In the biggest news of the week and perhaps the winter, the Twins won the negotiating rights to Japanese middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka for a reported $5.3 million. Assuming they sign Nishioka, he appears to be their second baseman for next year and the future.
The Twins announced Wednesday that they had outrighted Estarlin De Los Santos to Rochester, reducing their 40-man roster to 36. Joe Christensen reported yesterday that De Los Santos had cleared waivers, thus, will remain in the Twins organization. The significance of optioning him to Rochester is that it will reduce the chances of his being lost in the minor league segment of the Rule V draft. The Twins 40-man roster will increase to 37 when pitcher Eric Hacker is added.
There were also several mentions of the Twins signing Duluth native Andrew Baldwin although this cannot be finalized for a few weeks. Baldwin is a 28 year old starter/reliever who was 9-7 with a 4.90 ERA in 117.2 innings for Tacoma of the PCL. He is currently 3-2 with a 2.28 ERA for Caribes in the VWL.
This weeks review of Twins playing winter ball follows after the jump.
As reported last week by Joe Christensen, Luke Hughes would be leaving the Perth Heat and travelling to Venezuela for winter ball. Hughes finished his short stay with his hometown team hitting .323/.417/.548 with two doubles, a triple and home run in 31 at bats. Catcher Alan de San Miguel was 5-7 as he caught both games of today's double header. During the four game weekend series, de San Miguel was 8-15 with a walk, three home runs, a double, five runs scored and five runs batted in. After not allowing a run in his first three appearances, Liam Hendriks had a tough outing in today's 11-4 loss as he allowed four hits and six runs in 2.1 innings. GCL Twins corner infielder Rory Rhodes was 2-2 today with two RBI for the Brisbane Bandits, raising his average to .290.
Angel Morales did not play again this week for Ponce in the Puerto Rican League. Daniel Ortiz and Eddie Rosario also didn't play for Mayaguez. Lefty reliever Nelvin Fuentes threw another shutout inning with two strikeouts yesterday. He has appeared in ten games (9.1 innings) with four hits, one run, eleven strikeouts and no walks for a 0.96 ERA. Steve Hirschfield was the starter in Wednesday's 9-5 Mayaguez win, pitching 4.1 innings with seven hits, five runs (four earned), two strikeouts and three walks.
Over in the Dominican Winter League, Alexi Casilla was 3-16 this week and is now hilling .256/.319/.349 in 86 at bats with five stolen bases in eight attempts. Gigantes teammates Estarlin De Los Santos and Alex Soto did not play.
Deolis Guerra made a start last Saturday for Magallanes in the Venezuelan League. He pitched 4.0 innings with five hits, two runs and a strikeout and now has a 2.00 ERA in three games (9 innings). Recently signed Yorman Bazardo pitched 8.0 innings in Aragua's 4-1 win yesterday, allowing seven hits and one run with three strikeouts. Bazardo also started last Saturday's 6-3 win, pitching 7.0 innings with seven hits, three runs, three strikeouts and a walk. Bazardo is 5-1 with a 1.93 ERA in 46.2 innings with sixteen strikeouts and thirteen walks. Anthony Swarzak picked up his first win Wednesday, pitching 5.0 innings with eight hits and five runs (four earned) in a 7-5 win.
Twins set-up man Jose Mijares appeared in two games. Mijares pitched 2.2 shutout innings with one hit and no walks or strikeouts. Mijares is 1-0 with three saves in 7.2 innings with a 1.17 ERA. Former Twin Wilson Ramos was 4-4 last Saturday and is now hitting .333 Average. Yangervis Solarte, who is hitting .289 average, was 2-4 with a walk, double and two RBI on Tuesday. Aragua improved its record to 19-17 and is tied for third, 2.5 games out of first place.
My question this week is will the Twins lose top reliever Kyle Waldrop in the Rule V draft?