Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Goodby (maybe), Zack Granite

The Twins on Monday officially signed Marwin Gonzalez. To make room on the 40 man roster, they designated Zack Granite for assignment.

Granite, whose last name sounds like he should be from Stearns County, put up some impressive batting averages as he climbed the ladder of the Twins system. He's a good contact hitter, he can run, and he is a good defensive outfielder. But his power is limited, and that lowers his ceiling to that of fourth outfielder.

There's not much room on the Twins roster for that. Jake Cave, also a left-handed hitter -- and with power -- moved past Granite on the depth chart last year, when Granite had injury issues and did not produce at Triple A.

And unless somebody gets hurt, Cave is probably not going to make the major league roster either,  because Gonzalez gives the Twins a fourth outfielder behind (or more accurately alongside) Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler.

It's also possible that LaMonte Wade, who was added to the 40-man roster during the offseason, is ahead of Granite in the Twins estimation. Wade isn't the center fielder that Granite is, but the Twins don't really need their fourth outfielder to be a true center fielder because they can play Kepler or Rosario there if Buxton is out of the lineup. Wade, I think, figures to be a better hitter than Granite, but not good enough to be a major league regular. He too appears to be a fourth outfielder type.

So Granite is redundant on the Twins roster. Maybe somebody will decide he's an upgrade on somebody else on their 40-man roster, but I suspect that a slap hitter coming off a .211 season in Triple A isn't going to get claimed on waivers.

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