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Lucas Duda opts out; Twins make additional cuts

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Plus a confirmed injury that may sideline a bullpen arm to start the season

Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

During today’s Grapefruit League game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Minnesota Twins announced another round of roster cuts along with another player exercising his opt-out clause, according to Dan Hayes with The Athletic (Twitter links).

First baseman/outfielder Lucas Duda, one of the many non-roster invitees in Twins camp this spring, exercised his opt-out option today as the Twins informed him that he will not be making the Opening Day roster. In 13 games this spring, Duda hit .258/.395/.355, 3 2B, 7 BB. He was in competition with Tyler Austin for a bench spot to back up C.J. Cron at first base along with some possible outfield work.

The Twins also sent three non-roster invitee bullpen arms and a catcher to minor-league camp: lefty Justin Nicolino, righties Ryan Eades and Jake Reed, and catcher/first baseman Wynston Sawyer. Nicolino was fairly impressive in 6 games, posting a 1.59 ERA in 5.2 IP, ER, 4 K. Eades posted a 1.29 ERA in 7 games, allowing a homer (his only earned run allowed), and striking out nine batters in seven total innings. Reed (one of three that were in camp with that last name), also provided some decent results in camp: 5 games, 3.86 ERA, 4.2 IP, 2 ER, HR, 3 BB, 8 K. Sawyer saw some time both behind the plate and at first base; he played in 15 games and went to the plate 19 times, batting .176/.263/.294 with 2 2B, an RBI, and 2 BB.

These changes leave the Twins with 36 players left in camp and with these cuts, three catchers remain (Castro, Garver, and Astudillo), along with 12 bullpen arms. That being said, Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey mentioned that Gabriel Moya will most likely start the season on the injured list due to issues with his pitching shoulder, according to Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (via Twitter).