Saturday, September 3, 2016

The AFL selections

Catching up on "old" news: The initial rosters for the Arizona Fall League were issued Wednesday.

This year the Twins prospects will play for the Surprise Saguaros, Five of the six were identified Wednesday: catcher Mitch Garver, outfielder Tanner English, left-handed pitchers Mason Melotakis and Randy Rosario, and right-handed pitcher John Curtiss.

The Twins are to supply one more pitcher to the Saguaros, and presumably they are hoping Nick Burdi, who has missed almost the entire season with a bruised humerus bone, will be ready to get some innings. 

The most interesting of these guys for immediate purposes is Garver. He's a bat-first catcher who has reached Triple A and might possibly get a September call-up, although the Twins would have to open a spot on the 40 for him. Supposedly he has improved his defensive skills since I saw him play in Cedar Rapids a couple years ago, and he might figure in the Twins catching plans for 2017. 

Even without Burdi, the pitchers assigned to the AFL are a collection of rehab projects. Melotakis and Rosario are on the 40-man roster, but each is in their first full season after Tommy John surgery. Melotakis will end the Double A season with less than 40 innings worked, all out of the bullpen; Rosario is approaching 100 innings combined between High A Fort Myers and Double A Chattanooga. Curtiss split the season between Low A Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers and has 50-some innings, all out of the bullpen, after a 2015 marred by repeated injury issues.

I had had some hope during the offseason and spring training that Melotakis might be a factor in the major league bullpen this year. The Twins obviously took a more cautious approach, made easier by the fact that they weren't in contention. Rosario was a couple levels behind Melotakis and was never really a consideration.

English I don't take particularly seriously as a prospect. He had limited playing time this year, presumably because of injury. (The Twins moved him up to Triple A Rochester from High A Fort Myers last week, presumably to meet AFL requirements minimizing the assignment of A-ball players.)

No comments:

Post a Comment