Monday, March 28, 2016

Twins in position for opener

Carlos Quentin will
not be on the Opening
Day roster.
Shortly after I published Saturday's post, the Twins announced the rest of their position player cuts.

The result is a 13-man group that offers few if any surprises. The two bench jobs that were arguably in dispute went to the two younger, out-of-options guys, Oswaldo Arcia and Danny Santana.

The Twins granted Carlos Quentin a few days to examine his options.  The veteran non-roster invitee had an impressive spring, but four-man benches are tough to crack if all one has to offer is a bat. Quentin was never a good defensive outfielder when he was young; now he's 33 and has had repeated leg injuries. Arcia is said to be a better defensive outfielder now than in previous years (he's taken some weight off), he's left-handed and he is almost a decade younger. Plus, as noted, he's out of options.

So we can assume Quentin's agent is calling a few clubs that might be in need of a pinch hit specialist or even a designated hitter, but my guess is that those few jobs are already filled. If somehow there is a major-league job out there for Quentin, I presume the Twins will release Q (why else would they let him look?). But I doubt that will be necessary.

The pitching staff won't be set until the fifth starter job is settled in the next couple of days. I devoted the Monday print column to the Tyler Duffey vs Ricky Nolasco competition for that job. I go back and forth on this one, really. I can defend going with either pitcher in the rotation.

What I can't defend, and hope the Twins don't try to use as a rationale, is basing the decision on spring training stats. Neither will have much more than a dozen Grapefruit League innings; that wouldn't be enough to draw a statistical conclusion on in regular season play, much less March.

Anyway: If Nolasco makes the rotation, Duffey goes to Rochester and there's a extra bullpen job available. If Duffey is the fifth piece of the rotation, either Nolasco goes to the 'pen (probable) or gets traded (less likely). If traded, there is, again, a bullpen spot available; if not, somebody else gets squeezed out.

No comments:

Post a Comment