Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rochester Roster

The season opening roster for the Rochester Red Wings was released on their website today, and while most of the names on the list were expected, there are a few surprises. Here are some thoughts on the guys starting the season in AAA:

Starting Pitchers:

Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey, Zach Day (DL), Heath Totten

Duensing, Humber, and Mulvey were all expected to start the season in AAA, so there are no surprises there. I thought prior to the start of spring training that Perkins was likely to make the big league roster as either a starter or as the last man out of the bullpen, but it was clear that if he didn't make the big club, he was going to end up here. Zach Day doesn't really fit in any of the lower levels of the system, and he wasn't going to beat out the young guys for a major league roster spot, so a slot in AAA makes sense -- although as noted, he's starting the season in the DL. Finally, Heath Totten was a bit of a surprise to me -- he was one of a number of minor league free agents brought in by the club, and based on his career numbers I was thinking he'd be lucky to make the Rock Cats roster. Instead, he'll probably get a few chances to start for the Red Wings, although he could be used in the bullpen, also.


Relief Pitchers

Ricky Barrett, Carmen Cali, Casey Daigle, Julio DePaula, Mariano Gomez, Danny Graves (DL), Bobby Korecky

The big surprise here is Danny Graves, who I didn't even realize had been signed by the Twins. Beyond that, this is a fairly balanced bullpen (3 lefties and 3 righties) that doesn't have any real standout stars. Bobby Korecky will likely return to the role of the Red Wings closer (he saved 35 games a year ago) -- although it's not like it really matters, since the Twins don't exactly need to be breaking in a closer. Carmen Cali is probably the first option out of the names on this list to get called up if the Twins have an injury in the bullpen, but it's probably equally likely that the Twins would go with one of the starters (Perkins especially) if they needed to fill a roster spot. The only question: where is Randy Keisler? A roster spot in New Britain seems unlikely, so perhaps he's been released.


Catchers

Jose Morales, Eli Whiteside, Ryan Jorgensen (suspended)

Jose Morales should get a chance to play a lot, as at this point he's the Twins emergency third catcher. Whiteside is a veteran who hopefully will play reasonably well without taking playing time away from Morales. Jorgensen is another guy (like Graves) who I didn't even know was in the organization. No real surprises here, and while I'm sure Drew Butera would have liked to start out in AAA rather than his likely destination in New Britain, there wouldn't have been enough playing time to go around.


Infield

Chris Basak, Brian Buscher, Alexi Casilla, Howie Clark, Garrett Jones, Alejandro Machado (DL), Matt Macri, Randy Ruiz, Tommy Watkins

Talk about an eclectic group. There are a couple of good prospects (Casilla and Macri) and one pseduo-prospect (Buscher) on the list, but the rest of these guys are unlikely to ever make an impact at the big league level, and a few (Howie Clark, Chris Basak) just don't seem to fit particularly well in the organization. Randy Ruiz will probably play mostly at DH, but with Garrett Jones likely playing a lot in the outfield (he's listed as an infielder on the roster, but that doesn't mean much), he might also get some starts at 1B. Alexi Casilla will probably play mostly at shortstop, with Macri at 2B and Buscher at 3B. Watkins, Basak, and Clark will be lucky to get whatever playing time they're handed, and are unlikely to play significant roles with the team. As for significant missing names -- Felix Molina failed to make the squad, and it seems questionable that the Twins will give him a roster spot in New Britain, but we'll see. I also thought that Brock Peterson had a good chance to get a promotion to Rochester, but it looks like a return trip to New Britain is in his future.


Outfield

Doug Deeds (DL), Jon Knott, Darnell McDonald (DL), Jason Pridie, Denard Span


With Deeds and McDonald starting out the season on the DL, Knott, Pridie, and Span should get a significant amount of playing time. That would almost certainly be the case anyway for Pridie and Span, who will probably split time respectively between CF and RF (with Span likely getting a bit more time in CF). Garrett Jones and Randy Ruiz will likely also get some time in the outfield (although watching either of them patrol the outfield might be harmful for your health, so be wary).

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5 Comments:

  • At Sun Mar 30, 10:40:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Korecky was the closer for Rochester last year.

     
  • At Sun Mar 30, 10:45:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    So he was -- I had forgotten that. I imagine he'll fill the same role this year, then. Of course, the point I made about it not really mattering in terms of grooming a big league closer still applies. Thanks for pointing this out -- I'll adjust the wording of the main post to reflect it.

     
  • At Mon Mar 31, 07:15:00 AM , Anonymous SethSpeaks said...

    Josh,
    The Twins last round of releases included two catchers (Korey Feiner and Kyle Geiger) along with Randy Keisler.
    With Zach Day and Danny Graves, who knows if they will ever get to Rochester. I'm guessing the Twins will just keep them in Ft. Myers and hope that within a month, maybe one of them will be worth keeping around.

     
  • At Mon Mar 31, 01:53:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Seth,

    Thanks for the update. I'd heard about the catchers, but not Keisler. FYI, if anyone is wondering why the updates haven't been made in the org rankings section yet, it's because I wait until baseball america reports them in its minor league transactions blog -- that way, I know what I have and what I have not taken care of.

    As for Keisler's departure, I don't think it's a big deal -- the Twins picked up a lot of riff raff veteran pitchers who they didn't really need. Seth's point about Day and Graves maybe never even making the official roster is a good one, as well.

     
  • At Mon Mar 31, 08:34:00 PM , Blogger WV said...

    Hey Josh,

    I just noticed in one of the Strib's Twins notebooks that Keisler will pitch for the Cubs' AAA affiliate in Iowa.

    Cheers,
    WV

     

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