Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Monday, August 21, 2006

More September Speculation

This article in the Pioneer Press mentions several players who are not on the 40-man roster who may nonetheless be called up when rosters expand. In my previous post on September call-ups, I stuck to those players currently on the 40-man roster.

The most prominently mentioned players in the article are IF Glenn Williams, IF Gil Velazquez, and OF Andres Torres (for his speed). In order to add these players, however, other players would have to be waived in order to make room on the roster. That begs the question of who is most likely to be removed from the roster.

Clearly, the most obvious answer is SP Mike Smith. He's not in the Twins long-range plans, and if a team claimed him off of waivers (which I assume is rather unlikely) the Twins wouldn't exactly be upset. He might not even be offered a contract for next year anyway, which would just make this move that much more likely to happen.

Things get tougher after that. There are no other players who are obvious candidates to be removed. I suppose the Twins could take the plunge and designate Shannon Stewart for assignment for the purpose of releasing him. That would open up a roster spot, and not really cost the Twins anything (remember, I mentioned earlier that it would be dangerous to offer him arbitration in the off-season in order to secure a draft pick when he signed elsewhere, since he might just accept arbitration). I don't expect that to happen, but if the Twins made the same analysis that I did, they wouldn't be losing anything by cutting Stewart at this point. The same thing could be done with Rondell White, but he was hitting better before he was disabled again, and the Twins seem interested in bringing him back sooner rather than letter as a bat off the bench.

Looking at more conventional names, the team may have decided that one of the pitchers who they are protecting (Jose Mijares, Adam Harben, Errol Simonitsch) who are below the AAA level is worth waiving, taking a chance that they would lose them. I just don't see the Twins doing that, however. They could also go in the direction of waiving Garrett Jones, recognizing that Justin Morneau is solidly entrenched, and by the time the Twins have to worry about Morneau becoming a free agent in 3 years, they will hopefully have Brock Peterson or Erik Lis ready to come up.

All-in-all, I still think it's unlikely that more than one of the names mentioned above will get added to the 40-man roster. My suspicion is that it will be Gil Velazquez, to give the Twins an additional middle infielder. I could be wrong, but messing with the 40-man roster to position for September call-ups doesn't seem to be the Twins style.


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