From Achter to Zarzuela: the 48 Twins players eligible for the Rule 5 draft

This week the Twins have added several players to their 40 man roster to protect them from the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. 

The rules of eligibility are fairly convoluted and gets really complicated with the AAA and AA portion of the draft.  A primer of the Rule 5 can be found here

Here is the list of the Twins players (48 in all) who are not eligible for the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft.  Some of them will be placed on the AAA roster (protecting them from the AAA portion) or the AA roster (protecting them from the AA portion but exposing them to the AAA portion of the draft.)

I do not list 2013 Twins' players like Tom Stuifberger, Manuel Soliman, Cole DeVries or Jhon Goncalves who are unsigned minor league free agents and eligible for the draft regardless the team they sign.  Recently signed, or re-signed minor league free agents like Jason Bertlett or Wilkin Ramirez are eligible for the MLB portion of the draft.

Here is the list (which is subject to change based on minor league signings before the draft) :

Edit 1:  (Thanks Seth!) :  Jhonatan Arias was released late last season, Caleb Brewer retired, and Angel Morales is not re-signed, so the list gets trimmed to 45

Edit 2: After this was posted the Twins announced that they have released  Andy Leer, Rory Rhodes and  Kelvin Ortiz, further trimming the list to 42.  They also released Rick Schwarz who was not eligible for the Rule 5 draft

A.J. Achter RHP
Tim Atherton RHP
Jason Bartlett IF
James Beresford IF
Evan Bigley OF
Brad Boyer IF
Pat Dean LHP
Dallas Gallant RHP
Jose Gonzalez LHP
Mike Gonzales 1B/DH
Deolis Guerra RHP
Mark Hamburger RHP
Nate Hanson IF
Matt Hauser RHP
B.J. Hermsen RHP
Romy Jimenez OF
Jonatan Hinojosa IF
Mike Kvasnicka OF
Jermaine Mitchell OF
Lester Oliveros RHP
Ryan O'Rourke LHP
Danny Ortiz OF
Adonis Pacheco OF
Candido Pimentel IF/OF
Michael Quesada C
Wilkin Ramirez OF
Lance Ray OF
Hein Robb LHP
Nate Roberts OF
Reynaldo Rodriguez 1B
Jairo Rodriguez C
Chad Rodgers LHP
Kris Rhal OF
Rory Rhodes 1B
Dan Rohlfing C/OF
Deibinson Romero 3B
Adrian Salcedo RHP
Aaron Thompson LHP
Virgil Vasquez RHP
Dakota Watts RHP
Alex Wimmers RHP
Ezequiel Zarzuela RHP


Weekly summary of the Twins moves and targets: 11/22/2013

Here is the summary of the moves the Minnesota Twins did and the players they expressed interest in this week (the links will take you to reports).  As far as "targets" go, I am listing players that the Twins reportedly expressed interest in and not players who baseball writers and other thought that they would be a good fit or may fill a need.  The targets identified past weeks are still in the list unless they signed elsewhere.


Acquired LHP Kris Johnson from the Pirates for RHP Duke Welker (11/19)
Added 1B Kennys Vargas to the 40-man roster (11/20)
Added LHP Logan Darnell to the 40-man roster (11/20)
Added IF Jorge Polanco  to the 40-man roster (11/20)
Added OF/1B Max Kepler to the 40-man roster (11/20)
Outrighted RHP BJ Hermsen to AAA Rochester and removed them from the 40-man roster (11/20)
Signed OF Kris Rhal to a Minor League contract with invitation to Spring Training (11/20)

The current Twins' 40-man roster is here and contains 19 pitchers and 20 position players for a total of 36 spots.


SS Erisbel Arruebarruena (Cuban defector)


Eddie Rosario speaks to the press: I tested positive for painkillers

By know everyone knows that one of the top ten Minnesota Twins' prospects, Eddie Rosario, has tested positive for a banned substance.  The first report came from Hiram Torraca in Puerto Rico  Monday afternoon,  and Peter Gammons tweeted something cryptic yesterday, a day afterwards.

