If there is to be an MLB season in 2020, it seems likely that rosters will be at least 30 players. It could be 35 or even 50 but let’s just go with 30 for this exercise.
Let’s start with the absolute locks to make the team and then see how many spots are remaining.
Starting pitcher (5): Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Kenta Maeda, Homer Bailey, Randy Dobnak
Bullpen (7): Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May, Sergio Romo, Tyler Clippard, Zack Littell, Cody Stashak
Catcher (2): Mitch Garver, Alex Avila
Infield (6): Miguel Sano, Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, Josh Donaldson, Ehire Adrianza
Outfield (6): Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Marwin Gonzalez, Jake Cave, Nelson Cruz
Roster locks: 26
Spots remaining: 4
Players who could fill those spots (9): Willians Astudillo, Nick Gordon, LaMonte Wade Jr, Matt Wisler, Lewis Thorpe, Devin Smeltzer, Sean Poppen, Jorge Alcala, or Rich Hill.
Now those nine players have to be cut down to just four in order to have a final 30-man roster. I think a backup catcher will be very useful, so the first spot will very likely go to Willians Astudillo. Astudillo played six different positions in 2019 (most of them at catcher) and showed he was at least capable at all of them. He will literally never strikeout, but his free swinging needs to be cleaned up if he wants to be an MLB regular.
The second spot will go to Lewis Thorpe, the lefty who proved himself last year and someone who was in store for a nice breakout season. He had a K/9 over 10.0 and a FIP of 3.47 in his 27 innings last season. He will slot in as a long reliever/sixth starter as needed.
The third spot for me was between Sean Poppen and Matt Wisler. They can both play a role as a true reliever, so which one should get that spot? With no minor league season and a lot of room on the roster, I think the Twins should go the younger route and give Sean Poppen the 29th spot. Poppen is someone who really impressed me last season with his movement. I think if the coaches focus on him being a true reliever then something could definitely be there.
The fourth and final spot for the 30 man roster is tricky. If Rich Hill is healthy, he becomes a lock and takes the last spot but if the season starts on July 4th then I doubt he will be ready. Instead I will go with a different lefty start with Devin Smeltzer so when Hill comes back it’s an instant replacement.
Final four players: Willians Astudillo (C), Lewis Thorpe (LHP), Sean Poppen (RHP), Devin Smeltzer (LHP).
Would you change the roster I put together? Comment down below so we can discuss!