Monday, March 27, 2017

The weekend cuts

The Twins made a handful of moves over the weekend:

Pitcher Jose Berrios was optioned to Triple A; pitcher Drew Rucinski, a non-roster invitee, was reassigned to minor league camp; and outfielder Drew Stubbs, another NRI, was released at his request after being told he would not make the 25-man roster.

There are those who think Berrios lost out on the rotation by spending two-plus weeks with Team Puerto Rico and not pitching much. I think Berrios' spring training fate was sealed early in the offseason, when pitching coach Neil Allen designed a fastball-location program and said that it would be a factor in promotions,

Berrios has impressive velocity, but he leaves too many pitches over the heart of the plate. The Twins made a point of stockpiling rotation options. Trevor May got hurt and Ryan Vogelsong failed to impress, but there are still Aldaberto Mejia and Tyler Duffey, Justin Haley and Nick Tepesch. Berrios had to demonstate fastball command this spring, and he didn't; even if he had, he may have needed one or two more guys to get hurt/fail.

I thought at the start of camp that Stubbs had a chance to make this team, but his chronic contact issues did him in again. He's a four-tool player, but the the hit tool is so inadequate that it makes his power and speed pretty much useless. I think there's a real good chance he'll be back; he's going to try to find a major league team that will give him a bench job, and I doubt he'll find one. I make it at least 50-50 that he plays center field in Rochester next month.

J.B. Shuck is still in camp, but I can't see him beating out Robbie Grossman for the fourth outfielder job -- or Byungho Park, indirectly (with Grossman as the DH and Shuck on the bench).

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