There was a lot of speculation for the substance that Rosario tested positive for.  He admitted that he took something for pain.  Today, in an interview with Fernando Ribas Reyes of El Nuevo Dia, Rosario reiterated that (translation from Spanish : )

"he decided to take some pills to treat pain in his right throwing arm. He added that the banned substance he tested positive for was present in these pills. He added that the drug had the same function as what he took in 2011 to treat the pain when was hit in the face with a pitch in Class A."

So it looks like what Rosario tested positive for was likely a prescription narcotic painkiller and he was suspended under the "street drugs" ban.  Not PEDs.  And based on his comments, the same painkiller prescribed to him to treat his broken jaw in 2011.

Reportedly, MLB needs to "resolve something" before a suspension is announced.  Could it be whether he had a prescription? 

A couple more interesting details from the article:   Rosario regrets what he did, but he will appeal the suspension.   Also, he denied the rumors that the Twins have asked him to return to the outfield.  His manager in the Indians of the Puerto Rican Winter League is former second baseman Carlos Baegra who is helping him with his fielding.

More details for the suspension to follow as they come.


The Dominos are falling: The Twins acquire Kris Johnson from the Pirates

In the first trade of the 2013 off-season, the Minnesota Twins returned RHRP Duke Welker (whom they acquired in the Justin Morneau trade) to the Pittsburgh for LHSP Kris Johnson.   

Johnson (6'4", 190, 28 years old) is a former first round draft pick of the Boston Redsox (2006) and signed as a minor league free agent by the Pirates 2 years ago.   He was listed as the Redsox' fourth best pitching prospect in 2008 by Baseball America.  This season he had a breakthrough performance in Independent (AAA) league, pitching 135.7 innings, with a 2.39 ERA (3.43 FIP), winning 10 games and losing 4.  His strikeout rate was 17.1% (6.34 K/9), his walk rate 7.8% (2.85 BB/9, 2.19 K/BB).  His WHIP was 1.17 and achieved with a .279 BABIP.  

He throws a 91-94 mph fastball, a slow low 70s curve and a mid 80s change/cutter/slider type of pitch that is very effective against righties.  As is, he will be the most polished Twins' left hand starter (compared to Scott Diamond and Andrew Albers) and will likely fight for a spot in the Twins' rotation out of Spring Training.  He has relieved before, so the pen is also an option potentially.

All in all, the Twins turned a hard throwing but enigmatic (think Hoey) righty reliever to a polished lefty starter with true back of the rotation stuff who is at his prime.   I think all in all it is a good move for the Twins, since they lack depth in the minors esp. from the left side.  Johnson had a cup of coffee with the Pirates (10.3 IP) this August, which means that he has only 2 options left.

What does this mean for the Twins?  Johnson automatically goes on top of the LHP starting depth ahead of Diamond and Albers at this point, and if they do not sign someone like Scott Kazmir, he might wear a Twins' uniform next season.  Additionally, he will potentially challenge for a spot in the bullpen, especially if Thielbar regresses.  This trade gives the Twins more options than they had before (plently of hard-throwing relievers and Michael Tonkin made Duke Welker redundant in the system)


Monday Graphic in Technicolor: 135 MLB starting pitchers classified based on 2013 performance, including the MNTwins targets.

Not many words because this picture (which you might have to wait until it loads) is worth and has more than 1000.  Here are the names and 2013 numbers of all 135 MLB starting pitchers who pitched more than 100 innings.  I thought that it would be a good reference as transaction will be taking place this off-season.  The measurements included are: K/9, K/BB, K%, WHIP, BABIP, ERA, FIP, E-F (ERA-FIP),  xFIP,  tERA, SIERA, PE, xPE.   If you are not familiar with PE and xPE, more on those here.    The pitchers are color coded based on the PE/xPE standards listed here with the key being:

Where "REPL" is replacement level.   Interesting to see that there are only nice pitchers with Ace performance (PE) or potential (xPE) based on the 2013 numbers and only fifteen number 1/2 starters (including a couple of free agents) based on the same criteria.  From the 3 Twins' starters that pitched more than 110 innings, two were in the 4 to 5 starter range (Pelfrey, Correia) and one (Diamond) in the Replacement range.  The list is shorted by increasing FIP.

Without further ado: