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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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    On a loosely related note, I have wondered if the MLBPA might look to reduce the size of the protected roster from 40-35 in the next CBA. This doesn't seem very important to the MLBPA though and is more a matter of gaining choice for minor league players and thus unlikely.

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    2 minutes ago, tony&rodney said:

    On a loosely related note, I have wondered if the MLBPA might look to reduce the size of the protected roster from 40-35 in the next CBA. This doesn't seem very important to the MLBPA though and is more a matter of gaining choice for minor league players and thus unlikely.

    Interesting thought, but I just don't see that as possible. just 9 players beyond the 26-man roster... With the Twins injury situation in 2021, they would have run out of people. 

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    5 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

    With the Twins injury situation in 2021, they would have run out of people. 

    Yes, it seems unlikely as a point of little interest to either negotiating party. However, Tampa Bay used 61 players last season. They shuffled their 40 person roster frequently, one would say adroitly . I was just wondering if this would open jobs potentially for some players who get shifted back and forth with slim opportunity to manage their lives.

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    2 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

    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. 

    None of those need time in the minors. 

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    I have a hard time why a team wouldn't take Palacios in a Rule 5 selection. He was one of the best hitting shortstops in AA last year and his defense was good after he shook off the rusty glove he was using to start the season. Detroit grabbed Goodrum a couple years ago. Then again, I felt like Levi Michael would have been picked when he was first exposed after a pretty nice 2014 campaign.

    When it comes to Vallimont... the stats tell me he doesn't know where the ball is going and that rarely translates to being highly effective in the high minors when batters can lay off borderline pitches at higher and higher degrees.

    I probably would have protected Enlow like the Twins did. So much potential upside and the Twins believed enough in him to really go out and get him on his draft day paying him dramatically over-slot to get him to sign.

    Jake Cave? I don't see the attraction to putting him on the roster. Guys like him are a dime a dozen and I'm not convinced Nick Gordon can't completely replace him already. Those are the roster filler guys before the season starts and you've got all the starters and plans worked out. No real need to sign them this early when roster crunches are happening.

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    They kept the 6 they needed to keep and I'm glad they didn't play games with Enlow' s status. Someone would have grabbed him and stashed him.

    I would have liked to keep Schulfer, Contreras and Gore. Schulfer has the velocity to be interesting but his numbers don't exactly jump out at this point. He might be selected, and from there, who knows. But it's pretty hard to add 7-8-9 guys to the 40 man at this point for almost anyone. I hope be doesn't get selected, or is returned. Contreras and Gore are interesting, but not especially young. And Gore is still new to the mound. I hope both stay with the Twins, but again, you only have so many spots available.

    Love the improvement by Palacios and I have some hope for him. But despite solid overall numbers, his bat was inconsistent. Not sure anyone takes a gamble on him right now. I just don't think Severino is ready for a big move yet. Doesn't mean someone not expected to contend couldn't stash either one of these guys, but they also have their own players and own rosters to protect and run through. 

    As far as Cave goes, I'll repeat I was 50-50 if the Twins would keep him. He's an experienced and inexpensive 4th OF with 2 quality seasons before a bad 2020. (Not the only one who did). He hurt his back very early in 2021 and basically had a lost year. He has an option  and be can also be cut with no $ repercussion. He's kept for depth.

    If someone gets claimed, sticks, and does well elsewhere it would be easy to claim the Twins blew it. But even at that, if Cave had been cut, which other prospect do you keep in his place? How could we be certain that THAT ONE was the RIGHT ONE to protect? 

    All I'm saying is, you protect the best 40 you can with the knowledge, belief, and information you have. Some of it is guesswork, unfortunately. I don't know that I would have protected him. But based on his first 2 seasons and healthy again, yeah, I can see why they kept him for depth.

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    32 minutes ago, DocBauer said:

    ...Love the improvement by Palacios and I have some hope for him. But despite solid overall numbers, his bat was inconsistent...

    Like over his last several years? Last year Palacios' bat was pretty consistent. May, June and August were all great with OPS' over .800. July wasn't as great, but hardly terrible for a single month at .667. Palacios did slump hard in the final couple weeks after being platooned and having his playing time reduced a bit.

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    2 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

    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. 

    Thanks Seth but I'm not worried about FAs or just cutting dead weight later but protecting our good potential prospects now.

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    I don’t understand all this angst and negativity against the FO for Baddoo. The Tigers just cut him loose and no one else wanted him, right? Shouldn’t that tell you something if you hold him against them?

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    3 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

    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. 

    I think there is a decent chance we see Palacios as a Twin in 2022, but Severino? He's going to start in A+ this year, and if things go well he should end up in AA near the midpoint. I don't think he's particularly close to impacting the 2022 team. Spencer Steer is clearly ahead of him (as a probable second baseman, like Severino).

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    I'm all for keeping Palacios. A team has to be willing to pay him to keep him in the majors. The Twins losing him? Well, they already traded him to the Rays. They were fortunate to have him come back. They gave him anotehr contract free and easy. Palacios had the chance to sign anywhere, for a lot cheaper than another team paying the Twins for him and then paying him a major league partial salary.

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    12 hours ago, Doctor Gast said:

    Thought as much. they should have held onto him longer

    Couldn't they just have made a waiver claim to get him back? This is a signal about his expected value, unfortunately.

    I think if anyone is picked and stays for the year it will be Palacios.

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    11 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

    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... 

    So does Jax, whose ceiling seems to be multi-inning reliever.  Since I don't know the rules as well, maybe the Twins can put a few of these players together and get a better player from a team not that is not going to be competitive until at least 2024. 

    Expect most trades will be held off until after the new CBA, since there is a lot that can affect viewpoints not defined at this time.

