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  1. While the Minnesota Twins have been pretty good since Derek Falvey and Thad Levine took over the front office, we’re not far off from those awful Twins teams of a decade or so ago. I found myself scratching my head thinking, “remember these guys?” This isn’t intended to be a space where the thought process derives from guys being bad or otherwise unproductive, but more about remembering that these players wore a Twins uniform. Some of them were very brief, and some were in games that didn’t count, but they were there and going through the motions nonetheless. Here are a few of the more obscure ones I could come up with: Carlos Quentin This one may be my favorite and is where this idea came from. Remember Quentin being a two-time All-Star for the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres? He had a pretty good career posting an .831 OPS and 154 homers. He retired in 2014, though, until he didn’t. In February of 2016, Minnesota signed Quentin to a minor league deal. He played 15 games for the Twins in Spring Training and posted an .833 OPS. However, instead of bringing him north, the Twins opted to play Miguel Sano in right field and asked Quentin to go to Rochester. He chose to be released instead. That Twins club lost 103 games. Jason Bartlett You remember the piranha Jason Bartlett, a scrappy shortstop for Ron Gardenhire clubs in the early 2000s. This is about the 34-year-old Bartlett that came back in 2014 and was all of a sudden a left fielder. In over 7,400 Major League innings, Bartlett had never played the outfield, but he acted as a defensive replacement for Gardy. That role lasted just two games and seven innings. It didn’t go well, and he hasn’t played since. Sean Burroughs Another former Padres player that had some name recognition. Burroughs played in 440 games at the Major League level from 2002 to 2006. He then didn’t resurface until 2011 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Coming to camp with the Twins in 2012, he played in 10 games compiling a .343 OPS before being released. John Ryan Murphy Minnesota acquired Murphy from the Yankees in exchange for Aaron Hicks. Both guys looked like they needed a fresh start, and after Murphy took star closer Glen Perkins deep at Target Field, apparently the Twins decided they needed to be that place. He played in just 26 games for Minnesota, posting a .413 OPS. Somehow, despite a .591 OPS in 143 Major League games since, Murphy was still getting big league jobs until 2020. Vance Worley One guy that will never forget his time with the Twins is Vance Worley. Ask him to sign a Minnesota baseball card, and he’d rather shred it. Acquired in the Ben Revere trade alongside Trevor May, Worley was the club’s Opening Day starter in 2013. He was beaten to a 7.21 ERA in just over 48 innings and never pitched with the club again. It was May who Minnesota wanted most in the Phillies deal, but the Major League-ready arm certainly didn’t work out. Sam Fuld One of my favorite acquisition stories in Twins history, Terry Ryan worked a laugher in Sam Fuld. Claiming him a couple of weeks into the season from Oakland, Fuld played 52 games for Minnesota before the Athletics needed his services back. In the deal, Tommy Milone was acquired by Minnesota and went on to pitch in 49 games for the Twins. Just the idea of flipping Oakland their asset back and gaining something in the ordeal was incredible. David Murphy Murphy’s Baseball Reference page ends at Triple-A in 2016, and that’s because he never actually played for the Twins. Needing outfield help, he was signed to Triple-A Rochester and played ten games before Minnesota needed his services. The 2016 Twins were an abomination, losing 103 games, and rather than accept his promotion to the big leagues, a 34-year-old Murphy called it quits. What are some players you remember being involved in weird Twins roster decisions? View full article
  2. This isn’t intended to be a space where the thought process derives from guys being bad or otherwise unproductive, but more about remembering that these players wore a Twins uniform. Some of them were very brief, and some were in games that didn’t count, but they were there and going through the motions nonetheless. Here are a few of the more obscure ones I could come up with: Carlos Quentin This one may be my favorite and is where this idea came from. Remember Quentin being a two-time All-Star for the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres? He had a pretty good career posting an .831 OPS and 154 homers. He retired in 2014, though, until he didn’t. In February of 2016, Minnesota signed Quentin to a minor league deal. He played 15 games for the Twins in Spring Training and posted an .833 OPS. However, instead of bringing him north, the Twins opted to play Miguel Sano in right field and asked Quentin to go to Rochester. He chose to be released instead. That Twins club lost 103 games. Jason Bartlett You remember the piranha Jason Bartlett, a scrappy shortstop for Ron Gardenhire clubs in the early 2000s. This is about the 34-year-old Bartlett that came back in 2014 and was all of a sudden a left fielder. In over 7,400 Major League innings, Bartlett had never played the outfield, but he acted as a defensive replacement for Gardy. That role lasted just two games and seven innings. It didn’t go well, and he hasn’t played since. Sean Burroughs Another former Padres player that had some name recognition. Burroughs played in 440 games at the Major League level from 2002 to 2006. He then didn’t resurface until 2011 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Coming to camp with the Twins in 2012, he played in 10 games compiling a .343 OPS before being released. John Ryan Murphy Minnesota acquired Murphy from the Yankees in exchange for Aaron Hicks. Both guys looked like they needed a fresh start, and after Murphy took star closer Glen Perkins deep at Target Field, apparently the Twins decided they needed to be that place. He played in just 26 games for Minnesota, posting a .413 OPS. Somehow, despite a .591 OPS in 143 Major League games since, Murphy was still getting big league jobs until 2020. Vance Worley One guy that will never forget his time with the Twins is Vance Worley. Ask him to sign a Minnesota baseball card, and he’d rather shred it. Acquired in the Ben Revere trade alongside Trevor May, Worley was the club’s Opening Day starter in 2013. He was beaten to a 7.21 ERA in just over 48 innings and never pitched with the club again. It was May who Minnesota wanted most in the Phillies deal, but the Major League-ready arm certainly didn’t work out. Sam Fuld One of my favorite acquisition stories in Twins history, Terry Ryan worked a laugher in Sam Fuld. Claiming him a couple of weeks into the season from Oakland, Fuld played 52 games for Minnesota before the Athletics needed his services back. In the deal, Tommy Milone was acquired by Minnesota and went on to pitch in 49 games for the Twins. Just the idea of flipping Oakland their asset back and gaining something in the ordeal was incredible. David Murphy Murphy’s Baseball Reference page ends at Triple-A in 2016, and that’s because he never actually played for the Twins. Needing outfield help, he was signed to Triple-A Rochester and played ten games before Minnesota needed his services. The 2016 Twins were an abomination, losing 103 games, and rather than accept his promotion to the big leagues, a 34-year-old Murphy called it quits. What are some players you remember being involved in weird Twins roster decisions?
