While yesterday's roster cuts were largely unexpected, today's cuts are a bit more telling about how the Twins see their roster shaking down. At least two of the players are very much in the club's favor, and removing them from the equation at this early juncture begins to set the stage for how the club will organize its bullpen.
I saw Mike Berardino's tweet before anyone else's:
#MNTwins optioned out or reassigned today:— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) March 14, 2016
J.T. Chargois and Mason Melotakis are the interesting names on this list. Chargois and Melotakis (from the right side and the left respectively) are viewed as near-term bullpen options for the big league club.
While Melotakis is just getting his arm back following rehab from Tommy John surgery, the Twins thought so highly of him that they added him to the 40-man roster late last year. In spite of hiding his workouts on back fields and in spite of the fact that players recovering from Tommy John usually take some time to fully recuperate, Minnesota thought he was throwing so well that another club might have taken a gamble in the Rule 5 draft. Perhaps it was optimistic to hope that the club would promote Melotakis to the bullpen above lefties Taylor Rogers, Fernando Abad and Ryan O'Rourke, especially considering that he didn't really impress in his three outings, but this is a a guy the club likes a great deal.
Chargois, on the other hand, could be one of the first names the Twins call upon for bullpen help in 2016. He struck out two and walked three in four innings this spring, but it's easy to see how he was able to have such a successful 2015 campaign after missing all of 2013 and 2014.
Of the few spots available in the bullpen, Rogers, Abad and O'Rourke remain the most likely options from the left side. Chargois' removal from the competition means better chances for Alex Meyer, Ryan Pressly, J.R. Graham, or Michael Tonkin making the roster increase - if only slightly.
The rest of the cuts are less notable, although the names involved are very recognizable. Pat Dean has been in the organization a long time. Waiver claim Mike Strong always had a major uphill battle on his hands, and this move is no surprise. Yorman Landa and Randy Rosario are both raw and in need of a great deal of seasoning.
Finally, Adam Brett Walker was just 1-for-8 in four games this spring, with a pair of strikeouts. The Twins outfield is a very crowded place at the moment, and in spite of his prodigious power and status as a prospect there was zero reason and zero impetus to compel him to an Opening Day roster spot. He'll get a few more months to develop his skills as a hitter in the minor leagues before possibly earning a late-season debut in Minnesota.
We'll keep you up to date as the Twins continue to streamline their roster options.