Only a few hours before the team starts on another trip in the playoffs, the Minnesota Twins have announced their active roster for the Wild Card series against the Houston Astros. Betsy Helfand of the St Paul Pioneer Press was first to the Twittersphere with the roster news:
Here’s the Twins’ Wild Card Series roster. The Twins have selected the contract of Alex Kirilloff and designated Sean Poppen for release or assignment. pic.twitter.com/yaCAkBEUMi— Betsy Helfand (@betsyhelfand) September 29, 2020
As Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune mentioned last night, prospect outfielder/first baseman Alex Kirilloff is on the roster for this series. This will be the first time that he has been on the active roster and if he appears in a game, it will be his major-league debut. He would also be the fourth player to make his major-league debut in the playoffs since the 1870s... if other prospects don’t beat him to it this postseason...
Since the founding of what we’d call big-league ball, in the 1870s, there have been three players who debuted in the playoffs: Bug Holliday (1885), Mark Kiger (2006), Adalberto Mondesi (2015). Seems like we could add two or three names to that list this week! https://t.co/wmZPjflpKY— Matthew Trueblood (@MATrueblood) September 29, 2020
Another prospect that has not touched the field in Triple-A Rochester, Kirilloff hit .283/.343/.413 in 94 games with Double-A Pensacola last year. He also had nine homers and 43 RBI to his name while seeing time mostly split between right field and first base along with eight games in left field. Some reports out of the St Paul alternate site this season include that he “hit roughly .800” according to Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com. Seems like a decent number. Kirilloff “kept on hitting” and “was the most consistent bat” in St Paul all season. Hopefully he does as well as Ryan Jeffers and Brent Rooker and not like Travis Blankenhorn and Edwar Colina in their time this season.
To make room for Kirilloff, pitcher Sean Poppen was designated for assignment. In his two seasons in the majors for the Twins, he posted a 6.19 ERA and 3.33 FIP in 16 innings of work, allowing a homer. He issued 1.750 walks and hits per inning during the 10 games in which he played.
Other items to note:
- Josh Donaldson is not on the roster for this series, which means he is not cleared to play after experiencing cramping in his right calf this past weekend.
- Good news: Byron Buxton is on the active roster!
- The Twins will roll with four (!) catchers: Willians Astudillo, Alex Avila, Mitch Garver, and Ryan Jeffers.
- The bullpen will have two lefties: Taylor Rogers and Caleb Theilbar. Other lefties on the taxi squad include Rich Hill, Devin Smeltzer, and Lewis Thorpe.
- Randy Dobnak and Jake Odorizzi are on the active roster and presumably out of the bullpen.
- Jorge Alcala is not on the active roster, but is on the taxi squad.
There it is! Postseason is right around the corner! GO TWIMS GO!