  3. After a one week absence, Trending is back and better than ever. (But only because it’s better than the first and only week it has appeared.) Let's take a look at some of the roster battles that are going on.The Starting Rotation All along the general consensus was that Tyler Duffey would be in the Twins rotation. Based on how he performed down the stretch last year, why wouldn’t he be? MLB might as well be short for “What have you done for me lately?” because, lately, Tyler Duffey hasn’t done much. He’s gone from “it’s going to take a disaster to not be in the rotation” to “well his name is written in pencil, not ink” to “well we can’t send Nolasco down, so….”. The trend line is pointing solidly to Tommy Milone as being the lone lefty in the rotation. And after Nolasco’s strong performance Wednesday - coupled with Duffey not pitching well against minor leaguers - it appears Nolasco has regained the lead in the quest for the fifth and final rotation spot. That could leave Duffey out in the cold (of Rochester). Trending up, on the other hand, is the Red Wings starting rotation which will include Jose Berrios, Alex Meyer and Tyler Duffey. Taylor Rogers, though, will start the season in the bullpen. The Bullpen The group of Glen Perkins, Kevin Jepsen, Trevor May and Casey Fien will form an average (or better) back end. Non-roster lefty Fernando Abad is expected to join them. When Duffey appeared poised for the rotation, that forced Nolasco to take up one of the two remaining bullpen spots. But now with that race tightening up, there could be two spots available in the bullpen. J.R. Graham was optioned to Rochester on Wednesday. Michael Tonkin finally had a decent showing on Tuesday after giving up runs in each of his last three outings, including two runs in each of his last two one-inning appearances. Tonkin might get a longer look (i.e. into the season) just because he is out of options, but he’s been trending the wrong direction all spring. Some other names to keep an eye on are Dan Runzler, a lefty who has allowed seven men on base in eight innings, and potential LOOGY Ryan O’Rourke, who has been lights-out in his 5 ⅔ innings this spring. Both of those men are trending in the right direction. (Edit: Yes, Ryan Pressly should absolutely be considered for the bullpen and is probably a favorite to secure the spot if there is only one opening. If there are two spots open, Pressly has to be considered a near-lock.) Another name that popped up this afternoon, thanks to Steve Lein, is Tyler Duffey. If he’s not in the rotation, how dominant could he be in the bullpen (a la Trevor May)? You also have the insurance built in that he doesn’t need to be the sixth starter in the organization (Berrios). It’s kinda crazy - and not a move I would make this season - but definitely something that could be worth considering as the roster continues to take shape (and you believe the best 25 should go north). The Bench Danny Santana missed seven days of games due to a sore wrist within the last two weeks but has started to hit (5 for 11) in his last three games. He’s been playing a variety of positions, which gives him a little value. The reality is that Santana, another out-of-options player, is going to be on the 25-man whether he hits or not. The hope here, though, is that Molitor can avoid using him as anything but a late-innings pinch-runner when it’s absolutely necessary. I’d still consider him to be trending down, but the slope isn’t as steep as it was ten days ago. Oswaldo Arcia is in a very similar place. Only Arcia’s (potential) value is in his bat and not his versatility. Arcia teased us in 2014 and frustrated us in 2015. He’s now being pushed by the old knees of the recently unretired Carlos Quentin. Yet it’s still hard to believe that the club will decide to keep Quentin, who has no defensive value compared to even Arcia. But if it’s bat we’re looking for and spring training we’re watching, we still see Arcia’s OPS of .528 next to Quentin’s OPS of .931 in the 15 games they’ve each played and wonder, “What to do with Ozzie?” Smart money is on him taking up a bench spot early in the season. What do you think? What would you do? Click here to view the article
  4. The Starting Rotation All along the general consensus was that Tyler Duffey would be in the Twins rotation. Based on how he performed down the stretch last year, why wouldn’t he be? MLB might as well be short for “What have you done for me lately?” because, lately, Tyler Duffey hasn’t done much. He’s gone from “it’s going to take a disaster to not be in the rotation” to “well his name is written in pencil, not ink” to “well we can’t send Nolasco down, so….”. The trend line is pointing solidly to Tommy Milone as being the lone lefty in the rotation. And after Nolasco’s strong performance Wednesday - coupled with Duffey not pitching well against minor leaguers - it appears Nolasco has regained the lead in the quest for the fifth and final rotation spot. That could leave Duffey out in the cold (of Rochester). Trending up, on the other hand, is the Red Wings starting rotation which will include Jose Berrios, Alex Meyer and Tyler Duffey. Taylor Rogers, though, will start the season in the bullpen. The Bullpen The group of Glen Perkins, Kevin Jepsen, Trevor May and Casey Fien will form an average (or better) back end. Non-roster lefty Fernando Abad is expected to join them. When Duffey appeared poised for the rotation, that forced Nolasco to take up one of the two remaining bullpen spots. But now with that race tightening up, there could be two spots available in the bullpen. J.R. Graham was optioned to Rochester on Wednesday. Michael Tonkin finally had a decent showing on Tuesday after giving up runs in each of his last three outings, including two runs in each of his last two one-inning appearances. Tonkin might get a longer look (i.e. into the season) just because he is out of options, but he’s been trending the wrong direction all spring. Some other names to keep an eye on are Dan Runzler, a lefty who has allowed seven men on base in eight innings, and potential LOOGY Ryan O’Rourke, who has been lights-out in his 5 ⅔ innings this spring. Both of those men are trending in the right direction. (Edit: Yes, Ryan Pressly should absolutely be considered for the bullpen and is probably a favorite to secure the spot if there is only one opening. If there are two spots open, Pressly has to be considered a near-lock.) Another name that popped up this afternoon, thanks to Steve Lein, is Tyler Duffey. If he’s not in the rotation, how dominant could he be in the bullpen (a la Trevor May)? You also have the insurance built in that he doesn’t need to be the sixth starter in the organization (Berrios). It’s kinda crazy - and not a move I would make this season - but definitely something that could be worth considering as the roster continues to take shape (and you believe the best 25 should go north). The Bench Danny Santana missed seven days of games due to a sore wrist within the last two weeks but has started to hit (5 for 11) in his last three games. He’s been playing a variety of positions, which gives him a little value. The reality is that Santana, another out-of-options player, is going to be on the 25-man whether he hits or not. The hope here, though, is that Molitor can avoid using him as anything but a late-innings pinch-runner when it’s absolutely necessary. I’d still consider him to be trending down, but the slope isn’t as steep as it was ten days ago. Oswaldo Arcia is in a very similar place. Only Arcia’s (potential) value is in his bat and not his versatility. Arcia teased us in 2014 and frustrated us in 2015. He’s now being pushed by the old knees of the recently unretired Carlos Quentin. Yet it’s still hard to believe that the club will decide to keep Quentin, who has no defensive value compared to even Arcia. But if it’s bat we’re looking for and spring training we’re watching, we still see Arcia’s OPS of .528 next to Quentin’s OPS of .931 in the 15 games they’ve each played and wonder, “What to do with Ozzie?” Smart money is on him taking up a bench spot early in the season. What do you think? What would you do?
