Believe it or not, spring training starts next week. It doesn’t feel like spring training starts next week because almost every big free agent is still waiting for a deal, but it does, in fact, start next week. Twins pitchers and catchers report on February 14th, which is next Wednesday, and the first full-squad workout is the 19th.
Today the Twins announced thirteen non-roster invitees who’ll be joining the big league club down in Ft. Myers this year. They include:
- Three pitchers: Myles Jaye, Michael Kohn, and Jake Reed.
- Three catchers: Willians Astudillo, Brian Navarreto, and Bobby Wilson.
- Four infielders: Taylor Featherston, Nick Gordon, Gregorio Petit, and Brock Stassi.
- Three outfielders: Nick Buss, Ryan LaMarre, and LaMonte Wade.
If a lot of those names don’t look familiar, don’t worry — only five of them played in the Twins’ minor league system last year (Kohn, Reed, Navarreto, Gordon, and Wade). Of the newcomers, you may remember hearing about Willians Astudillo — the catcher who makes a crazy amount of contact — and Nick Buss — the guy we got really excited about the Twins signing last month because this is the offseason from hell.
Will any of these guys actually make the big league club? Probably not. I’d say the best chances are probably Jake Reed as a bullpen guy, or one of the catchers as Jason Castro’s backup instead of Mitch Garver. The Twins might feel it’s better to give Garver more regular playing time in the minors rather than serve as backup in the majors, but who knows. Garver is already on the 40-man roster by this point...
And speaking of the 40-man roster, it’s currently full, meaning if the Twins actually sign a major league player sometime soon they’ll need to make space. The lucky player who gets DFAed in that event will still probably come to big league camp as a non-roster invitee, provided they aren’t claimed by another team.