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  • Twins Option Six Players to Minors

    On Monday, the Minnesota Twins announced more roster cuts. After five non-roster players were assigned to minor league camp on Sunday, the Twins optioned six players from their 40 man roster. This leaves the Twins with 56 players in their MLB camp.

    Likely the biggest surprise is that catcher Chris Herrmann has been optioned to Triple-A Rochester (1st option). This is his third big league camp with the Twins, but it is the earliest that he has been sent to the minor league side of the complex. The reason? He is now on the 40 man roster. He was unlikely to make the Twins Opening Day roster. He will head down to make his Triple-A debut with the Rochester Red Wings. He will likely continue to catch quite a bit, but he will also get time in the outfield, and maybe even some at first base in an attempt to make him more versatile.

    Starting pitching prospect Trevor May showed his upside in camp, but he also had a couple of outings in which his control got away from him. That is to be expected because of nervousness, but it is also the biggest question out there for whether he can be a big league starter or reliever. He will likely go back to AA, this time with New Britain, to start the 2013 season, but he should debut in 2013 as well, if he throws strikes.

    BJ Hermsen was the Twins minor league pitcher of the year in 2012 when he split time between Ft. Myers and New Britain. He showed his work ethic in his first big league camp, but he showed that he still has things to work on before he is ready. He will likely return to New Britain to start the season.

    Hard-throwing Michael Tonkin also made a strong impression during spring training, but he only spent the 2nd half of the 2012 season in Hi-A Ft. Myers. His strikeout numbers are noteworthy, and his pitches are sharp. He has a chance to advance quickly, but he may begin the season back in Ft. Myers.

    Shortstop Danny Santana jumped onto the prospect map with a strong showing offensively and defensively in 2012 in Ft. Myers. The speedy Santana showed the good and the bad in spring training. He showed tremendous range and a very strong arm, but he will have to improve his consistency to continue to advance toward the big leagues. He missed a couple of routine plays with the glove and made some aggressive mistakes on the base paths. He will likely start the season in New Britain.

    Josmil Pinto reclaimed his place as a prospect in the Twins system in 2012. He had a great season in Elizabethton a few years ago, but it wasnít until his 2012 season in Ft. Myers that he put up solid offensive numbers again. He ended the season in New Britain, hitting well. He could have become a minor league free agent, but he re-signed quickly with the Twins and was added to the 40 man roster. Heíll return to New Britain to catch and DH.

    Hermsen, May, Tonkin, Pinto and Santana were optioned to AA New Britain. With 56 players in big league camp, 31 will still need to be sent to minor league camp, optioned, released of put on the Disabled List before April 1st, Opening Day.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Option Six Players to Minors started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      Well, my prediction was pretty close. I didn't have Herrmann and I had Hernandez instead of May. For some reason I didn't think May was on the 40-man.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Herrmann surprised me some, but Tonkin surprises me more. It seemed like he had some buzz going on about him this spring. I didn't think he would make the leap out of spring training, but I'm surprised they didn't want to see more of him.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Nothing about these assignments should surprise any of us. All are on the 40-man roster and unless there is a real chance the player may make the 25-man roster, they are sent out early. This is done as protection against getting injured and the effects of then getting paid the major league minimum and I believe accumulating service time.
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Herrmann surprised me some, but Tonkin surprises me more. It seemed like he had some buzz going on about him this spring. I didn't think he would make the leap out of spring training, but I'm surprised they didn't want to see more of him.
      True, they have to weigh the value of seeing a player more to the risk of possibly losing a year of service to to injury.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      There is absolutely nothing for Tonkin to prove in the pitcher friendly FSL. I don't agree with you Seth that he may start in Fort Meyers. If he does, that is just plain stupid.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      I hope Pedro Hernandez can somehow get a spot in the rotation. Provided it's not by other players failing miserably and getting hurt obviously. He could probably use a few months in AAA again though since he didn't finish strong.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Tonkin should be in New Britain.
    1. fairweather's Avatar
      fairweather -
      Pedro Hernandez finished last season on the disabled list didn't he? Is he healthy now? How well has he pitched this spring? I don't think I've read a single thing about him.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Herrmann surprised me some, but Tonkin surprises me more. It seemed like he had some buzz going on about him this spring. I didn't think he would make the leap out of spring training, but I'm surprised they didn't want to see more of him.
      As a reliever, I couldn't agree more. What's it hurt to have him face big league competition for one-inning stretches?

