Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Big List of Released Players

The Twins cleared up some clutter in the minor league system by releasing a significant number of players, most of whom you've probably never heard of. First, I'll post the list (courtesy of Baseball America), and then I'll make a few comments on some of the more notable players who are no longer members of the Twins organization.

Patrick Bryant - RHP
Luis Carreras - RHP
Jose Cordero - RHP
Colby Miller - RHP
Justin Olson - RHP
Chris Schutt - RHP
Jon Staatz - RHP
Brad Voyles - RHP
Ryan Callahan - LHP
Randy Choate - LHP (old news, that)
Domingo Reyes - LHP
Brad King - C
Thomas Cowgill - 2B
J.R. Taylor - SS
Justin Arneson - OF
Courtney Billingslea - OF
Josh Land - OF
Tarrence Patterson - OF
Scott Whitrock - OF

First, the Brad King cut surprised me a little bit. There were indications that he was going to be given a chance to play at Rochester, but the Twins gave him a good long look in spring training and clearly decided that there was no reason to keep him around any longer.

Brad Voyles, Domingo Reyes, and Courtney Billingslea were all brought in as minor league free agents during the off-season, and obviously didn't demonstrate the qualities that the Twins were hoping to see from them.

Otherwise, most of these guys either had never played above the Rookie League level, or had languished in the lower full season teams for long enough that the Twins decided they weren't going to improve. Tarrence Patterson, for instance, played the last two years in Beloit and hit .254 and .257. The Twins needed the roster space, and especially with guys who just weren't ready to move up, there wasn't really a reason to keep them around.

Finally, let me say that I'm saddest about the cut of Justin Arneson. He may have only hit .199 and .232 over the past two seasons in Ft. Myers, but he went to High School in Fergus Falls, MN -- about 45 minutes away from my hometown. I would have liked to see the local boy make good, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

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  • At Sat Mar 31, 05:19:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Don't get me wrong, I know how baseball works...but the King cut is absurd. They have NO AAA catchers at the moment (the young guys haven't had a full yr at AA even). Furthermore with Heintz up AAA is looking at Morales and Lecroy or Feiner WOW THAT BLOWS. King is a decent hitter .260 career, and has played AAA Level ball for three years. BAD CUT!

  • At Sat Mar 31, 06:20:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    I can't disagree with you - while the Red Wings are going to be a very, very good AAA team (especially with that amazing starting rotation), there is no question that they will be thin behind the plate. Why the Twins even bothered to give Matt LeCroy a roster spot in AAA is a bit of a mystery to me, and the Brad King cut is a little perplexing considering the other options there.

  • At Sat Mar 31, 10:43:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Be careful, character issues can be a big factor with minor league veterans. A guy with attitude (or alcohol) problems may not be a very good addition to a team that is supposed to be developing young players for the major leagues. No matter how well they pitch, hit or field.

  • At Sat Mar 31, 11:00:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've met Brad on numerous occasions, and have talked to some of his former teammates about him...He is one of the most down to earth people. He was sincerely excited about going to Rochester and getting to work with Heintz (with whom he is friends). This is a guy who changed his walk-up music to sponge bob square pants last year because his 3-yr old son liked the song. It's a sad thing to see. Hope he gets picked up he deserves it.

    Also any word on Venafro?

  • At Sun Apr 01, 01:15:00 AM , Blogger JST said...

    No word yet that I've seen on Venafro, but we'll know by the end of the day. The fact that he's taken so long to decide suggests to me that he hasn't seen any offers that he likes that much. At this point, I would guess that he'll accept the minor league assignment.

    As for King, I know nothing about him personally. I'm guessing the Twins decided they would rather give a guy like Jose Morales at-bats rather than a veteran like King. I doubt we'll ever know if there was some kind of deeper issue involved in this cut, but I think the team just decided to go in another direction.

  • At Sun Apr 01, 07:26:00 AM , Blogger Twins Territory said...

    Isn't Olsen the one that was in Throwing Bullets with Liriano?


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