  5. Aaron and John talk about Tyler Duffey vs. Ricky Nolasco, newspaper columns about Miguel Sano, making over/under picks for the AL Central teams, unemployment pluses and minuses, Carlos Quentin asking for his release, Byron Buxton at the bottom of the lineup, mac and cheesing it up at Mason's Barre, and choosing the winner for the 20-game Twins season ticket package giveaway from MN Corn Growers. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click the Play button below. Click here to view the article
  6. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/Episode_240_AL_West_Over-Under.mp3
  7. Joining Quentin on the Triple-A roster is catcher John Hicks, who had hit .304/.292/.348 in 12 spring games. Meanwhile position players Darin Mastroianni, Juan Centeno, James Beresford and pitcher Dan Runzler were reassigned to the minor league camp leaving 29 players left in camp. The Twins now have sixteen pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders remaining with four cuts left to make. Quentin, who was in the running for a spot on the bench as a right-handed bat, has a June 1 opt-out in his contract. The 33-year-old signed a minor league deal this offseason in hopes of returning after a year off from baseball. He performed well in the spring, hitting a pair of home runs and posting a .250/.333/.500 line over 15 games. Earlier in the week, assistant GM Rob Antony told reporters that the team had a “gentlemen’s agreement” with Quentin, saying that the team would let Quentin out of his deal if they felt there would be no room for the veteran going forward. Quentin’s reassignment paves the way for Oswaldo Arcia to assume the role of part-time outfielder, DH and pinch hitter. Arcia has not had a strong spring, but a pair of opposite field home runs of left-handed pitching this week has given the Twins some reassurances that Arcia’s offseason work is paying off.
  8. The Carlos Quentin comeback experiment will be delayed. The Minnesota Twins made six moves this morning, trimming the roster down to 29 players, including reassigning the veteran Quentin to Rochester.Joining Quentin on the Triple-A roster is catcher John Hicks, who had hit .304/.292/.348 in 12 spring games. Meanwhile position players Darin Mastroianni, Juan Centeno, James Beresford and pitcher Dan Runzler were reassigned to the minor league camp leaving 29 players left in camp. The Twins now have sixteen pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders remaining with four cuts left to make. Quentin, who was in the running for a spot on the bench as a right-handed bat, has a June 1 opt-out in his contract. The 33-year-old signed a minor league deal this offseason in hopes of returning after a year off from baseball. He performed well in the spring, hitting a pair of home runs and posting a .250/.333/.500 line over 15 games. Earlier in the week, assistant GM Rob Antony told reporters that the team had a “gentlemen’s agreement” with Quentin, saying that the team would let Quentin out of his deal if they felt there would be no room for the veteran going forward. Quentin’s reassignment paves the way for Oswaldo Arcia to assume the role of part-time outfielder, DH and pinch hitter. Arcia has not had a strong spring, but a pair of opposite field home runs of left-handed pitching this week has given the Twins some reassurances that Arcia’s offseason work is paying off. Click here to view the article
  9. * Quentin and Sweeney are facing an uphill battle given that they are non-roster invites going against homegrown players who are out of options, but both have been productive enough this spring to spark some intrigue. Today, however, was not a banner day for either. The only hit between the two was a Sweeney single that was generously scored as such when Pittsburgh second baseman Cole Figueroa took a wrong first step on a flare and couldn’t recover. Quentin, in particular, had a rough one. He batted cleanup and struck out in both of his first two at-bats, each time with a runner on third and fewer than two outs. He finished 0-for-3 but Paul Molitor viewed it as more of an isolated bad day than a general sign of weakness for the veteran hitter. “He’s been pretty good at shortening his swing with two strikes in camp, today it didn’t work out particularly well.” * Two-strike approach is an area where the manager drew a distinction between Quentin and Oswaldo Arcia, who might be in direct competition for the final bench job. On a quiet day for Quentin, Arcia did little to distinguish himself at the plate, finishing 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and failing to cash in on a pair of early scoring opportunities. “He gets a little long with his swing,” Molitor said. “People have a tendency to get him to climb the ladder, especially with two strikes.” I’d say Arcia has a clear leg up, since the Twins recognize that losing him on waivers would be unfortunate, but I wouldn’t look at this one as a lock just yet. Having a veteran on the bench who can come in and take a quality at-bat is something that the Twins have valued in the past, and while Arcia has shown a somewhat improved approach at the plate this spring, it hasn’t led to much in the way of results. Today’s 0-fer dropped his average to .179. * Danny Santana, meanwhile, had himself a nice ballgame. He collected a couple of hits, including a single that he flicked through the wide-open left side when the Pirates shifted him. Given his lack of remaining options and his ability to play both infield and outfield, it’s tough to see Santana being left off the roster. His versatility, combined with his speed and switch-hitting, make him a nice bench piece. “Danny can spray the ball," Molitor said after the game. “He stayed on the ball better today I thought." * Starting pitcher Kyle Gibson was on top of his game. His 10-to-0 grounder-to-fly ratio is exactly what you like to see from a sinkerballer, and in the second inning he shattered the bat of former Twins farmhand Danny Ortiz with a pitch in on the handle. As usual, Gibson lamented his walks after the outing (he had two), but he generally seemed pleased with where he’s at. “The pitches I’ve been working on are where I want them to be, and they’re getting better,” he said. * Taylor Rogers was first to come on in relief for Twins after Gibson was removed in the fifth. Rogers is involved in one of the other remaining position battles on the roster: the left-handed relief gig. Fernando Abad is considered the front-runner in that race. The 30-year-old veteran has a sizable experience edge over Rogers and others, but he historically lacks the platoon splits that might come in handy for a situational bullpen role. I asked Molitor on Sunday if that weighs into his decision. “I’m kinda looking for guys who are pitching the best,” he replied. “The season [Abad] had in 2014 it seemed like he dominated lefties and righties fairly well. Last year was a little bit of a step back.” “He’s not afraid to throw that changeup to lefties and he can throw that curveball over, which is a good pitch to have. I am aware of the history and the numbers, but I’m just looking for the guys who are throwing the best and give us the best chance." * Glen Perkins fired a scoreless sixth frame with a pair of strikeouts. He has now worked six innings this spring with three hits allowed, a 6-to-0 K/BB ratio and a 0.00 ERA. Sure, it’s spring training and the numbers are ultimately meaningless. But it’s still nice to see after the way he finished last year. * Eduardo Escobar went 1-for-2 with a hustle triple, his second three-bagger of the spring. He also made a couple of slick plays defensively at short. Before the game, Brian Dozier called his double play partner “one of the most underrated players in the game,” and it’s hard to disagree with his assessment, given how many Twins fans I saw beckoning the team to explore options at shortstop this past offseason. "You put his stats up, anything regarding defense, offense, everything, it’s up there with the elite shortstops in the league,” Dozier said. "He’s going to have a chance to play every single day this year. You’ll see his numbers get even better." * David Freese was batting third in the Pirates lineup. I mention him because his situation over the winter was reflective of a lukewarm (at best) third base market that might have contributed to the Twins not trading Trevor Plouffe. Freese was far and away the best third baseman in free agency, and really the only quality starting option, yet he went unsigned until 10 days ago when Pittsburgh acquired him on a meager one-year, $3 million deal. The lack of a market for Freese, and the underwhelming return that the Reds got for dealing Al-Star Todd Frazier to the White Sox, suggest that Ryan made the right choice by holding onto Plouffe. Whether or not it was prudent to send Miguel Sano to right field to make all of the pieces fit is another discussion. * On Sunday I mentioned that Ryan had expressed an inclination to keep Alex Meyer in the rotation at Class-AAA Rochester rather than relegating him to a bullpen role. Today, the general manager made it official that they’ll go with Meyer as a starter for now, with the caveat that it’s not necessarily an assignment that will stick for his career of even for the entirety of the 2016 season. Ryan specifically pointed out that working as a starter enables the big righty to utilize and refine the entirety of his pitch repertoire (particularly his so-so change), which is much more easily done from the rotation than the bullpen. But you also have to think that his fantastic 2014 performance as a starter in the International League – which really isn't all that far in the past – factored in.
