Thursday, March 22, 2012

Giving up on Doyle

It's back to the
White Sox for
Terry Doyle.
The Twins on Wednesday returned Rule V draftee Terry Doyle to the White Sox.

Considering how much Doyle struggled to get hitters out this spring, it wasn't surprising that the Twins decided they couldn't justify keeping him on the 25-man roster. Considering that the Twins and White Sox are in the same division, it's not surprising that they couldn't come to terms on a trade.

What is striking is that the Twins pulled the plug on Doyle about two weeks before the season begins. Usually they drag it out closer to the end of camp.

My guess is that Matt Maloney -- who threw two more shutout innings Wednesday, working through the heart of the Tigers order (no Miguel Cabrera, but otherwise the Tigers regular lineup) -- made lopping Doyle relatively easy.

Rule V has never been a particularly rich vein of talent to mine -- for every Johan Santana there are dozens of guys who are returned to their original teams -- and it's even thinner now than it was a few years ago, because teams have an added year in which they don't need to protect prospects from the draft. A Baseball America columnist this winter, reviewing the talent selected last December, suggested that the Rule V draft could just as well be abolished.

The Twins liked what they saw from Doyle in the Arizona Fall League. They didn't see that same pitcher in Fort Myers. So be it.

The Twins now have a vacant spot on their 40-man roster. They will have at least one more before the season begins, and quite possibly more (Joel Zumaya and Jeff Gray being particularly likely to lose their roster spots). There are certainly players on whom the Twins can use those spots.

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