After optioning Tyler Duffey and Alan Busenitz this morning, the Twins announced another handful of roster decisions that really has the team’s official roster taking shape to start the season. After all, Opening Day is March 29th, just a week from today.
Here’s the run down:
- Catchers Bobby Wilson and Willians Astudillo were both told they would not make the Opening Day roster. Whether they will go down to the Twins’ minor leagues instead, I’m not sure — but it does mean Mitch Garver has won the backup catcher position.
- Shortstop Erick Aybar was also told that he will not make the Opening Day roster. He will likely opt out of his deal and try to find a job with another team. It appears the Twins are set to use Eduardo Escobar as their Opening Day shortstop, and Ehire Adrianza as the backup. According to Mike Berardino, Paul Molitor said he felt fine with having Adrianza as his only backup infielder.
- The Twins optioned new outfielder Jake Cave, reassigned outfielder/super utility guy Brock Stassi, and released outfielder Chris Heisey . If you have no idea who any of these three players are, don’t feel bad.
- However, the offshoot of those three outfielders not making the club? It means outfielder Zack Granite most likely will make the big league team as a bench player. The Twins apparently feel they need extra outfielders in case Eddie Rosario’s elbow tendinitis flares up.
- In case you missed it, the Twins also announced their rotation order, setting up Jake Odorizzi as the Opening Day starter.
With these moves, the battle for the final roster spots is has basically been whittled down to two: one spot in the bullpen, and one spot on the bench.
The battle for the bullpen spot is basically between Rule 5 draft pick Tyler Kinley and Gabriel Moya. Moya still has options left, so the Twins could easily send him down to start the season in the minors. Kinley has options, but as a Rule 5 draft pick, he has to remain on the Twins’ 25-man roster all season, or be returned to the Marlins. Moya has only given up one run on a solo dinger over 10.0 innings pitched this spring, while Kinley has given up five earned runs over 10.0 innings.
The second remaining spring training battle is for the final spot on the Twins’ bench (or possibly bullpen). As stated, the Twins are probably looking to take extra outfielders north with them to start the season, and it seems Robbie Grossman and Zack Granite would be there guys. However, non-roster invitee Ryan LaMarre has had a very impressive spring training, with a team-leading .471 avg and two home runs over 34 at-bats. Jorge Polanco’s 80-game suspension leaves an open spot on the 40-man roster, so the Twins could easily add LaMarre, but the team has also said that might rather use that spot to bring up an extra pitcher. It’s not clear who that pitcher would be, though, because there are only 13 pitchers left in big league camp, and all of them are already on the 40-man.
Who would you like to see get the final spots on the Twins roster?