Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rule 5 Update

The Twins lost two players in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft, and both have passed the first hurdle by making their teams' respective 25-man opening day roster.

Levale Speigner, a right-handed pitcher who was drafted by the Twins in the 14th round of the 2003 draft, spent most of the last two years in AA New Britain, with a small amount of time spent in AAA Rochester. He put up some very solid numbers at the AA level and below, but in his limited time at AAA he hadn't yet put it all together. The Twins probably figured that they could sneak a solid but unremarkable righty like Speigner through the draft (especially since he made it through the previous season without difficulty). Instead, he was drafted by the Washington Nationals, and now has made the team as a long relief/spot starter. It's very likely that he'll stick in Washington unless he's absolutely atrocious -- it's not like there are scads of other players ready to take his roster spot.

Kevin Cameron, meanwhile, is another righty who was drafted by the Twins in the 13th round of the 2001 draft. Cameron has put up better numbers than Speigner, with a career minor league ERA of 2.92 and a 282-125 K-BB ratio. Last year in Rochester, he had a 2.98 ERA in 66.1 innings. The Twins are obviously dealing from a position of strength with relief pitchers, however, and so clearly didn't feel that placing Cameron on the 40-man roster was the best use of resources. The San Diego Padres drafted Cameron, and he has pitched well enough this spring to convince the Padres to give him a spot in the bullpen. Cameron is less likely than Speigner to stay with the team the whole year. The Padres are going to content in the NL West, and if he doesn't pitch well, they'll need to fill that roster spot with someone else.

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