  10. Most of the Twins position players have essentially locked up their spots on the roster, but a couple of jobs on the bench remain in play. Four who are in that mix – Danny Santana, Oswaldo Arcia, Carlos Quentin, Ryan Sweeney – were all in the starting lineup in today’s 2-0 loss to the Pirates.* Quentin and Sweeney are facing an uphill battle given that they are non-roster invites going against homegrown players who are out of options, but both have been productive enough this spring to spark some intrigue. Today, however, was not a banner day for either. The only hit between the two was a Sweeney single that was generously scored as such when Pittsburgh second baseman Cole Figueroa took a wrong first step on a flare and couldn’t recover. Quentin, in particular, had a rough one. He batted cleanup and struck out in both of his first two at-bats, each time with a runner on third and fewer than two outs. He finished 0-for-3 but Paul Molitor viewed it as more of an isolated bad day than a general sign of weakness for the veteran hitter. “He’s been pretty good at shortening his swing with two strikes in camp, today it didn’t work out particularly well.” * Two-strike approach is an area where the manager drew a distinction between Quentin and Oswaldo Arcia, who might be in direct competition for the final bench job. On a quiet day for Quentin, Arcia did little to distinguish himself at the plate, finishing 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and failing to cash in on a pair of early scoring opportunities. “He gets a little long with his swing,” Molitor said. “People have a tendency to get him to climb the ladder, especially with two strikes.” I’d say Arcia has a clear leg up, since the Twins recognize that losing him on waivers would be unfortunate, but I wouldn’t look at this one as a lock just yet. Having a veteran on the bench who can come in and take a quality at-bat is something that the Twins have valued in the past, and while Arcia has shown a somewhat improved approach at the plate this spring, it hasn’t led to much in the way of results. Today’s 0-fer dropped his average to .179. * Danny Santana, meanwhile, had himself a nice ballgame. He collected a couple of hits, including a single that he flicked through the wide-open left side when the Pirates shifted him. Given his lack of remaining options and his ability to play both infield and outfield, it’s tough to see Santana being left off the roster. His versatility, combined with his speed and switch-hitting, make him a nice bench piece. “Danny can spray the ball," Molitor said after the game. “He stayed on the ball better today I thought." * Starting pitcher Kyle Gibson was on top of his game. His 10-to-0 grounder-to-fly ratio is exactly what you like to see from a sinkerballer, and in the second inning he shattered the bat of former Twins farmhand Danny Ortiz with a pitch in on the handle. As usual, Gibson lamented his walks after the outing (he had two), but he generally seemed pleased with where he’s at. “The pitches I’ve been working on are where I want them to be, and they’re getting better,” he said. * Taylor Rogers was first to come on in relief for Twins after Gibson was removed in the fifth. Rogers is involved in one of the other remaining position battles on the roster: the left-handed relief gig. Fernando Abad is considered the front-runner in that race. The 30-year-old veteran has a sizable experience edge over Rogers and others, but he historically lacks the platoon splits that might come in handy for a situational bullpen role. I asked Molitor on Sunday if that weighs into his decision. “I’m kinda looking for guys who are pitching the best,” he replied. “The season [Abad] had in 2014 it seemed like he dominated lefties and righties fairly well. Last year was a little bit of a step back.” “He’s not afraid to throw that changeup to lefties and he can throw that curveball over, which is a good pitch to have. I am aware of the history and the numbers, but I’m just looking for the guys who are throwing the best and give us the best chance." * Glen Perkins fired a scoreless sixth frame with a pair of strikeouts. He has now worked six innings this spring with three hits allowed, a 6-to-0 K/BB ratio and a 0.00 ERA. Sure, it’s spring training and the numbers are ultimately meaningless. But it’s still nice to see after the way he finished last year. * Eduardo Escobar went 1-for-2 with a hustle triple, his second three-bagger of the spring. He also made a couple of slick plays defensively at short. Before the game, Brian Dozier called his double play partner “one of the most underrated players in the game,” and it’s hard to disagree with his assessment, given how many Twins fans I saw beckoning the team to explore options at shortstop this past offseason. "You put his stats up, anything regarding defense, offense, everything, it’s up there with the elite shortstops in the league,” Dozier said. "He’s going to have a chance to play every single day this year. You’ll see his numbers get even better." * David Freese was batting third in the Pirates lineup. I mention him because his situation over the winter was reflective of a lukewarm (at best) third base market that might have contributed to the Twins not trading Trevor Plouffe. Freese was far and away the best third baseman in free agency, and really the only quality starting option, yet he went unsigned until 10 days ago when Pittsburgh acquired him on a meager one-year, $3 million deal. The lack of a market for Freese, and the underwhelming return that the Reds got for dealing Al-Star Todd Frazier to the White Sox, suggest that Ryan made the right choice by holding onto Plouffe. Whether or not it was prudent to send Miguel Sano to right field to make all of the pieces fit is another discussion. * On Sunday I mentioned that Ryan had expressed an inclination to keep Alex Meyer in the rotation at Class-AAA Rochester rather than relegating him to a bullpen role. Today, the general manager made it official that they’ll go with Meyer as a starter for now, with the caveat that it’s not necessarily an assignment that will stick for his career of even for the entirety of the 2016 season. Ryan specifically pointed out that working as a starter enables the big righty to utilize and refine the entirety of his pitch repertoire (particularly his so-so change), which is much more easily done from the rotation than the bullpen. But you also have to think that his fantastic 2014 performance as a starter in the International League – which really isn't all that far in the past – factored in. Click here to view the article
