Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Roster Explosion

Since tomorrow is the deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft, we knew that the Twins would be making some roster additions. What's a bit surprising is that they added so many players -- a whopping eight, which brings the 40-man roster to 39 players. That leaves one spot open for a potential free agent acquisition (and I would expect they'll add at least someone in that spot, although it remains to be seen whether it will be someone like Casey Blake or someone like Nick Punto). Anything beyond one addition, though, will now have to be accompanied by taking someone off of the roster, so we'll see how they handle that situation if it becomes necessary.

Here's the list, if you haven't yet seen it:

C - Drew Butera
C - Wilson Ramos
IF - Luke Hughes
IF - Trevor Plouffe
IF - Deibinson Romero
IF - Steven Tolleson
LHP - Brian Duensing
RHP - Anthony Swarzak

All of those names appeared as at least possibilities on the list I put together a week ago, with five of them on the list of players I personally would have picked. I didn't have Drew Butera, Trevor Plouffe, or Deibinson Romero on my list, but I understand the reason for protecting each of them. Butera is a solid defensive catcher who should be able to make it as a scrappy backup in the big leagues at some point. Plouffe had a rough stretch early in his professional career after being a high draft pick, but has bounced back reasonably well over the last few years. Romero had a disappointing and injury filled 2008, but was considered a high-end prospect entering the year and the Twins are obviously still high on him.

The only player who I had stated I would protect that the Twins left off the list is lefty Ryan Mullins. As I acknowledged at the time, I have a weakness for left-handed starting pitchers. I still think the Twins could wind up seeing Mullins disappear in the draft, but clearly they're not that worried about the possibility either because they don't think he'll be taken, they don't think he'll last a full year with a big league club if he is taken, or they don't care if he's taken. Certainly, if the Twins were going to protect just one lefty starter, Duensing was the right choice.

Will anyone be taken from the Twins in the draft? It seems quite likely. Aside from Mullins, who I think has a chance of being selected, one possibility is Tim Lahey, who was drafted last year before being returned to the Twins. He's been just ok in the Arizona Fall League (a 3.97 ERA but a highish .289 batting average against and an underwhelming 8-6 K-BB ratio in 11.1 innings) and didn't pitch well at all in Rochester in 2008. That might discourage anyone from taking him. I also wonder a bit about Matthew Fox and Jay Rainville, around whom there might at least be a nibble or two. Erik Lis is a left-handed hitting masher, and that might be attractive to someone. Beyond that, any other picks would probably be a bit of a stretch -- but you never know. Who thought that R.A. Dickey would be taken by the Mariners last year?

I like that the Twins added so many players to the roster, and I hope it pays off when the draft rolls around.

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  • At Thu Nov 20, 12:43:00 PM , Blogger Bruce said...

    Good job Josh! Can I subscribe to your blogs? I gave Kevin G a link to your site. With the MVP selected he's been talking about Morneau's swoon.

  • At Thu Nov 20, 03:48:00 PM , Blogger JST said...


    I don't have anything set up that puts out an RSS feed or anything -- it's something I've been meaning to look into but haven't had a chance to mess around with.

    The Morneau swoon was certainly poorly timed! I suspect Pedroia would have won anyway, but it's interesting to think about what might have been.

  • At Thu Nov 20, 04:16:00 PM , Blogger Bruce said...

    Hola Josh,

    You truly have an impressive blog site, have you considered switching platforms to wordpress? Things like subscribe widgets are really easy to install, even I can do it. When I did my research before I fired up my blog I saw that many bloggers started w/blogspot but then switched to wordpress or similiar for more utility and to own their content.
    BTW: I was able to watch the last home Chisox series down here,one game on satellite and the other two on streaming video. That was exciting BB!


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