Saturday, November 21, 2015

Setting the stage for Rule 5

Friday was the deadline for teams to protect their current minor leaguers from the Rule 5 draft by putting them on the 40-man major league roster. The Twins elevated seven prospects -- and lost two players with some major league time, catcher Josmil Pinto and right-hander A.J. Achter, on waivers, Pinto to the Padres and Achter to the Phillies.

I'll probably write something in more detail about the Pinto move next week. Achter is a marginal reliever who had another good season in Triple A last year -- he has a 2.69 ERA in 99 Triple A appearances -- who might be able to wander into a decent major league season if given a chance, but lacks the dominant pitch to force a career. Good luck to both of them.

The seven additions include several pitchers who emphatically have that dominant pitch. I see four categories in the seven:

Hard-throwing right-handed relievers: J.T. Chargois and Yorman Landa.

Left-handed Triple A starters: Pat Dean and Taylor Rogers.

Left-handers with Tommy John surgery: Mason Melotakis and Randy Rosario.

Outfielder: Adam Brett Walker.

Landa and Rosario spent 2015 at low A Cedar Rapids, and I saw both pitch during my handful of Kernels games last August, Rosario as a starter and Landa as a reliever. I didn't write about Landa, but he did show some serious velocity; I wrote instead about Luke Bard, who wasn't put on the 40 and is eligible for Rule 5. Anyway -- while Landa and Rosario will be in major league camp, I don't think the Twins will elevate either to the majors this year.

Dean and Rogers are slightly surprising protects to me. I don't see either as a particularly likely candidate to ever be starters for the Twins. There are certainly a lot of rotation guys ahead of them.

Walker's protection illustrates the importance of the power tool. ABW has serious power -- and, like Oswaldo Arcia, little else to recommend him. I'm not particularly enthused about Walker's chances.

Melotakis missed 2015 with Tommy John surgery while Chargois returned from two years on the shelf. These two guys each have pitched in Double A and have realistic chances to be part of the reconstructed 2016 bullpen, although I doubt the Twins would graduate Melotakis in particular to the majors out of spring training.

The Twins now have 38 player on their 40-man roster. One of the open slots is slated for Byung Ho Park; the other may well go to a Rule 5 selection.

1 comment:

  1. I found the 40 man additions interesting. Rogers seemed a no brainer to me. He will pitch in the majors, likely as soon 2016. Both Rogers and Dean move up the pecking list of starters if a couple of the current candidates are traded, which seems fairly likely to me. Nolasco could go if the Twins are willing to eat salary, and there could be limited interest in Milone. I really can't imagine Ryan trading any of his younger starters right now.

    I would imagine there will be some reorganization of the Twins 40 man before spring. Plouffe still could be traded, which makes sense to me. If that happens a major league relief pitcher is likely to be part of the return. Some bloggers are fretting about losing guys like Michael or perhaps Zach Jones. I don't think any of the possible Rule 5 loses would have much impact on the Twins in 2016 and actually probably little impact beyond that.

    The complaining about losing Gilmartin fails to take in account the fact that he is really rather interchangeable with any number of soft tossing lefties either in the Twins system, or readily available as minor league free agents. While Dean may fall into that category as well, the Twins apparently see a bit more there, emergency starting depth if nothing else.

    I was slightly surprised that Harrison was not protected. I don't think he will be selected, but the Twins usually protect the guys they don't want to lose, not necessarily the guys who they think will be picked in the Rule 5 draft. I thought Harrison could still be a guy they don't want to lose.