Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The non-roster invitees

Earlier this month the Twins released the names of 18 non-roster invitees to spring training. While that list is certainly incomplete -- for example, Eric Fryer was then still on the 40-man roster -- it still gives some sign of the organizational depth.

And the good news is that the invitees are relatively light on major league experience.

There are no Jason Kubels or Matt Guerriers, no guys who used to be good and are now trying to squeeze one more season out of their declining talents. Only four of the 18 have any major league experience, and even there, two are still in their 20s and another turned 30 this fall. Just three were signed this offseason as minor league free agents.

This suggests that the organization is increasingly confident in the ability of its own players to fill the rosters of its upper level farm teams competently. Rochester and New Britain in recent years have relied heavily on the castoffs of other clubs to fill the rotations and lineups -- and that has shown as well on the big-league club when it reaches down for help.

Shane Robinson, who the Cardinals cut loose rather than offer arbitration, is the one guy in this list who has a real chance of making the roster out of training camp. A few -- Byron Buxton and J.). Berrios, to name two -- are prime prospects in camp to expose them to the new staff (and vice versa). Most are organizational players.

The invitees:


J.O. Berrios
Tyler Duffey
Mark Hamberger
Ryan O'Rourke*
Taylor Rogers*
Adrian Salcedo

* = left-handed


Mitch Garver
Tyler Grimes
Dan Rohlfing
Stuart Turner


James Beresford
Doug Bernier
Heiker Meneses
Argenis Diaz


Byron Buxton
Eric Farris
Danny Ortiz
Shane Robinson

New to the organization this winter: Robinson; Meneses, who was with Boston; and Diaz, who was with Arizona. The guys with time in the show are Robinson, Hamberger, Diaz and Bernier.

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