Tuesday, February 12, 2019

More minor stuff

Less than a week before pitchers and catchers report, dozens of free agents remain on the market, and the Twins are still filling out their spring training list.

Over the weekend they announced two veteran names as minor league free agents and released a list of 20 invitees:

Let's start with Lucas Duda and Adam Rosales, two players with resumes if not much else.

Rosales is a odd duck: He's never been a regular but he's been able to hang around the majors 11 seasons. To be sure, some of those 11 seasons are only partial, but still -- it is rare for a utility guy such as Rosales to last into his mid 30s. He typically doesn't stick around long (five seasons with Oakland, in two stints with two midseason trades invoved) and isn't much of a hitter. He has played more than a thousand innings each at second, third and short, and even had more than 500 at first.

I prefer Ehrie Adrianaza or Ronald Torreyes as  the backup middle infielder. Rosales apparently has a March 19 opt-out, so he may suspect that the odds of him making the opening day roster are slim.

Duda is a left-handed first baseman. His strong suit, other than a name that lends itself to parodies of "Camptown Races," is power.  He occasionally homers but doesn't do much else for you. Other than hitting lefty, he's pretty much the opposite of the retired Joe Mauer, who didn't homer frequently but did everything else well. I don't much care for first basemen in the Duda mold. I assume he too has an opt-out, and I hope he uses it.

A few other not-so-random observations about the NRI list:

Tim Collins is a little lefty reliever who had four seasons of promise in the Kansas City bullpen when the Royals were building up to their two World Series appearances. Then he got hurt and disappeared for three seasons. He LOOGY'd for Washington last year -- 35 appearances, 22.2 innings -- and had the kind of strikeout rate he had in the K.C. days but also gave up too many homers. The Twins have plenty of lefty relief candidates, and I'm not sure that Collins is truly in the mix, but he's still only 29.

* Wilin Rosario, whose signing gave me momentary panic a week ago, is NOT an invitee. There are catchers I'm completely unfamiliar with on the list in Wynston Sawyer and Tomas Telis, and presumably Rosario is well down the depth chart. (The Twins may be more interested in him as a first baseman/DH than as a catcher.)

* Brent Rooker, who I regard as the first baseman in waiting, is an NRI -- and listed as an outfielder.

* Chase De Jong, designated for assignment to make room for Martin Perez on the 40, cleared waivers and is an invitee. I'm not high on De Jong, but I'd rather see the Twins pitch him than Perez.

* Ryan Eades, a second-round draft pick in 2013 whose minor league record does not make me eager to see him in Target Field, is an invitee as well. 

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