Thursday, March 8, 2018

First cuts are the deepest tiers

Almost as soon as I posted Wednesday's thoughts about Zack Littell and the other "Tier 3" pitchers, the Twins sent a bunch of them to minor league camp:

Minor league camp officially opened this week, and the four optioned pitchers -- all, by definition, on the 40-man roster -- figure to be in the starting rotations at either Triple A Rochester or Double A Chattanooga and need to start ramping up their innings.

And this is an example of why teams don't really have five or six pitchers competing for one rotation slot. That's too many. Paul Molitor has to get his set starters -- Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson -- their innings to prep for the season as well. It would be a tighter squeeze if Ervin Santana were's sidelined. 

As it is, no matter how much Littell impressed, there was no way he was going to get an opportunity to compete for the open slot. It just isn't practical.

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