The Twins will be seeing some changes ahead of today’s series kickoff with the Royals. Most notable will be the return of outfielders Max Kepler and Kyle Garlick from the Covid list.
In corresponding moves, outfielder Brent Rooker and catcher Ryan Jeffers will be optioned to the minor leagues.
#MNTwins roster moves coming:— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) April 30, 2021
- Max Kepler (COVID-19) activated
- Kyle Garlick (COVID-19) activated
- Ryan Jeffers optioned to minors
- Brent Rooker optioned to minors
Twins moving away from the timeshare at catcher, which means Mitch Garver is now the clear-cut starter again.
As Aaron Gleeman noted above, this leaves Mitch Garver as the starting catcher, full stop. The only other catcher currently with the team will be Willians Astudillo, who has primarily filled a utility role, and with Miguel Sano out, had been the team’s primary first baseman. One assumes that role now falls to Alex Kirilloff for a couple days, as he is the next logical candidate, and the Twins suddenly have plenty of outfielders. Sano should be back soon, so that will create another interesting scenario for the Twins to consider.
While Garver was off to a cold start at the plate following a lost 2020, his bat has shown some life the last few games. Jeffers, who was a breakout rookie last season, was hitting .147/.216/.176 in 11 games, and deserves to play everyday, as he will be able to at Saint Paul.
The Twins also have a couple infielders who were called up as reinforcements over the last week-or-so that are going to be in a bit of a roster limbo. J.T. Riddle and Tzu-Wei Lin were both called up to help replace players on the Covid list. Both have been designated for assignment. While the Twins likely didn’t want to burn that much middle-infield depth this early, both are largely replaceable players, and either could easily pass through waivers.
These moves aren't official yet, but will be announced this afternoon, per source.— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) April 30, 2021
Twins have also designated for assignment J.T. Riddle and Tzu-Wei Lin, both of whom had been added to the roster as fill-ins for players on the COVID-19 injured list.https://t.co/tLkk2hbH50
A DFA does remove the player from the 40-man roster, meaning the Twins now have a couple spots they can fill. If I were to speculate, I’d put my money on those spots being filled by bullpen arms, as the Twins need to find a solution in that role as well.
UPDATE: Apparently Astudillo and Garver are not the only catchers on the big league roster afterall, as Ben Rortvedt was recalled and will make his MLB debut tonight.
Roster moves:— Betsy Helfand (@betsyhelfand) April 30, 2021
- Reinstated Max Kepler, Kyle Garlick from COVID IL
- Recalled Ben Rortvedt
- Optioned Ryan Jeffers and Brent Rooker
- DFA'd Tzu-Wei Lin
- Reinstated JT Riddle from COVID list and DFA'd him