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    I would have picked up Clint Frazier (DFA'd by the Yankess) and waved bye bye to Cave.  The only possible surprise here is Vallimont.  But I like keeping a guy with "electric stuff" in the hopes he figures out and you catch lightening in a bottle.  He could also be the hedge on letting Colina go (which surprised me at the time).  I agree with tony&rodney, it's time to make some trades.  THEN we will see additional 40 man roster moves.   

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    35 minutes ago, TopGunn#22 said:

    I would have picked up Clint Frazier

    LOL. Not to your suggestion, which makes sense. I had to chuckle yesterday when i saw Frazier DFA'd because Yankee fans were always suggesting a Frazier or Anduhar for Buxton or Berrios trade. Yankee fans are funny.

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    Was reading the MLBTradeRumors article, here's what unbiased baseball writers say about Charlie Barnes.

    "Barnes, 26, is a soft-tossing lefty and former fourth-rounder who made his big league debut out of necessity to help soak up some innings in an injury-ruined season for the Twins’ rotation. He was clobbered for a 5.92 ERA while striking out just 20 of the 175 batters he faced."

    I realize most here agree he's not much more than organizational depth, but I guess it's worth emphasizing just how awful so many of the Twins' "prospects" are. With Berrios long gone and Buxton soon to be shown the door, I'm not sure how this team doesn't become the Baltimore Orioles for the next 10 years.

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    4 hours ago, TopGunn#22 said:

    I would have picked up Clint Frazier (DFA'd by the Yankess) and waved bye bye to Cave. 

    Agreed, not only is he right-handed and a good compliment to lefties on this team, but he was faaar more competent in 2020 than Cave was, but also had a disastrous 2021. And he's two years younger. Though I would guess his projected arbitration cost (around $3M?) made him untradeable.

     

    3 hours ago, bighat said:

    With Berrios long gone and Buxton soon to be shown the door, I'm not sure how this team doesn't become the Baltimore Orioles for the next 10 years.

    There is still enough talent on this team to be mediocre. Meanwhile, Baltimore doesn't have a single veteran signed for 2022. I mean, Buxton doesn't even play 50% of the games the past 4 years or so, and it's not like we've turned into the Orioles without him. And we actually played better after Berrios was traded...

    2021 was a disaster, but I think you're mistaken if you think the Twins are going to become the 2011-2014 versions for the next few years. Then again, they may be stuck wavering around .500 the next few years, which is also a bad outcome.

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    retaining Cave scares.   LINE We are not going to sign Buxton, so we will be trading him and need as many backup options as possible. LINE

     

    Read between the lines to figure out what is going on with keeping Cave.

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    3 hours ago, Doctor Gast said:

    Seth, I was wondering if there's a deadline for these unprotected prospects to get claimed?

    Just the Rule 5 draft... They can't be claimed. They aren't minor league free agents. They're still with the Twins until they decide they aren't. Only way they're lost is if they get taken in the Rule 5. 

    Also, up above, some have said that Goodrum was Rule 5d from the Twins. No, the Twins DFAd him and he became a minor league free agent and signed with the Tigers. 

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    18 hours ago, bean5302 said:

    Like over his last several years? Last year Palacios' bat was pretty consistent. May, June and August were all great with OPS' over .800. July wasn't as great, but hardly terrible for a single month at .667. Palacios did slump hard in the final couple weeks after being platooned and having his playing time reduced a bit.

    If your monthly numbers are correct, then my memory is shot, lol. 

    I guess I should have been more clear that, as best I can recall, the power was there but the hitting was inconsistent. I may be right, or may be mis-remembering. And I guess that was where I was coming from. 

    I hope I'm right that the bat isn't proven yet to other teams enough to select and stash him.

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    18 hours ago, Danchat said:

    I think there is a decent chance we see Palacios as a Twin in 2022, but Severino? He's going to start in A+ this year, and if things go well he should end up in AA near the midpoint. I don't think he's particularly close to impacting the 2022 team. Spencer Steer is clearly ahead of him (as a probable second baseman, like Severino).

    Love your belief in Steer as I share it as well. I just don't know at this time if Steer is going to ever have a full time spot...unless he can surprise us at SS...due to being potentially  locked by Polanco and Miranda. But that's OK! I think he is going to be GOOD and valuable and flexible and a tremendous utility type. He might appear in 2022 but I'm looking more at 2023. 

    I am also very excited for Julian on a similar timetable. It may sound silly to some to be excited about utility players...barring injury or trade...but I fully embrace a roster that is deep and flexible. But I have a good feeling that BOTH of these guys have a chance to be integral parts of the Twins roster very soon as great "bench" pieces who play all over and contribute. 

    For those few who might not be paying full attention, position player wise, the Twins are trying to build a roster the way the Dogers and Rays have done, and are looking at the best EVERYDAY options as well as versatility and depth. And I have a really good feeling about both these guys. 

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    3 hours ago, DocBauer said:

    If your monthly numbers are correct, then my memory is shot, lol. 

    I guess I should have been more clear that, as best I can recall, the power was there but the hitting was inconsistent. I may be right, or may be mis-remembering. And I guess that was where I was coming from. 

    I hope I'm right that the bat isn't proven yet to other teams enough to select and stash him.

    As I recall, the way Palacios got to his consistent .800+ OPS months shifted around in regard to batting average or power, etc, but the end of the day was a pretty steady OPS. It's hard to take much away from a single month because a nasty 10 or 20 game run of luck can blow numbers to pieces.

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    With no Twins on my tv, watched a lot of Wichita games.  Mostly when one of the young studs was starting the game.

    Don’t recall anything of note from Palacios D, bad or good.  But maybe being consistent and solid is good.  On the other hand, don’t recall any players who wowed me, other than several plays by Whitfield...and he is gone.

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