Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Notes, quotes and comment

Odd little trade for the Twins Tuesday: They returned Duke Welker, the relief pitcher who was the player-to-be-named in the Justin Morneau trade, to Pittsburgh for Kris Johnson.

Johnson is a 29-year-old lefthander who was a first-round pick back in 2006 but has just 10.1 major-league innings on his resume, all of which came this year.

The Twins apparently revisited the trade because they were more interested in a starting pitcher candidate than a bullpen one. And the Pirates were willing to accommodate.

Unlike the Twins' other southpaw starters, Johnson has some fastball velocity. Despite that, his minor league strikeout rates are not impressive. He joins the crowd of back-of-the-rotation candidates.

Eddie Rosario
hit .327 in High
A ball in 2013,
.284 in Double A.

Eddie Rosario may be the Twins second baseman of the future. He may be their left fielder of the future. He may wind up being trade bait.

But all that gets put off for a couple months. According to a report out of his native Puerto Rico, the 22-year-old prospect figures to open the 2014 season with a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a performance enhancer.

There's been no official announcement from MLB; that will come after every "i" has been dotted and "t" crossed. But the process will certainly be complete before training camp opens.

Rosario might have been a mid-season callup for the Twins in 2014; he ended 2013 in Double A, and the expectation here was that he'd be in Triple A Rochester next spring and in position to push his way to the majors. Now it will be midseason before he gets started.

Not good for him or the organization.


To go off on a tangent for a moment: This was the first indication I saw Tuesday that anything was going on regarding Rosario:

This is such a Peter Gammons tweet. He knows, at this moment, something significant about Eddie Rosario, something nobody covering the Twins knows. And he's letting us know he knows something. He's just not going to actually tell us what it is. It's as if reporting the fact is repugnant to him; he's said enough to get the rest of the press corps started on its trail.

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