Monday, March 19, 2012

Interpreting Monday's cuts

Tsuyoshi Nishioka
is now Gene Glynn's
problem in Rochester.
As expected, the Twins had their second round of cuts Monday, sending out 12 more players to their minor-league complex.

We'll start with the headline: Tsuyoshi Nishioka optioned to Rochester.

My take: There are two primary possibilities here:

  • Brian Dozier winds up the starting shortstop, with either Jamey Carroll or Alexi Casilla shifting to the utility role;
  • The Twins pick up their utility guy on waivers late in camp.

There are other possibilities, such as Pedro Florimon, but they seem less likely than those two. My bet is on the waiver-wire move. Dozier is going to start wherever he is; I can't see the Twins carrying him as a one- or two-games-a-week guy.

I saw a quick piece of speculation about Luke Hughes as the sole utility infielder, or Trevor Plouffe returning to the infield. But nobody's ever accused Hughes of being a shortstop, and Plouffe has been emphatically cleared of those charges.

Carlos Gutierrez optioned out. He was one of the bullpen candidates who most intrigued me coming into camp, but he's not in the running now.

He and Kyle Waldrop are redundant: Right-handers, former first-round picks, who rely on groundballs and get few strikeouts. Gutierrez has superior velocity; Waldrop has better control. Waldrop's still around.

Luis Perdomo has
55 strikeouts in
61 major league
innings, all with
San Diego.
More hard throwers cut. I speculated Monday morning that all four of the relievers who finished Sunday's one-hitter could be cut; in the actual event, only one was. That was Luis Perdomo, who also happened to be the one guy who allowed a hit.

Perdomo was also one of the highest-velocity arms, if not the highest, in camp. Also leaving: power arms Jason Bulger and Esmerling Vasquez. (And some softer throwers as well, in P.J. Walters and Daryl Thompson).

Scott Baker insurance: Liam Hendriks is still in camp, implying that if Baker's balky elbow keeps him out to start the season the Aussie might get the rotation slot. Also still around are the use-or-lose guys who might factor in the 2013 rotation (Terry Doyle, Matt Maloney, Anthony Swarzak). Of those latter three, only Doyle has been pitching as a starter in camp; it will be interesting to see if Maloney in particular starts getting stretched out.


  1. Jamie Hoffman has elected free agency. Hoffman was claimed off waivers by the Rockies in early December.

    The 27-year-old outfielder posted a cool .853 OPS with 22 home runs and 84 RBI in 133 games last year at the Triple-A level, and should be able to attract interest on the open market.

  2. "Justin Morneau said he's still trying to build strength in his surgically-repaired wrist. Ices it every day. Wrist is not 100% yet."

    Moneau’s OPS at the time of his concussion in the 2010 season was 1.055 and his slugging % was .689.


    Morneau was on his way to another awesome season, an MVP type season.

    You could easily say he was in the middle of a borderline HOF career when misfortune hit. Easy to forget what a great hitter Morneau was. Fielder too. Great, great player.

    He was at the starting edge of his prime time seasons then lost out on half of his age 29 season and basically all of his age 30 season.

    Come on Justin. Keep plugging away. Olney said on ESPN today that when he was at Twins camp earlier this spring Morneau’s BP sessions were like the Morneau of old.

    Still hope for Justin if he gets his wrist strong.

  3. edit:

    Slugging % .618,

    not .689

  4. I agree the waiver wire is the most likely option for a utility infielder. It would really surprise me if Dozier is not at Rochester to open the season and if he does as well as anticipated, he'll be called up in June to take over for whoever is faltering Carroll or Casilla.