2/23/17

Predicting the Twins 25-man Roster - version 1.0

Tomorrow Friday the 24th is the first Spring Training game for the Twins at Fort Myers against the Tampa Bay Rays.  There is a lot of Spring Training left, but here is my first cut at a prediction of the Twins' 25 man roster, with commentary on each position.  Note:  This is not what I would do, this is predicting what the Twins will do. Lefties are noted by an asterisk (*) and switch hitters by a hash (#)

Starting Pitchers (5)

Ervin Santana
Kyle Gibson
Phil Hughes
Trevor May
Ryan Vogelsong

I see this as a battle for  2 spots among several pitchers, including in addition to the predicted winners, Jose Berrios, Justin Haley, Hector Santiago, and Nick Tepesch.   Based on the planned order of pitching Hector Santiago might be ahead of Ryan Vogelson right now; however the fact that he, like Jose Berrios, will be missing from the Twins camp, joining the Puerto Rico team in the WBC, decreases his probabilities to win a battle, like Berrios.

Relievers (7)

Brandon Kintzler
Ryan Pressly
J.T. Chargois
Matt Belisle
Craig Breslow (*)
Justin Haley
Hector Santiago (*)

Kintzler, Pressly, and Belisle are locks, pending injuries.  Haley and Santiago will be the two long men and spot starters, if necessary.  With Santiago being a lefty there is likely one more spot and based on what he brings to the table (and despite the fact that he will be pitching for the Israel WBC team that, unlike Puerto Rico, is not slated to go far,) Craig Breslow will win that spot.  The last spot will go to the most talented pitcher from the group, J.T. Chargois who will win it over former starter Tyler Duffey who will be optioned to Rochester to transition as a full time reliever.

Catchers (2)

Jason Castro (*)
Chris Gimenez 

The battle for the second catcher is three-way, between veteran Chris Gimenez and younger players J.R. Murphy and Mitch Garver.  I see Gimenez winning the battle because of the praise he has received as being able to help younger pitchers, as well as hitting lefties ok, something that the projected started Jason Castro does not.

Infielders (6)

Joe Mauer (*)
Brian Dozier
Jorge Polanco (#)
Miguel Sano
Eduardo Escobar (#)
Ehire Adrianza (#)

Outfielders (5)

Byron Buxton
Max Kepler (*)
Robbie Grossman  (#)
Drew Stubbs
J.B. Shuck (*)

A few surprises here.  I suspect that the Twins will go with experience over youth, and, like Santiago and Berrios, Kennys Vargas and Eddie Rosario, both of whom have one remaining option, will not make the team because of their choice to leave camp and join team Puerto Rico in the WBC.  The last cut was Danny Santana, who is out of options.  JB. Shuck wins over Santana because of the better glove at the OF and the fact that Ehire Andrianza's presence makes Santana unnecessary as an infielder.   I foresee a rotation at the DH spot with the primary DH being Grossman, and Mauer, Sano, Polanco, Kepler, and Stubbs rotating.   When Mauer is the DH, Max Kepler and/or Ehire Adrianza can man 1B in this configuration.

This is the first version of a predicted Twins' 25 man roster, and my predictions will likely change when they start playing games.  My view is that they Twins at this point will value veteran clubhouse presence and defense.

2 comments:

Cory said...

1) Taylor Rogers? Why was he cut? I would argue he was as good out of the pen as any of the other locks.
2) I also can't see Santiago in the bullpen. I don't think he is more than a #5, but he is almost in the "lock" category for me for the rotation. Not what I would want necessarily (I want May and Berrios in the rotation opening day) but I'd be surprised if Santiago isn't in the rotation day 1.
3) I like that you made some other moves to shake things up and be different from what other projections are showing. I'd be very surprised about both Vargas and Rosario in Rochester (and maybe more so having Stubbs and Shuck as the "better" options for the major league roster) but I like that you wrote something different than what others are writing.

thrylos98 said...

Here are my three premises for this roster:

- The new Front Office is looking for veteran leadership in the clubhouse, so players like Vogelsong and Breslow and Stubbs will make the club

- Defense is very important for the new front office, thus Shuck, Stubbs, and Adrianza

- Players who chose to play in the WBC over fighting a position battle during ST will be at a disadvantage, thus Santiago to the pen and Berrios, Rosario, and Vargas to AAA

With Santiago and Breslow to the pen I chose Chargois over Rogers (and Duffey).

This is without seeing a single pitch or plate appearance. My mind will definitely change as the Spring progresses. For example if Vargas hits 5 HRs and hitting .350 in the WBC, there will be a totally different story