New Britain Rock Cats Roster
Name / Position / Age / Organizational Rank
1.) Errol Simonitsch - LHP - 24 - #22 SP
2.) Nick Blackburn - RHP - 25 - #23 SP
3.) Jesse Floyd - RHP - 26 - #28 SP
4.) Brian Duensing - LHP - 24 - #18 SP
5.) Anthony Swarzak - RHP - 21 - #15 SP
This is not a bad rotation by any means. Simonitsch is a bit of a surprise because when the Twins cut him from spring training, they announced that he was being optioned to AAA. That didn't make any sense at the time to me, because there are so many very good pitchers who are going to be on the Rochester roster and there didn't seem to be any room -- now, it turns out that was a mistake originally, and Simonitsch will indeed be back in New Britain. Brian Duensing and Anthony Swarzak should also be watched closely. Blackburn is a middle of the road kind of guy, and Floyd is a minor-league Rule 5 acquisition. Incidentally, Simonitsch is currently being listed as "inactive" on the Rock Cats roster, but I don't know whether he's actually hurt or whether the roster needs to still be adjusted to get to the max roster limit. UPDATE: Simonitsch is actually hurt (info courtesy of Seth from Seth Speaks), and will in fact be starting the season on the DL with shoulder tendinitis.
1.) Jose Mijares - LHP - 22 - #15 RP
2.) J.P. Martinez - RHP - 24 - #11 RP
3.) Danny Powers - RHP - 24 - #18 RP
4.) Tim Lahey - RHP - 25 - #32 RP
5.) Brad Baker - RHP - 26 - #24 RP
6.) Brian Forystek - LHP - 28 - #23 RP
7.) Jay Sawatski - LHP - 24 - #12 RP
Sawatski is the only guy in the bullpen who was with the Rock Cats last year. Mijares, Martinez, Powers, and Lahey all arrived from Ft. Myers, while Baker and Forystek were minor league free agent additions. Sawatski is the only real surprise for me -- he pitched well enough last year that he deserved a promotion to Rochester. Unfortunately, there just wasn't room for him in the AAA bullpen, so he'll start off back with the Rock Cats.
1.) Kyle Geiger - C - 24 - #8 C
2.) Korey Feiner - C - 25 - #10 C
Neither of these guys is going to hit particularly well (Geiger hit .213 last year, and Feiner hit .219), but both are supposedly solid defensively. Not much else to say, really.
1.) Brock Peterson - 1B - 23 - #6 1B
2.) Felix Molina - 2B - 23 - #2 2B
3.) Trevor Plouffe - SS - 20 - #3 SS
4.) David Winfree - 3B - 21 - #3 3B
5.) Gil Velazquez - IF - 27 - #9 SS
6.) Luke Hughes - IF - 22 - #13 3B
7.) Brain Buscher - 3B - 25 - #11 3B
The starting infield for the Rock Cats this year is going to be very interesting to watch, especially former first-round pick Trevor Plouffe, who has struggled offensively since being drafted in 2004. Plouffe seems to be putting things together, however, and this could be a breakthrough season for him. David Winfree will also try to establish himself as a legitimate challenger to Matt Moses for the mantle of "Twins Third Baseman of the Future." He certainly has the talent to do so.
1.) Garrett Guzman - OF - 24 - #12 OF
2.) Brandon Roberts - OF - 22 - #8 OF
3.) Matt Allegra - OF - 26 - #17 OF
4.) Rashad Eldridge - OF - 25 - NR
Eldridge is a new name to me -- I hadn't seem anything about his acquisition. He's a veteran minor leaguer, having played in 7 seasons with teams in the Indians, Rangers, and Mets systems. He struggled for much of last year, but hit .294 in 303 AB's for AAA Oklahoma in 2005. He's slated to primarily backup for the Cats. Garrett Guzman and Brandon Roberts are the most interesting members of the outfield corps -- Guzman because he's likely close to being promoted (and could find himself in Rochester by the end of the year), and Roberts (who is a bit of a Denard Span-like player). The Twins acquired him in the middle of last season from the Reds in exchange for Juan Castro -- pretty good trade if you ask me.