  11. * With Quentin having a June 1st opt-out built into his minor-league deal, there has been some speculation that the Twins might send him to Rochester as depth in case somebody gets hurt or Arcia fizzles early on. But assistant GM Rob Antony says that the veteran outfielder, who sat out the 2015 season, was signed with an agreement that he’d only be shipped to Triple-A if he had a clear path to the majors. “He had no problem going to the minor leagues if we saw him as a fit, if he just needed at-bats or something,” Antony explained. “But if we said we don’t see it happening or whatever, I basically verbally told him … I’m not just going to run you down to Rochester and hold you there for two months.” In other words, if the Twins decide Arcia is their guy, don’t expect Quentin to stick around. But it’s overly hasty to presume that outcome. “He’s had a very good spring,” the AGM noted of Quentin, who went 1-for-3 with a double and walk today. * Will it be good enough to unseat the front-runner Arcia? The 24-year-old had himself a solid game with a double and a walk of his own. He also struck out for a 10th time (tying Byung Ho Park for the team lead), but his approach at the plate has been noticeably better. “Bruno’s happy with his progress, so that’s enough said,” according to bench coach Joe Vavra, who watched things play out today as acting manager. Meanwhile, Arcia's improvement in the outfield and on the base paths has been as obvious as the trimmed down physique that’s contributed to it. Today he made a heads-up play scrambling from second to third on a ball that skipped away from Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph. This after sprinting about 100 feet to make a nice running catch in left on Monday. “Those are all big plays, and we’re watching,” Vavra said. “Those are important." * Spring training is interesting. For established veterans who have been through the grind repeatedly and are just trying to stay healthy into the regular season, it becomes a nuisance that drags on. For guys like Buddy Boshers, it’s an opportunity worth savoring. The non-roster invite was out of organized ball last year, pitching in an independent league where he caught the attention of the Twins and a few other teams by posting a 1.00 ERA with a 71-to-14 K/BB ratio in 54 innings. When he had the choice between a couple of different suitors on minor-league deals, Minnesota’s bullpen composition appealed to him and his agent. “That was a big key for signing here,” said the 27-year-old southpaw. “They needed some left-handed depth in the bullpen.” He ended up pitching for the Somerset Patriots after being released from Rockies camp last March and receiving no calls. The resounding success he achieved in the Somerset bullpen with his mid-90s fastball and big curve led to his landing with the Twins and getting a shot to compete for a relief job. Given that he isn’t on the 40-man roster, Boshers is a long shot to win a spot on Opening Day, but right now he’s got all he wants: a chance. “I’m getting some opportunities so I can’t really complain,” he said. He made the most of the one he got today. Boshers worked two scoreless frames, including a 1-2-3 sixth against three intimidating big-league righties: Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo. * Boshers wasn’t the only reliever battling for a job who got an extended look today. It was a bullpen game for Minnesota, with lefty Logan Darnell getting the start and pitching just a couple innings, so the Twins were able to stretch out a few arms, giving two innings apiece to Boshers, Brandon Kintzler and Michael Tonkin. The stakes are high for Tonkin, in terms of his future with the organization, because he’s out of options and would almost certainly be claimed if he hit waivers. He’s been enduring a miserable spring but had an excellent outing today, retiring all six batters he faced. The big righty was repeatedly painting the outside corner with his 95 MPH power fastball, making it almost unhittable, and mixed in a sharp breaking ball that drew strong reviews from Vavra after the game. * A couple hours away in Clearwater, the other half of the split-squad dispatched the Phillies 7-5. Byron Buxton had a pair of hits but struck out three times. Park drove in a couple of runs. Slugging prospect Daniel Palka, acquired in exchange for Chris Herrmann during the offseason, launched two home runs. * The Twins released a number of minor-leaguers over the past couple days, and most of the names wouldn’t be recognized by anyone other than our guy Seth. One that stuck out, however, was pitcher Brandon Poulson. You may remember him as the the big 6’6” righty with a triple-digit fastball who received a shocking $250,000 bonus to sign with the Twins in July of 2014 despite being undrafted. If they could get the kid to throw it in the zone, it was said, he could be a story destined for Hollywood. Unfortunately, that just never happened. “Couldn’t throw it over,” Antony said. “He had a terrific arm, and we tried a lot of different things, but he wasn’t able to throw enough strikes.” Poulson is now 26, and still hadn’t appeared in a full-season league. In 20 rookie ball appearances over the last two seasons, he issued 32 walks in 27 2/3 innings. * Tomorrow Ricky Nolasco will take the mound against the Rays at 12:05 CT. It'll be my last day in camp, sadly, but Parker will be checking in to wrap up our spring training coverage.
