Tuesday, March 15, 2016

First cuts, part two

Minnesota product
Mike Strong was the
closest thing to a
surprise in the first
round of cuts.
The Twins made their first round of camp cuts in two parts. Sunday afternoon they reassigned five non-roster invitees to minor league camp; Monday morning they optioned out seven players who are on the 40-man roster. There may be a practical reason for the reassignments in one wave and the options in the other, but I can't fathom what it would be, and it doesn't really matter.

As should be expected in the early cuts, the players sent to the minor league camp are basically guys who didn't have a realistic chance of making the 25-man roster. RHP Yoman Landa and LPH Randy Rosario haven't pitched above low A ball. LHP Mason Melotakis is being handled gingerly in the wake of his October 2014 Tommy John surgery. OF Adam Brett Walker is having his throwing mechanics overhauled. LHP Pat Dean figures to be in the rotation for Triple A Rochester and needs to get innings. RHP J.T. Chargois was no surprise if only because the bullpen has its full complement of right-handed short men, with Kevin Jepsen, Casey Fien and (presumably) Trevor May.

That leaves LHP Mike Strong, who I thought might get a longer look as a second lefty in the bullpen. He was the first serious LOOGY candidate out, though. Still around: NRIs Fernando Abad, Buddy Boshers, Dan Runzler and Aaron Thompson and roster guys Ryan O'Rourke and Taylor Rogers. Rogers and Abad are the most likely finalists, although I'm picking up good vibrations on Runzler.

Also still around, apparently because pitching coach Neil Allen wanted to keep him for a while yet, is Nick Burdi. By implication, the plan had been to send him out in this wave. He faces the same numbers problem Chargois did, and I don't think he's going to escape the second round of cuts.

So 12 players are gone, with 52 still in major league camp. They basically have to cut more than an entire active roster, so there are plenty of moves to come. A lot of them are pretty obvious as well -- there are still seven catchers in camp -- but some are going to take some thought.

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