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Roster Review - 11/19: Rule 5 Rumblings

Falvine have made their decision, and the decision is final.

Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The Rule 5 draft is on the horizon, and Major League Baseball marked November 19th as the deadline for all 30 teams to submit their 40-man rosters. As a result, a flurry of under-the-radar activity swept its way across the transaction wire — most of it meaningless to the average fan. However, here at Twinkie Town, you’re not the average fan! You’re the best, and we love you.

While the moves below may not mean much to, say, a Diamondbacks aficionado, most Twins fans will be familiar with the significance of the additions and subtractions below. There’s some old friends underneath, as well as some faces that may require a little memory-jogging, so strap on your sneakers and let’s hit the trails.

Before diving in too deep to that tweet, let’s take a gander at the 40-man roster.

MIN - 40-Man SP

Bailey Ober SP MLB
Joe Ryan SP MLB
Randy Dobnak SP MLB
Griffin Jax SP MLB
Lewis Thorpe SP MLB
Kenta Maeda SP MLB
Jordan Balazovic SP AAA
Jhoan Duran SP AAA
Drew Strotman SP AAA
Josh Winder SP AAA
Cole Sands SP AAA
Chris Vallimont SP AA
Blayne Enlow SP A+

Twins fans are clamoring to see the debuts of Jordan Balazovid and Jhoan Duran, but the addition of Chris Vallimont and Blayne Enlow to the 40-man roster means we have a couple new arms to prepare ourselves for. Vallimont was a 5th-round Marlins pick in 2018, targeted by Falvine during the Sergio Romo deal a year later. Blayne Enlow is a Tommy John recipient who was one of the new brass’ first targets as part of the 2017 Amateur Draft.

Cole Sands and Josh Winder are joining the roster, as well — the starting pitching clearances to accommodate the four combined moves involved the outrighting of Devin Smeltzer back to Triple-A St. Paul, and the designating for assignment Mr. Charlie Barnes and his 10.9 H/9.

MIN - 40-Man Bullpen

Taylor Rogers RP MLB
Tyler Duffey RP MLB
Jorge Alcala RP MLB
Caleb Thielbar RP MLB
Juan Minaya RP MLB
Danny Coulombe RP MLB
Ralph Garza Jr. RP MLB
Jharel Cotton RP MLB
Cody Stashak RP AAA
Jovani Moran RP AAA

No real changes here, although it’s worth reminding ourselves that Jharel Cotton would be in the mix for 2022, and that Ralph Garza Jr. was not a fever dream.

MIN - 40-Man Infield

Mitch Garver C MLB
Ryan Jeffers C MLB
Ben Rortvedt C AAA
Miguel Sano 1B MLB
Alex Kirilloff 1B MLB
Josh Donaldson 3B MLB
Luis Arraez IF/OF MLB
Jorge Polanco IF MLB
Nick Gordon IF/OF MLB
Jose Miranda IF MLB
Royce Lewis IF/OF MLB

Royce Lewis is finally on the 40-man, as is midseason minor-league darling Jose Miranda, who had himself a heck of a start over at CHS Field. There aren’t any significant changes to the infield, as Lewis and Miranda are pretty predictable additions. However, they’ve combined to force out fan favorite Willians Astudillo, who would remain in the organization should the rest of baseball pass on his -0.7 bWAR.

MIN - 40-Man Outfield

Trevor Larnach LF MLB
Byron Buxton CF MLB
Max Kepler RF MLB
Jake Cave OF MLB
Brent Rooker OF MLB
Gilberto Celestino OF MLB

On Friday, the Twins outrighted Kyle Garlick and came to terms to keep Jake Cave around. For all the carouseling performed by the outfield in 2021, it’s worth noting that most of those guys will be back on the roster and expected to contribute again in ‘22 — some certainly in a more meaningful way than others. Larnach and Kirilloff hope to get more at-bats than the 475 they combined for last season, which would limit how often the Gilberto Celestino types actually need to be penciled into the starting lineup.

Of course, there are signings, trades, and other unexpected roster moves yet to be made, and the winter has barely gotten started.

The Twins have not yet shown their cards in terms of which direction they’re pivoting in, but with each passing day and each passing roster deadline, we get, if not a clearer picture, at least one from a slightly better camera from a previous generation of technology.