  12. Today was a split-squad today for the Twins, with Phil Hughes and a few regulars heading to Clearwater to face the Phillies while most of the positional mainstays remained in Fort Myers for a match-up against the Orioles at Hammond. The Twins won 5-1 in their home park, with Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe each chipping in two-run homers. Carlos Quentin and Oswaldo Arcia, competing for a bench spot, were slotted back-to-back in the lineup for a second straight day, while several relievers vying for bullpen jobs got the chance to make key impressions.* With Quentin having a June 1st opt-out built into his minor-league deal, there has been some speculation that the Twins might send him to Rochester as depth in case somebody gets hurt or Arcia fizzles early on. But assistant GM Rob Antony says that the veteran outfielder, who sat out the 2015 season, was signed with an agreement that he’d only be shipped to Triple-A if he had a clear path to the majors. “He had no problem going to the minor leagues if we saw him as a fit, if he just needed at-bats or something,” Antony explained. “But if we said we don’t see it happening or whatever, I basically verbally told him … I’m not just going to run you down to Rochester and hold you there for two months.” In other words, if the Twins decide Arcia is their guy, don’t expect Quentin to stick around. But it’s overly hasty to presume that outcome. “He’s had a very good spring,” the AGM noted of Quentin, who went 1-for-3 with a double and walk today. * Will it be good enough to unseat the front-runner Arcia? The 24-year-old had himself a solid game with a double and a walk of his own. He also struck out for a 10th time (tying Byung Ho Park for the team lead), but his approach at the plate has been noticeably better. “Bruno’s happy with his progress, so that’s enough said,” according to bench coach Joe Vavra, who watched things play out today as acting manager. Meanwhile, Arcia's improvement in the outfield and on the base paths has been as obvious as the trimmed down physique that’s contributed to it. Today he made a heads-up play scrambling from second to third on a ball that skipped away from Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph. This after sprinting about 100 feet to make a nice running catch in left on Monday. “Those are all big plays, and we’re watching,” Vavra said. “Those are important." * Spring training is interesting. For established veterans who have been through the grind repeatedly and are just trying to stay healthy into the regular season, it becomes a nuisance that drags on. For guys like Buddy Boshers, it’s an opportunity worth savoring. The non-roster invite was out of organized ball last year, pitching in an independent league where he caught the attention of the Twins and a few other teams by posting a 1.00 ERA with a 71-to-14 K/BB ratio in 54 innings. When he had the choice between a couple of different suitors on minor-league deals, Minnesota’s bullpen composition appealed to him and his agent. “That was a big key for signing here,” said the 27-year-old southpaw. “They needed some left-handed depth in the bullpen.” He ended up pitching for the Somerset Patriots after being released from Rockies camp last March and receiving no calls. The resounding success he achieved in the Somerset bullpen with his mid-90s fastball and big curve led to his landing with the Twins and getting a shot to compete for a relief job. Given that he isn’t on the 40-man roster, Boshers is a long shot to win a spot on Opening Day, but right now he’s got all he wants: a chance. “I’m getting some opportunities so I can’t really complain,” he said. He made the most of the one he got today. Boshers worked two scoreless frames, including a 1-2-3 sixth against three intimidating big-league righties: Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo. * Boshers wasn’t the only reliever battling for a job who got an extended look today. It was a bullpen game for Minnesota, with lefty Logan Darnell getting the start and pitching just a couple innings, so the Twins were able to stretch out a few arms, giving two innings apiece to Boshers, Brandon Kintzler and Michael Tonkin. The stakes are high for Tonkin, in terms of his future with the organization, because he’s out of options and would almost certainly be claimed if he hit waivers. He’s been enduring a miserable spring but had an excellent outing today, retiring all six batters he faced. The big righty was repeatedly painting the outside corner with his 95 MPH power fastball, making it almost unhittable, and mixed in a sharp breaking ball that drew strong reviews from Vavra after the game. * A couple hours away in Clearwater, the other half of the split-squad dispatched the Phillies 7-5. Byron Buxton had a pair of hits but struck out three times. Park drove in a couple of runs. Slugging prospect Daniel Palka, acquired in exchange for Chris Herrmann during the offseason, launched two home runs. * The Twins released a number of minor-leaguers over the past couple days, and most of the names wouldn’t be recognized by anyone other than our guy Seth. One that stuck out, however, was pitcher Brandon Poulson. You may remember him as the the big 6’6” righty with a triple-digit fastball who received a shocking $250,000 bonus to sign with the Twins in July of 2014 despite being undrafted. If they could get the kid to throw it in the zone, it was said, he could be a story destined for Hollywood. Unfortunately, that just never happened. “Couldn’t throw it over,” Antony said. “He had a terrific arm, and we tried a lot of different things, but he wasn’t able to throw enough strikes.” Poulson is now 26, and still hadn’t appeared in a full-season league. In 20 rookie ball appearances over the last two seasons, he issued 32 walks in 27 2/3 innings. * Tomorrow Ricky Nolasco will take the mound against the Rays at 12:05 CT. It'll be my last day in camp, sadly, but Parker will be checking in to wrap up our spring training coverage. Click here to view the article
  13. Aaron and John talk about Jose Berrios, Kennys Vargas, and Nick Burdi being sent to the minors, Trevor May officially going to the bullpen, over/under picks for the American League West, a last chance to win a pair of 20-game Twins season ticket packages, Carlos Quentin making things interesting, Tinder super likes, the therapeutic properties of macaroni and cheese at Mason's, and a new basketball podcast from Britt Robson and David Brauer.You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click the Play button below. Click here to view the article
  14. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/Episode_240_AL_West_Over-Under.mp3 [hr
  15. It’s not likely to make a huge difference in the long run between whether the Twins win in 2016 or not, but the battle for the fourth and fifth outfield spots is shaping up to be interesting just a few games into spring training. With Byron Buxton the presumptive center fielder on Opening Day, Eddie Rosario in left and Miguel Sano in right, and the inevitable twelve-man pitching staff, Minnesota has room for one full- time outfielder and maybe a utility guy to come north. Let’s handicap the field at this point, assuming that two guys out of this group make the club:Ryan Sweeney Sweeney didn’t play in 2015, but is coming back as a 31-year-old. Once a top prospect in the White Sox organization (and considered one of the best BP hitters in baseball history), Sweeney never really clicked. Still, he brings a veteran presence (and we know how much the Twins value that), plays center field, and hits from the left side (to complement Buxton from the right). Through five games, he’s hit .333/.500/.400 in 16 plate appearances. Certainly, we shouldn’t take spring training performance at face value, but he’s also earning rave reviews according to Mike Berardino: Chances he'll come north? 75%. Almost nothing would shock me less. Sweeney’s the kind of guy the Twins could fall in love with, and I think one of the next two guys will flop hard enough that the Twins will want to keep him around. Not that that’s a bad thing. I think Sweeney’s still got the potential to be a useful ballplayer. Danny Santana Santana has the most plate appearances on the Twins so far through six spring training games. And while he’s only hitting .111/.105/.278, it’s clear that the Twins are heavily invested in him winning the job. It looks like Santana might not be willing to cooperate, but they’ll give him every opportunity to fail. And I do mean every single one, as he’s out of options. Plus, as a switch hitter who can play shortstop (in theory), he has added value. If he keeps this slow start up, however, perhaps he’d be a guy you could slip through waivers. Chances he'll come north? 