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Twins make second round of spring training cuts

The Twins optioned five pitchers to the minors Tuesday, providing greater clarity on the team’s starting rotation plans.

MLB: Spring Training-Minnesota Twins at St. Louis Cardinals
Catch you later, Adalberto.
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins announced their second round of spring training cuts Tuesday afternoon, optioning five pitchers to minor league camp. Although there were no huge surprises, the moves give us a clearer picture of what the team’s starting rotation will look like to start the season.

Among the optioned players were four starters:

  • Adalberto Mejia — There was originally an outside chance Mejia could make the Opening Day roster as the fifth starter, but considering the recent acquisition of Lance Lynn, the fact the Twins don’t need five starters to start the season, and that Mejia still has options, this move isn’t a surprise now. The big left-hander had a 4.50 ERA over 10.0 innings pitched in big league camp this spring, and should be one of the first to be called up the next time the Twins need another starter.
  • Stephen Gonsalves — Considered one of the Twins’ best starting pitching prospects, optioning Gonsalves doesn’t come as a big surprise either. Gonsalves, 23, spent the majority of 2017 in Double-A, pitching only 22.2 innings for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings near the end of the season. The Twins optioned him to Triple-A, where a bit more seasoning will do him good, though don’t be surprised to see him in the majors later this season.
  • Fernando Romero — Also sent down was the Twins’ other top starting pitching prospect, Fernando Romero, the 23-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic. Romero has yet to pitch in Triple-A at all, having spent all of 2017 with the Double-A Chattanooga lookouts, where he posted a 3.53 ERA over 125.0 innings. Romero was optioned again to Double-A.
  • Aaron Slegers — Despite starting three games in the majors in 2017, no one expected Slegers to make the Opening Day roster. The 25-year-old righty spend the majority of 2017 in Triple-A, where he put up a 3.40 ERA over 148.1 innings pitched, and is generally considered decent but not a top prospect. He’ll go back to Triple-A for now, but is an option for the Twins if they need a spot start or (god forbid) lose a few arms in the big league rotation.

The Twins also optioned one reliever:

  • John Curtiss — With the acquisitions of Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, and Addison Reed, the Twins bullpen is now a big full, so optioning Curtiss comes as little surprise. The 24-year-old right-hander struggled a bit in the nine appearances he made for the big league club in 2017, giving up eight earned runs on nine hits and two walks. He was optioned to Triple-A Rochester, and provides some decent bullpen depth should the Twins need new arms.

Last week, the Twins made their fist round of spring training cuts, sending four pitchers and two catchers to minor league camp.