Did you guys know that Noel Gallagher is an incredible song-writer? He is. And he was always too good for Oasis. I realize that now. I'm sorry it took so long for me to say it publicly. Anyway - this will be his new single in November, and it's your soundtrack to today's roster notes.
Also, the picture above is where I've been the last few days. It's beautiful.
Twins re-sign a bunch of minor leaguers
This all happened last week, but I wanted to touch briefly on each of these guys.
Mark Hamburger - One of the more well-known players in the bunch, Hamburger was once dealt for the return of Eddie Guardado. He'll be entering his age-28 season in 2015, but is a quality minor league pitcher who gives Rochester some versatility as he can both start and come out of the bullpen. In 2014, between Double and Triple-A, he started seven games and made 15 relief appearances, posting a 3.69 ERA in 70.2 innings. He struck out 54 and walked 27, both of which come out as rates that are okay. He's no longer a prospect and his upside is limited, and he's unlikely to make any impact on the Major League team, but he's a nice arm to have stocked in the upper levels of the minor leagues.
Adrian Salcedo - The right-hander will be entering his age-24 season and ranked #30 on our 2014 prospect list, turning in a 4.19 ERA in 73 innings at Double-A. He still has prospect status and I still believe he could emerge as a middle relief option down the line. He should be tried at Triple-A next summer.
Mike Gonzales - A slow riser through the system, Gonzales is 26 and his upside is also limited. He's displayed some nice power at stops along his rise but has always been a bit old for his level. His career minor league line is .272/.351/.449, which is nice, but right now he's profiling as a position player version of Hamburger: good minor league depth and a quality first baseman at that level, but unlikely to make an impact at the top of the ladder.
Jairo Rodriguez - Every franchise needs system catchers, and Rodriguez is that guy. He's 26 and has had barely a taste of anything above Fort Myers.
Reynaldo Rodriguez - Rodriguez is a slightly older version of Gonzalez. His career slugging percentage in the minors is actually .501, which is to say his power goes beyond his 100 minor league jacks. A good, experienced hitter for the middle of any minor league lineup.
Danny Ortiz - The left-handed outfielder will turn 25 in January so his already sketchy status as a prospect will be further in doubt, but at this point teams are looking to retain quality minor league talent for the following season - and again, that's the case here. Ortiz finaly had his first taste of Triple-A this season, hitting .256/.283/.434 in 254 plate appearances. He should be available to both Double and Triple-A in 2015.
Tony Thomas - The 28-year old utility man played a number of positions for New Britain in 2014: second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and right field. His strikeouts stand out (in a bad way) and he doesn't walk nearly often enough to balance it all out, and his contact issues don't just manifest themselves in strikeouts but in generally low batting averages. There's a bit of power, allowing him to reach double-digit home run totals (barely) and tally a fair number of doubles, and he has some speed that he uses well on the base paths, but his best value comes in his minor league manager being able to plug him in wherever there's a want.
40-man roster update
None of those seven players, including Salcedo, were added to the 40-man roster. So, yes, they're still sitting at 36 players - 37 if you want to include Mike Pelfrey which, really, we probably should because he'll need to come off eventually. Jared Burton is still listed and the team doesn't plan on bringing him back, so there's another spot left to come free.
Even after Burton, there's still a lot of fat left to trim for the Twins. Players like A.J. Achter, Logan Darnell, Aaron Thompson, Chris Colabello, and Chris Herrmann are fair game. Non-tender candidates like Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak, Eduardo Nunez, and Jordan Schafer are all up in the air, too.
Manager announcement coming soon
Straight from the Twins' website, it sounds like the decision on a new manager will be handed down in the next few days. By the weekend? Or Tuesday? I'd be surprised if next Thursday rolls around and we still don't know.
The Twins didn't talk to Joe Maddon before he was hired by the Cubs, which comes as a surprise after Terry Ryan's comment on the situation late last week. Doug Mientkiewitz (40), Torey Lovullo (49), and Paul Molitor (58) remain the only finalists, with all of them having had at least two interviews. Anyone laying odds on Molitor not getting the gig?