60%. Far higher than his performance has earned. Oswaldo Arcia Left-handed, with incredible power, Arcia is a streaky hitter who runs unbelievably hot and cold. He would almost certainly be better served by a starting role, which would allow him to find his groove. Barring an injury, that’s not likely to happen. Arcia’s already made a bit of news by walking three times in one game over the weekend, something he’s done only once in the majors, and said afterwards that being more patient is a point of emphasis for him. We’ll see. Like Santana, he is out of options, and seems unlikely to slip through waivers. He’s been in the Twins’ doghouse for so long, however, that they may not care. Chances he'll come north? 40%. His power is undeniable, but the defense has been awful (though he's made some impressive defensive plays so far, he can’t play center field, and is seen as a disappointment. My guess is that either Santana or Arcia will get put on waivers. Santana’s positional flexibility gives him the edge, and if Sweeney makes the club, he and Arcia are both left-handed. Carlos Quentin Kind of the right-handed version of Arcia, but Quentin also has that veteran label that the Twins have loved in the past. He didn’t play last year, but has nine years in the league hitting .252/.347/.484 (120 OPS+). He’s also like Coach from Cheers (I’m an old person), in that it’s virtually impossible not to hit him with a pitch and he is incredibly delicate, topping 100 games played just three times in his career. The reviews of his performance so far are a little mixed: Quentin offers a little versatility in that he can also play first base, but God knows the Twins have enough guys who can do that right now, between Mauer, Park, Sano and Vargas. Chances he'll come north? 12.5%. Something would have to happen to one of the other 1B/DH/corner OF guys for Quentin to make the team, especially as a right-handed bat. His other best hope is that the Twins decide to send Buxton to Rochester for a month. Darin Mastroianni If Santana and Arcia had options left, I’d bet the Twins would find some way to keep Mastroianni around. He’s able to play all three outfield spots and is an accomplished base stealer. He also had a previous go-around with the Twins that ended in injury woes. He’s not a good player, but fits fine as a below-average backup outfielder. Chances he'll come north? 6.3%. Mastroianni is just behind too many people on the depth chart, and isn’t good enough to be more than an emergency option at this point. Max Kepler He’s a great young prospect who can handle center field for now, has tremendous plate discipline and good mid-range power to go with a strong hit tool. Kepler’s likely to be the best position prospect in the Twins’ minor league system at the start of the year. He’s had three singles in nine plate appearances so far. Chances he'll come North? 6.3%. There’s simply no chance of Kepler making this team unless Buxton doesn’t or someone gets hurt. The Twins need him to play everyday, and keeping him in a reserve role will stall the development of one of their future linchpins. Others Joe Benson is a 28 year old who has hit .202/.288/.302 at Triple-A. He’ll be depth at Rochester. No one short of Miguel Sano has Adam Brett Walker’s power, but his complete inability to control the strike zone means that he’ll spend almost all of 2016 in the minors. He’ll have to make incredible adjustments to find any success in the Majors. Click here to view the article
  16. Ryan Sweeney Sweeney didn’t play in 2015, but is coming back as a 31-year-old. Once a top prospect in the White Sox organization (and considered one of the best BP hitters in baseball history), Sweeney never really clicked. Still, he brings a veteran presence (and we know how much the Twins value that), plays center field, and hits from the left side (to complement Buxton from the right). Through five games, he’s hit .333/.500/.400 in 16 plate appearances. Certainly, we shouldn’t take spring training performance at face value, but he’s also earning rave reviews according to Mike Berardino: https://twitter.com/MikeBerardino/status/706907508674273281 Chances he'll come north? 75%. Almost nothing would shock me less. Sweeney’s the kind of guy the Twins could fall in love with, and I think one of the next two guys will flop hard enough that the Twins will want to keep him around. Not that that’s a bad thing. I think Sweeney’s still got the potential to be a useful ballplayer. Danny Santana Santana has the most plate appearances on the Twins so far through six spring training games. And while he’s only hitting .111/.105/.278, it’s clear that the Twins are heavily invested in him winning the job. It looks like Santana might not be willing to cooperate, but they’ll give him every opportunity to fail. And I do mean every single one, as he’s out of options. Plus, as a switch hitter who can play shortstop (in theory), he has added value. If he keeps this slow start up, however, perhaps he’d be a guy you could slip through waivers. Chances he'll come north? 60%. Far higher than his performance has earned. Oswaldo Arcia Left-handed, with incredible power, Arcia is a streaky hitter who runs unbelievably hot and cold. He would almost certainly be better served by a starting role, which would allow him to find his groove. Barring an injury, that’s not likely to happen. Arcia’s already made a bit of news by walking three times in one game over the weekend, something he’s done only once in the majors, and said afterwards that being more patient is a point of emphasis for him. We’ll see. Like Santana, he is out of options, and seems unlikely to slip through waivers. He’s been in the Twins’ doghouse for so long, however, that they may not care. Chances he'll come north? 40%. His power is undeniable, but the defense has been awful (though he's made some impressive defensive plays so far, he can’t play center field, and is seen as a disappointment. My guess is that either Santana or Arcia will get put on waivers. Santana’s positional flexibility gives him the edge, and if Sweeney makes the club, he and Arcia are both left-handed. Carlos Quentin Kind of the right-handed version of Arcia, but Quentin also has that veteran label that the Twins have loved in the past. He didn’t play last year, but has nine years in the league hitting .252/.347/.484 (120 OPS+). He’s also like Coach from Cheers (I’m an old person), in that it’s virtually impossible not to hit him with a pitch and he is incredibly delicate, topping 100 games played just three times in his career. The reviews of his performance so far are a little mixed: https://twitter.com/MikeBerardino/status/707252883000004608 Quentin offers a little versatility in that he can also play first base, but God knows the Twins have enough guys who can do that right now, between Mauer, Park, Sano and Vargas. Chances he'll come north? 12.5%. Something would have to happen to one of the other 1B/DH/corner OF guys for Quentin to make the team, especially as a right-handed bat. His other best hope is that the Twins decide to send Buxton to Rochester for a month. Darin Mastroianni If Santana and Arcia had options left, I’d bet the Twins would find some way to keep Mastroianni around. He’s able to play all three outfield spots and is an accomplished base stealer. He also had a previous go-around with the Twins that ended in injury woes. He’s not a good player, but fits fine as a below-average backup outfielder. Chances he'll come north? 6.3%. Mastroianni is just behind too many people on the depth chart, and isn’t good enough to be more than an emergency option at this point. Max Kepler He’s a great young prospect who can handle center field for now, has tremendous plate discipline and good mid-range power to go with a strong hit tool. Kepler’s likely to be the best position prospect in the Twins’ minor league system at the start of the year. He’s had three singles in nine plate appearances so far. Chances he'll come North? 6.3%. There’s simply no chance of Kepler making this team unless Buxton doesn’t or someone gets hurt. The Twins need him to play everyday, and keeping him in a reserve role will stall the development of one of their future linchpins. Others Joe Benson is a 28 year old who has hit .202/.288/.302 at Triple-A. He’ll be depth at Rochester. No one short of Miguel Sano has Adam Brett Walker’s power, but his complete inability to control the strike zone means that he’ll spend almost all of 2016 in the minors. He’ll have to make incredible adjustments to find any success in the Majors.
