally I would have went with Contraras over Cave but I guess they feel with that with Mark's age and limited upside they were less likely to lose him via rule V.  Still he is an above average defender who can play all three outfield positions and showed some power last year.  He would be cheaper than Cave and an equal or better defender who can't be any worse than Cave was with the bat last year.  

    I would not be surprised to see Shulfer and Gore picked in rule V.  Both had good K rates but they are older and Gore is not that experienced so who knows.  I think a bottom team should pick Palacios.  The bat look close to ready and defense is good enough to hold down the position.  I would at least take a look if I were another team.  The Twins have literally nothing at short and leaving the one player who could possibly step in there seems odd to me.  If they are not believers and I am Palacios I say it is time to try another team.

    I don't see Severino as the next Baddoo mainly because he doesn't have his plate discipline I think he would be a pretty massive reach in the Rule V draft.

    I think they picked the right guys to protect but I still think we could lose some guys again as well.

     

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    19 minutes ago, LastOnePicked said:

    Sure. 1) It's not a "minor" or unrelated note - Cave's signing directly impacted the number of slots available to protect prospects. 2) I believe that Severino and Palacios had a real shot at impacting this team, and I'll be sad to see them lost if they are selected.

    Okay. That is what I was looking for. Thank you for elaborating

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    A bit surprised they added six.  I know others are higher than I on Vallimont, he was a surprise to me

    Not really any surprises on the released quartet, yet each player cut did provide some value to the Twins.
     

    Will they open a spot so they can make a pick at the Rule 5?  If so, who goes?  It will then be interesting to see who the next three, four or five cuts are to open spots for those free agent pitchers and shortstop.  Looking at the 40-man, making another five cuts isn’t clear, at least to me.

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    33 minutes ago, LastOnePicked said:

    Sure. 1) It's not a "minor" or unrelated note - Cave's signing directly impacted the number of slots available to protect prospects. 2) I believe that Severino and Palacios had a real shot at impacting this team, and I'll be sad to see them lost if they are selected.

    Palacios and Severino still have a real shot at impacting this team... Neither is likely to be Rule 5d. And, there are several others who are still on the 40-man roster that the same thing can be said of. Also, Cave's deal isn't even guaranteed. If he's released before the season starts, he only gets a portion of it. 

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    15 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

    That wasn’t your comment, though, and it didn’t relate at all to Seth’s article on who was/wasn’t added this year. 

    Well it was quite a common topic of conversation as Wade thrived after the trade and Cave is who he is.  So I can amend my comment to geez isn’t it too bad that we didn’t keep Wade over Cave. 

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    1 hour ago, chpettit19 said:

    Or look to make trades that would have them moving guys on the 40 man. 

    Pray for this. The minor leaguers added are fine - all seem like solid choices. Now it will be time to trade. This can even include some players that do not need to be put on the 40 person list yet. The Twins have the pieces necessary to complete 2-3 trades.

    The only iffy person was Palacios. I might have protected him. Then again, I haven't recently looked at the rosters of other teams. I did notice the Yankees DFA'd Clint Frazier. This should end all Frazier for Buxton, Luis Castillo, etc suggestions from Yankee fans.

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    35 minutes ago, Rosterman said:

    Interesting. Keep the lefty and younger Charlie Barnes, or the aging righty Griffin Jax. Wonder if they did rock/scissors/paper to make that call.

    Or, better yet - Thorpe or Barnes, if you have to make a choice.

    Wonder where all three will be in 2022?!

    Jax is a whole 10 months older than Barnes... 

    Jax has a good slider and some fastball velocity. I like Barnes too, but he's got to really be pinpoint with his velocity. That's an easy choice. Jax shouldn't be considered for DFA at this point. 

    Now, Thorpe vs. Barnes... that's an interesting decision. Thorpe is a few months younger, but the velocity concerns are still there. 

    My assumption is Jax will start in AAA and get time in the Twins bullpen. Barnes will likely make a whole bunch of starts in St. Paul. Thorpe will likely make starts for some other organization's AAA squad... 

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    35 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

    I agree with the priority of the prospects selected but I'm worried about the next bunch of prospect that are unprotected. I believe that there's more dead weight to be cut and be more active in trades that can create more space on the 40 man.

    There are LOTS of other players on the 40-man roster currently that can come off the roster when free agents are added, or they need them. 

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