Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Parmelee goes, Fryer stays

Eric Fryer caught
28 games last year
for the Twins and
hit .213.
My read last week about what the two players removed from the Twins 40-man roster would do proved correct: Chris Parmelee opted for free agency, and Eric Fryer accepted his assignment to Triple A Rochester.

It's all about opportunity. Parmelee (and his agent) can't see much in Minnesota. There's Joe Mauer and Kennys Vargas ahead of him at first base and DH, Torii Hunter and Oswaldo Arcia ahead of him in the outfield corners. Fryer, on the other hand, sees an unsettled situation behind Kurt Suzuki at catcher.

Presumably Fryer will join Mitch Garver, Tyler Grimes, Dan Rohlfing and Stuart Turner as non-roster catchers invited to spring training; unlike the other four, Fryer has a chance to make the major league roster. But that he was outrighted rather than Chris Herrmann or Josmil Pinto suggests that he should not be the favorite to emerge as the No. 2 backstop.

I will be curious about where Parmelee lands. I've suggested before a parallel between him and Garrett Jones, another left-handed hitting first baseman/corner outfielder who was blocked in Minnesota by Justin Morneau and has carved out a respectable career since being axed by the Twins. (Jones was traded this winter to the Yankees, and the idea seems to be that they will find platoon at-bats for him.)

Without studying the issue in any depth, Baltimore strikes me as a possibility. The Orioles have had a knack in recent years with castoff  first basemen/corner outfielders (Steve Pearce, Delmon Young, Chris Davis, even Lew Ford) and they lost two corner outfielders in free agency (Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis).

Obviously, nobody thinks today that Parmelee deserves a spot on a 40-man roster. He's going to have to earn one, and that means he's got to hit. I haven't given up on that possibility.

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