FanPost

A Southpaw within?

As the Twins prepare for 2006, a question remains..."who will be the lefty in their bullpen to replace J.C. Romero and Mulholland?"

They recently signed the marginal Dennys Reyes.  But maybe, this player will come from within the organization.  Let's take a look at all the lefties in the organization.  Many are starters, however, we will look at all lefties as their roles tend to change.  The age listed will be their age on opening day, 2006.  We will begin with players closest to the major leagues (AAA) and move through the system to Rookie ball.  

Francisco Liriano, 22, may be the top pitching prospect in all of baseball.  Although a starter, will he begin 2006 in the Twins bullpen?

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2005 Twins       6g  23.2ip  5.70era  33K/7BB
2005 Rochester  14g  91.0ip  1.78era  112K/24BB
2005 New Brit   13g  76.2ip  3.64era  92K/26BB
2004 New Brit    7g  39.2ip  3.18era  49K/17BB
2004 Ft. Myers  21g 117.0ip  4.00era  125K/43BB
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David Gassner, 27, was the extra player the Twins received with Shannon Stewart for Bobby Kielty, yes, Stewart + Cash + Gassner for Kielty...thank you Terry Ryan!  Gassner had the most wins in the International League in 2004, then struggled with injuries in 2005...when he was called up and got two starts for the Twins.

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2005 Twins       2g   7.2ip  5.87era  2K/1BB
2005 Rochester  22g 116.1ip  4.95era  64K/33BB
2004 Rochester  28g 174.1ip  3.41era  93K/30BB
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Bud Smith, 26, was a rookie phenom for the Cardinals several years ago.  He was injured, bounced around several organizations for a few years, then signed by the Twins prior to 2005.  The Twins must have liked something they saw as he was recently resigned for 2006.

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2005 Rochester   3g   5.7ip  4.76era  4K/3BB
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Ricky Barrett, 25, has all it takes if he can curb his major control problem.  His high strikeout rate will however, keep him in the hunt for a future bullpen spot.

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2005 AFL        11g  12.0ip  9.00era  6K/13BB
2005 Rochester  40g  63.0ip  6.71era  64K/48BB
2005 New Brit   10g  17.2ip  0.51era  25K/7BB
2004 Ft. Myers  17g  38.1ip  3.52era  41K/25BB
2004 QuadCities 12g  58.2ip  1.99era  55K/29BB
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Jason Miller, 23, is likely the top candidate for a bullpen slot who is close to being ready to help the Twins.  Look for this top lefty to make his debut with the Twins in late 2006.

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2005 Rochester  13g  26.0ip  3.81era  27K/17BB
2005 New Brit   26g  49.2ip  2.72era  56K/22BB
2004 New Brit   33g  40.0ip  4.28era  42K/21BB
2004 Ft. Myers  19g  29.1ip  1.53era  40K/11BB
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John Thomas, 24, was obtained in the Dustin Mohr trade.  After an excellent 2004 at Ft. Myers, Thomas spent nearly all of 2005 on the disabled list.

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2005 Rochester   1g   3.0ip 15.00era  1K/1BB  
2004 Ft. Myers  34g  66.0ip  3.55era  69K/25BB
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Glen Perkins, 23, is the former Gopher and first round pick that is on a fast track to the Twins.  Will he duplicate the accomplishments of  Jesse Crain and Scott Baker and pitch for the Twins in 2006?

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2005 AFL         7g  32.0ip  2.53era  39K/6BB
2005 New Brit   14g  79.0ip  4.90era  67K/35BB
2005 Ft. Myers  10g  55.0ip  2.13era  66K/13BB
2004 QuadCities  9g  48.1ip  1.30era  49K/12BB
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Errol Simonitsch, 23, is another crafty lefty with excellent control who was recently added to the 40-man roster.

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2005 New Brit   14g  78.2ip  4.12era  52K/28BB
2005 Ft. Myers  14g  80.1ip  2.69era  72K/12BB
2004 QuadCities 20g 109.0ip  2.56era  107K/36BB
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Jay Sawatski, 23, was an excellent closer (13 of 15 saves) until a mid season slump that didn't end.  His record since being drafted in the 8th round of the 2004 draft has been solid and he will likely continue to move up the ladder to the Twins.

