Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Non-roster invitees and Hall of Fame links

The Twins emerged from their brief holiday dormancy Tuesday with the announcement of 25 non-roster invitees. Coupled with 39 players on the major league roster, and the Twins figure to have 64 players in major league camp when things get started in mid-February.

Phil Dumatrait, who
spent much of 2011 on
the major league roster
after signing as a
non-roster invitee,
hopes to repeat the
To be blunt about it, a goodly percentage of the invitees aren't serious candidates to make the major league roster. Many are either minor league free agents signed with an eye to beefing up the Triple A roster — remember, one of the Twins goals this year is to appease the Rochester franchise by providing a quality team — or good prospects who lack the service time to force the Twins to roster them.

I've written here before about Brian Dozier and Chris Herrmann, and expect to in the future. They have a future, but that future is not Target Field in April.

The problem with having so many bodies in camp is the fairness factor. It's one thing to have Dan Rohlfing in camp as one of eight catchers; he knows he's there mainly to catch bullpen sessions. But the likes of outfielder Wilkin Ramirez or catcher J.R. Towles (each of whom has had some major league time) may not be pleased with the playing time they get in the exhibition games.

Branch Rickey used to talk about finding quality out of quantity. I'm not sure there's a lot of quality to be found in this bunch — they are, after all, players who aren't on anybody's 40-man roster — and I'm not sure spring training is long enough to identify it if it's there.


Beyond that, the biggest thing on the horizon may be the Hall of Fame election results, which are to be announced Monday. I've written a couple posts about that in the past week, but here are some other pieces on the topic I can recommend:

Chris Jaffe of Hardball Times offers his annual prediction of the vote. He's usually pretty spot on. His take: Barry Larkin in, Jack Morris closer but still out.

Joe Posnanski talks about the unintended consequences that have come in the past when the writers decide they need to be really restrictive about inductees. To boil a long post down to a sentence: Their attempts to tighten standards backfire. It's relevant to today because of the steroids debate.

No comments:

Post a Comment