Friday, January 10, 2014

All those camp invites

The Twins on Thursday announced that 23 non-roster players had been invited to major league camp.

Prominent on the list: Prime prospects Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Alex Meyer.

Prominently not included: Eddie Rosario, who was in camp last February as he prepared to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Rosario, of course, is facing a 50-game suspension for recreational drug use. I'm confident that, had he stayed clean, Rosario would also have an invite.

Not that he would be likely to break camp on the 25-man roster. Nor are Buxton, Sano or Meyer. They'll be there to get a taste of the big league side and to be seen more closely by the major league staff. But we should expect all three to open the season in the minors: Buxton most likely at Double A, Sano and Meyer probably at Triple A. They're close.

Jason Kubel and Jason Bartlett are two familiar names on the list. The trade of Ryan Doumit opens a slot for Kubel to take, but he may have to show that his awful 2013 was a fluke. Bartlett, who didn't play anywhere last year and fell off sharply the previous two years, is a longer shot to make the roster.

And there are a handful of players who saw some time on the major league roster last year: Outfielders Darin Mastroianni and Wilkin Ramirez and infielder Doug Bernier. 

There's the usual block of catchers, invited largely because somebody has to be on the other end of dozens of bullpen sessions. The Twins have four catchers on the 40 (Eric Fryer, Chris Herrmann, Josmil Pinto and Kurt Suzuki), so there'll be eight catchers around for the opening weeks. Stuart Turner, one of the invitees, was the team's third-round pick last June.

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