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2005 Ft. Myers  43g  61.2ip  3.94era  50K/21BB
2004 QuadCities 15g  26.1ip  1.37era  29K/10BB
2004 Elizabeth   4g   7.2ip  2.35era  9K/2BB
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Justin Jones, 21, was obtained from the Cubs in the Doug Mientkiewicz trade.  He was used sparingly at Quad Cities following the trade due to a tired/sore arm.  The big lefty was arguably Ft. Myers' top starter the last few months of 2005.

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2005 Ft. Myers  13g  77.2ip  3.01era  54K/28BB
2004 QuadCities  7g  20.1ip  5.31era  17K/14BB
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Jose Mijares, 21, is a young lefty with a great arm.  After being noticed by several scouting services, the Twins added Mijares to their 40-man roster this past December.  Can Mijares use this talent and follow in the footsteps of Liriano and make a meteoric rise through the system in 2006?

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2005 Ft. Myers   5g  12.0ip  1.50era  17K/5BB
2005 Beloit     20g  54.1ip  4.31era  78K/40BB
2004 GCL Twins  19g  29.2ip  2.43era  25K/5BB
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Josh Gray, 25, spent part of 2005 on the disabled list after performing well in his second season as part of the Miracle bullpen.

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2005 Ft. Myers  32g  62.0ip  3.34era  49K/28BB
2004 Ft. Myers  33g  87.1ip  5.77era  56K/40BB
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Jan Granado, 23, was selected by the Twins in the minor league segment of the 2004 Rule 5 draft.

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2005 New Brit   12g  25.2ip  5.61era  19K/9BB
2005 Ft. Myers  25g  49.1ip  2.92era  31K/13BB
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Kyle Aselton, 23, began the season in Beloit's bullpen, however, became a star after inserted into the starting rotation late last season.

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2005 Beloit     41g 112.0ip  2.49era  113K/61BB
2004 Elizabeth  15g  37.2ip  4.54era  38K/19BB
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Kevin Culpepper, 23, was drafted in the 9th round of the 2003 draft.  Culpepper has had periods when he has been an excellent reliever.  

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2005 Beloit     49g  85.0ip  4.45era  74K/31BB  
2004 QuadCities 34g  53.0ip  5.60era  43K/22BB
2004 Elizabeth   9g  17.0ip  5.29era  20K/7BB
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John Williams, 24, was a 7th round pick in 2004 who is another lefty who has intrigued the Twins with spurts of solid performances.

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2005 Beloit     38g  75.1ip  4.54era  66K/30BB
2004 Elizabeth  14g  38.1ip  5.40era  50K/14BB
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Ryan Gehring, 23, was originally drafted by the Twins out of high school in the 33rd round of the 2001 draft.  Following college, Gehring signed as a ndfa this past winter.

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2005 Elizabeth  17g  30.0ip  3.00era  31K/16BB
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Ryan Mullins, 22, was a third round pick in 2005.  The big lefty out of Vanderbilt, struck out 13 batters in 5 innings of the opening game of Elizabethton's championship series.

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2005 Elizabeth  11g  53.2ip  2.18era  60K/13BB
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Alexander Smit, 20, is a Dutch native who was signed as a 16 year old.  A literal strikeout machine, Smit began the season at Beloit prior to returning to Elizabethton where he was used as a reliever.

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2005 Beloit     14g  49.2ip  5.98era  54K/28BB
2005 Elizabeth  21g  45.2ip  1.97era  86K/12BB
2004 Elizabeth   6g  28.1ip  2.54era  43K/10BB
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Brian Duensing, 23, was selected on the 3rd round of the 2005 draft and signed after playing in the College World Series for Nebraska.

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2005 Elizabeth  12g  50.1ip  2.32era  55K/16BB
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Kyle Edlich, 20, is a ndfa from Australia.  Edlich had an excellent first season in the Twins system.

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2005 GCL Twins  10g  47.2ip  1.70era  53K/15BB
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Mike Rogers, 20, was a 16th round pick in the 2003 draft who spent all of 2005 on the DL.

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2004 GCL Twins  11g  47.0ip  4.02era  53K/23BB
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Jeff Schoenbachler, 20, was selected in the 5th round of the 2004 draft.

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2005 GCL Twins   9g  45.1ip  3.97era  45K/15BB
2004 GCL Twins  12g  39.0ip  3.92era  45K/16BB
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