Saturday, March 23, 2019

Some notable cuts

The Twins trimmed their major league camp roster a bit more Friday, and they narrowed their opening bullpen options significantly.

First they optioned out youngster Fernando Romero, once a prized starting prospect and now a prized relief prospect. I had put him in the "Is there room" category a while back. The answer, even as some injury issues arise among the bullpen candidates, is apparently "no." He'll be up at some point. But he hasn't been kicking the door down, and it makes sense to give him some minor league time as a reliever.

Then they released a pair of veteran non-roster invitees, infielder Adam Rosales and lefty reliever Tim Collins, both of whom presumably had opt-out clauses.

Rosales hit well in camp, with four homers. But the 35-year-old's chances of making the roster were more about other people than about himself. There weren't enough injuries to make him useful.

Collins is the more surprising release. His stuff has drawn positive reviews, even though his Grapefruit League ERA (4.91) isn't impressive, and in-house lefty Gabriel Moya hasn't pitched in more than a week with reported shoulder issues. I thought Collins had a chance.

But even if Moya can't go on March 28, the bullpen still figures to have Taylor Rogers and Aldaberto Mejia as lefties. Plus there is chatter that, with a bevy of offdays in the first few week, the Twins will open with 11 pitchers rather than their usual 12 or 13, with No. 5 starter Martin Perez shifting temporarily to the pen. He would be a third southpaw. Presumably the Twins hope/expect Moya to be ready by the time Perez returns to starting duties.

Collins had less opportunity than it appeared a few days ago.

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