Thursday, October 3, 2013

Beginning the roster purge

Josh Roenicke:
3-1 with one save
in 62 innings.
The subtext to Monday's announcement that Ron Gardenhire would return as manager was: The Twins' lousy record was the result of a bad roster, not the result of subpar managing.

The first purge of that roster came Wednesday, as four players were outrighted from the 40-man major league roster (in a sense, 42-man roster, since the Twins have two players on the 60-day disabled list).

Getting the ax on Wednesday were outfielder Clete Thomas and pitchers Cole De Vries, Shairon Martis and Josh Roenicke. All will be minor league free agents; I suspect the Twins will re-sign at least one of De Vries and Martis as Triple A fodder, maybe both.

The closest thing to a surprise here was Roenicke, 31, who was on the big league roster all season and made 63 appearances out of the bullpen with a 4.35 ERA. He had a poor walk-to-strikeout ratio (36 walks, 45 strikeouts) and pretty much fell apart in September (ERA of 2.91 on Sept. 3, but he closed with 12 earned runs allowed, plus an unearned one, in his final 6.1 innings). The process was ugly all year, and it finally caught up with him.

These are, again, just the first loppings. There will probably be a couple dozen players out of the 42 removed from the major league roster over the next several weeks, as Terry Ryan works against the old adage that you fire the managers because you can't fire the players. We're about to see a lot of players fired.

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