I had to get the bad taste out of my mouth. Not one, not two, but three pictures of Johan Freekin' Santana in a Mets uniform. Sheesh. So I needed a relevant topic to push Jesse's man crush below the fold. And nothing says relevant like nonroster invitees.
And yes, the official style of all prefixes is to not hyphenate. Trust me, I spend way too much time in my day job convincing people of this simple fact. Don't tell me! You too? OK, look it up in the AP Style Guide and get back to me if you find any discrepancies.
Anyway. Back to the topic--nonroster invitees. The Twins invited more than their usual complement of nonroster invitees to camp this year. They have 61 players in camp. And, by my Minnesota math, that's 21 players not on the 40-man roster. I know. That's why we're solidly in the upper half of states in math test scores.
Many of these guys were signed to fill up AAA. But perhaps one or maybe even two could make the team out of spring training. I won't catalog all 21 of them. But I will take 5 that could make the team if they have a killer spring.
- Randy Keisler: With all the choices Gardy and Andy had, this guy actually started a spring game today, which did not go well. Fortunately, it's likely his last spring start. It can be his last Twins appearance as far as I'm concerned. The numbers aren't good. And, though he's left handed and breathing, apparently that is not enough to play major league baseball.
- Zach Day: Day has an outside shot to make the team as a long man out of the bullpen. His first spring outing was so so. 2 Ks, 2 BBs and no runs. We'll see how the rest of spring goes. 15 shut-out innings, and maybe.
- Alejandro Machado: Machado was a Rule 5 draftee last year and would probably have beaten out Luis Rodriguez if he had not hurt himself in spring training. So L-Rod's charmed life continued and Machado spent the whole year on the DL. The Twins managed to send him through waivers without Washington objecting, which says a lot about him. I like his minor league numbers, his defense at six positions and his versatility. But I don't think Gardy will take him north based on his sporadic duty to start the spring.
- Tommy Watkins: This guy is everybody's favorite player in the clubhouse. He's so dedicated, he picked up catching in the offseason, which means he can now play eight positions. And he hasn't hit half bad in his 10 minor league years. (No Firpo, that does not mean average.) I wouldn't be shocked if he makes the team. And I wouldn't be shocked if he ends up a coach in Fort Myers out of spring training.
- Howie Clark: If Clark made the team, he would instantly become the oldest position player not named Redmond. He's had four stints in the majors with Toronto and Baltimore, amounting to 130 games total. His versatility and desire is what got him an invite. And we all root for these guys with a thought of a grizzled rookie with a face like Robert Redford waiting for a chance. But he should really start thinking about getting a network admin certification or looking into scouting or coaching.