  17. Aaron and John meet up at the new New Bohemia Lake St and discussed: - the Twins giving Byron Buxton every chance to win the center field job - the limited roster battles the Twins have in spring training - how you can win a pair of 20-game Twins season tickets from the MN Corn Growers - how Carlos Quentin picked the wrong year to be a Twin and - review Vegas' Over-Under lines for the AL East and - how you can play along and win a free Truman Set from Harrys.com. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click the Play button below. Click here to view the article
  18. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/Episode_239_Over-Under_the_AL_East.mp3
  19. The level of competition in the Korean Baseball Organization, where Park turned himself into a superstar slugger before signing with the Twins this offseason, has been compared – perhaps generously – to Triple-A or Double-A, meaning that his resounding success should be viewed with at least the same degree of healthy skepticism that we apply a player's big numbers in the Eastern League or International League. They're encouraging, sure, but they don't come close to guaranteeing anything. And given the cultural and stylistic adaptations that Park will face as he acclimates to baseball in the United States, one can argue that his climb will be much steeper than any typical homegrown pro baseball prospect. So it might take more than six weeks of spring training exhibition games to bring the foreign masher up to speed. Pushing him into real big-league action too quickly could be a mistake with lasting ramifications, especially given the length of the commitment. When the Twins signed Tsuyoshi Nishioka, he did little to impress during his first spring training, but was nevertheless in the lineup on Opening Day, starting at second base and batting second. He was blatantly overmatched through a week of games and then broke his leg on a play that could very much be chalked up to lack of familiarity with the MLB style of play. Whether this incredibly brutal start to his career here played into Nishioka's ultimate inability to turn any kind of corner isn't clear, but you do have to believe it's a memory that remains imprinted in the heads of Twins officials. If Park appears overwhelmed to any extent in Ft. Myers, the club may want to consider sending him to Triple-A in order to build confidence before launching his big-league career with a head full of steam. Could that help explain why Carlos Quentin was signed to a minor-league deal on Tuesday? Quentin brings many of the same qualities to the table that attracted the Twins to Park. He is a bat-first player, best suited at DH, who offers proven power from the right side, having slugged .503 with 136 homers playing for the White Sox and Padres from 2008 through 2013. But like Park, Quentin is also a major uncertainty. The 33-year-old endured a miserable, injury-riddled campaign with San Diego in 2014 and announced his retirement last May. He told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports in November that he was going to attempt a comeback, but it took him until February to finally land somewhere. Accounting for all of these factors, Quentin is clearly a long shot to make the team out of camp. He has a June 1st opt-out date if sent to the minors, so the most likely outcome is that he heads to Rochester and becomes a nice depth option if his bat shows up. Still, the weathered veteran will be another piece in spring training with some intrigue and upside. The Twins have assembled quite a few of those, and given that they're building around so many ambiguities and question marks on the roster, it's always good to have backup plans on top of backup plans. With a risk-filled blueprint for the 2016 season, it looks like the Twins are trying to find safety in numbers.
  20. It gets lost in the big posting fee, the long-term contract, the monster numbers in Korea... But at this point in time, Byung-Ho Park should be viewed as a minor-leaguer. A prospect. A total unknown. Perhaps Minnesota's latest free agent signing is, to some extent, a reflection of that reality.The level of competition in the Korean Baseball Organization, where Park turned himself into a superstar slugger before signing with the Twins this offseason, has been compared – perhaps generously – to Triple-A or Double-A, meaning that his resounding success should be viewed with at least the same degree of healthy skepticism that we apply a player's big numbers in the Eastern League or International League. They're encouraging, sure, but they don't come close to guaranteeing anything. And given the cultural and stylistic adaptations that Park will face as he acclimates to baseball in the United States, one can argue that his climb will be much steeper than any typical homegrown pro baseball prospect. So it might take more than six weeks of spring training exhibition games to bring the foreign masher up to speed. Pushing him into real big-league action too quickly could be a mistake with lasting ramifications, especially given the length of the commitment. When the Twins signed Tsuyoshi Nishioka, he did little to impress during his first spring training, but was nevertheless in the lineup on Opening Day, starting at second base and batting second. He was blatantly overmatched through a week of games and then broke his leg on a play that could very much be chalked up to lack of familiarity with the MLB style of play. Whether this incredibly brutal start to his career here played into Nishioka's ultimate inability to turn any kind of corner isn't clear, but you do have to believe it's a memory that remains imprinted in the heads of Twins officials. If Park appears overwhelmed to any extent in Ft. Myers, the club may want to consider sending him to Triple-A in order to build confidence before launching his big-league career with a head full of steam. Could that help explain why Carlos Quentin was signed to a minor-league deal on Tuesday? Quentin brings many of the same qualities to the table that attracted the Twins to Park. He is a bat-first player, best suited at DH, who offers proven power from the right side, having slugged .503 with 136 homers playing for the White Sox and Padres from 2008 through 2013. But like Park, Quentin is also a major uncertainty. The 33-year-old endured a miserable, injury-riddled campaign with San Diego in 2014 and announced his retirement last May. He told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports in November that he was going to attempt a comeback, but it took him until February to finally land somewhere. Accounting for all of these factors, Quentin is clearly a long shot to make the team out of camp. He has a June 1st opt-out date if sent to the minors, so the most likely outcome is that he heads to Rochester and becomes a nice depth option if his bat shows up. Still, the weathered veteran will be another piece in spring training with some intrigue and upside. The Twins have assembled quite a few of those, and given that they're building around so many ambiguities and question marks on the roster, it's always good to have backup plans on top of backup plans. With a risk-filled blueprint for the 2016 season, it looks like the Twins are trying to find safety in numbers. Click here to view the article
  21. Per Aaron Gleeman on Twitter, your Minnesota Twins have signed OF Carlos Quentin to a minor-league deal. 32 years old, 2 time All-Star once upon a time.
  22. The Minnesota Twins announced the signing of outfielder Carlos Quentin to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp. The 33-year old last appeared in a game for Tacoma, the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. His last big league appearance was in 20014 with the San Diego Padres. The former two-time All-Star was first round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003. He played parts of two seasons at the big league level in Arizona before being dealt to the Chicago White Sox for Chris Carter. His debut season in Chicago was his best as he hit .288/.394/.571 with 36 home runs and 100 RBI while finishing fifth in the American League MVP vote. His 36 home runs were one behind Miguel Cabrera for the league lead. Quentin would make another All-Star team in 2011, his last year in Chicago. The White Sox would trade him to the Padres in the offseason. Injuries limited him to averaging under 75 games played per season in San Diego. In 2014, he batted just .177/.284/.315 and he has long been a below-average defender. Plus, there have been just three times in his career where he's played in 100 or more games in a season. Entering the 2015 season, he was sent to Atlanta as part of the deal that brought Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton to the Padres. The Braves released him and he signed with Seattle before retiring last May. He cited chronic knee injuries as his reason for stepping away from the game before his 33rd birthday. During his nine-year career, he hit .252/.347/.484 while hitting 13 home runs or more in six consecutive seasons. From 2008-2013, he hit .260 with an .860 OPS while averaging 30 homers per 150 games. At this point, it seems like Quentin is being added as organizational depth and he'll have to prove himself healthy and ready with Rochester. There are already plenty of first base and corner outfield options on the Twins roster including Joe Mauer, Byung Ho Park, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, and Oswaldo Arcia. It seems hard to see him cracking the Opening Day roster unless the injury bug hits the team hard in Florida. What are your thoughts on the signing? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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