      Obviously, Tonkin took off in 2012, but he had been a starter before that. Would it hurt to stretch him out and see if he could succeed in a starting role? That's what I am hoping for... Worse case scenario he ends up back in the bullpen.
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Quote Originally Posted by fairweather View Post
      Pedro Hernandez finished last season on the disabled list didn't he? Is he healthy now? How well has he pitched this spring? I don't think I've read a single thing about him.
      7 innings, 0 ERA
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Regarding Tonkin - 1.) If you think he should start at New Britain, I assume you also think that AJ Achter should start at New Britain because in their half-seasons at Ft. Myers, Achter was a little better. 2.) if they're going to stretch him out to start, that should absolutely be done in minor league camp, not big league camp. 3.) He's like 100 yards away in big league camp. They can and will still see him.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Regarding Tonkin -If you think he should start at New Britain, I assume you also think that AJ Achter should start at New Britain because in their half-seasons at Ft. Myers, Achter was a little better.
      Well sure, I guess. But Achter was not a subject in the article so I never brought him up. Not sure why you brought him up to be honest. I guess its probably a moot point regarding Tonkin. In another thread started by Parker Hageman, He says that (according to Dustin Morse) Tonkin will start in New Britain. So it sounds like its been decided.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      You make a good point. Achter has nothing to do with this. What I think I was trying to say was, if Tonkin wouldn't have been in camp, or if he would have had a bad outing or three, would it be so obvious that he should go right to New Britain after a half season at High-A. Achter was better than Tonkin last year, but people aren't clamoring for him to start at AA. Just trying to make the point that in spring training, people do get excited about things, and they should... but what's best for Tonkin is what should be done.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      You make a good point. Achter has nothing to do with this. What I think I was trying to say was, if Tonkin wouldn't have been in camp, or if he would have had a bad outing or three, would it be so obvious that he should go right to New Britain after a half season at High-A. Achter was better than Tonkin last year, but people aren't clamoring for him to start at AA. Just trying to make the point that in spring training, people do get excited about things, and they should... but what's best for Tonkin is what should be done.
      I don't know why you're assuming that the sentiment is based solely on performance in a handful of spring training innings. Tonkin established himself as the best relief prospect in the organization last year and it wasn't solely because of his stats. The guy has big-league stuff.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I assumed that Achter would be with him in New Britain. They're like Watts and Pugh round two.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Herrmann
      I'm surprised he played so poorly in spring. He must have really been pressing.

      Hermsen
      I "watched" one of his innings via mlb gameday. He pitched high in the zone with seemingly limited stuff. I was not too impressed in the very small sample I saw. Anyone see him pitch live? I would be interested in hearing how he looked.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      It sounds like the Twins have a glut of pitching in the upper levels, not all prospects, but just pitchers they need to sort through. Some will move up as spring training advances. If Tonkin starts at Ft. Meyers, he will probably make New Britian by June and hopefully Rochester by August. Twins seem to be conservative, that may be the wrong approach depending on the mental makeup of the players. I feel that sometimes you have to push the players and see how they react to failure.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Given that most of these AAA guys are not really all that good as starters, why aren't more being turned into relievers that are cheap at this point? If they need to stretch back out due to injuries, oh well.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Regarding Tonkin-as-starter, I said this elsewhere:

      "Converting him to a starter again could really throw a kink in his development. And it isn't like he could become a starter for the 2013 or even 2014 Twins anyway. But by 2014 the Twins may be needing quality relievers (well they do now, but that's another matter) and Tonkin (and Achter) look suited to challenge for spots along with Watts and Pugh. I say their might be a need because A: who knows ifJared Burton isn't traded at the deadline, B: Casey Fien might turn into a pumpkin, C: Lester Oliveros' health is in doubt in general, D: Deolis Guerra might simply be a pumpkin, E: The Slama era (ha!) appears probably over, F: Alex Burnett might have peaked a few years ago!, and G: The Twins nonsense with bringing in "veteran" MR pitchers who aren't very good (Gray, Maloney, Wood, Roenicke) has got to stop sometime."

      I think it is true that pitching need is about to turn towards the bullpen instead of the rotation pretty soon (Gibson, Worley, Hendriks, May, Meyer, 2013 draft pick, and a few others like Hermsen, Wimmers, Stuifbergen, etc. could all be relevant in 2014 or 2015).

      With regard to Herrmann, it is important to establish himself as being versatile (C-LF-1B-can RF be assumed?) while being capable defensively. That's what Gardy is going to want, and I think his bat will come around. Unless there is an injury to Doumit or Mau (er, not going to even say that) very early in the season, I expect Herrmann to be guy they call on to fill in as needed instead of Butera.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      great post Shane......
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