• The Cuts Continue, 7 Twins Reassigned

    On Sunday morning, seven players from Minnesota Twins spring training were told that they would not be on the Twins Opening Day roster. The most intriguing name of the bunch was infielder Chris Colabello. This leaves the Twins with 42 players on their spring roster.



    Here are the players sent to minor league camp:

    Chris Colabello was last year's feel-good minor league story. He has had a great past 12 months. At this time last year, he has just signed with the Twins after being named Baseball America's Independent Leagues player of the year in 2011. He made the New Britain roster and was a mainstay in the middle of their lineup all season. He received the invite to spring training and made a name for himself on a national (international?) level with some big games and big hits for Team Italy in the WBC. He returned to the Twins late last week. He will likely spend most of the season in Rochester this year, but don't be at all surprised if the Twins call his name if they have a need for a bat.

    Brian Dinkelman hit .301 for the Twins in 2011 in a part-time role. He spent all of 2012 with Rochester and didn't play a lot due to injury. He provides the Twins with depth in the corner outfield spots as well as the right side of the infield.

    Clete Thomas got some time with the Twins in 2012 after spending his entire career in the Tigers organization. He returned to the Twins on a minor league deal after hitting for power with the Red Wings. He'll return to Rochester this spring and play all around the outfield.

    Mark Sobolewski was selected by the Twins in the minor league portion of December's Rule 5 draft from the Blue Jays organization. He showed well for himself in Twins camp, displaying good defense. He likely would have competed with Deibinson Romero for playing time but Romero has still not arrived from the Dominican Republic due to visa issues.

    Deolis Guerra came off of the 40 man roster last November, but he returned on a minor league contract. He pitched very well in the Venezuelan Winter League and was excited to represent his country in the WBC. Unfortunately, shoulder pain was diagnosed as a blood clot. He will be having surgery in the near future.

    Shairon Martis was invited to big league camp after coming to the Twins in a minor trade last summer. He didn't pitch much for the Twins before joining Team Netherlands in Taiwan, and then Japan, and now in San Francisco for the WBC. He should factor into the Red Wings pitching staff this season.

    Eric Fryer got time with the Pirates the past two season. He played well in spring, but he could find himself in either New Britain or Rochester.

    The Twins now have 42 players in big league camp including 22 pitchers (5 non-roster), 4 catchers (1 non-roster), 9 infielders (3 non-roster) and 7 outfielders (2 non-roster).
    This article was originally published in blog: The Cuts Continue, 7 Twins Reassigned started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 71 Comments
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by spideyo View Post
      The wonderful thing about baseball, is you aren't doomed to go down hill once you hit 27. Yes, he's a bit older than average for where he is, but he's not exactly an old man. It's also not like he spent 10 years wasting away in A-ball. Who knows, maybe if he had ended up in someone's farm system at 21 and had pro coaches helping him develop instead of toiling away in independent league games for 8 years, he might have developed faster and been a legitimate product.

      Anyways, even though WBC and ST are small sample sizes, I think you can pretty legitimately argue that he would be the best Right handed bench bat we've had in many yeats
      Matt Lecroy OPS'd .899 at AA, as a 24 year old, facing equal competition.
      Colabello OPS'd .836 at AA, as a 28 year old, facing competition 4 years younger than him, with 1500 to 2000 more career PA's than his average peer.
      So I dont think you can legitimately say that Colabello is a better RH bench bat than Lecroy, when we havent even seen Colabello take a swing at the MLB level yet.
      I mean, I guess I can somewhat buy the argument that Colabello wouldnt get absolutely exposed and destroyed at the ML level, perhaps he could hold his own and OPS .720 or so.
      But to say that he'd be the best RH bat we've had in many years? Thats going out on a limb. I mean, Lew Ford OPS'd higher than either of them at AA, at 25 years old.
    1. spideyo's Avatar
      spideyo -
      Let me restate that: one of the best right-handed bench options since 2007? I would be willing to bet money that at the ML level he'd at least be able to hold his own compared to Matt Tolbert, Brendan Harris, Jason Repko, Craig Monroe, Randy Ruiz, Luke Hughes, and our rotating cast of extra OF from the first part of last year.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Why would the Twins let any player with an ounce of prospect mojo stagnate or regress in a 25 AB per month utility role? And if 'wasting' 150 bench AB's on CC is negligent because they could be used on a prospect, what would that make 537 PA's spent on a 38 year old utility infielder in a lost season?

      ideally the last spot would have gone to a Bucky Buchanan-ish AAA guy a bit younger than CC, blocked from the majors or labelled quad A by another franchise. But apparently those are as impossible to come by as backup catchers who can Obp their weight.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Why would the Twins let any player with an ounce of prospect mojo stagnate or regress in a 25 AB per month utility role? And if 'wasting' 150 bench AB's on CC is negligent because they could be used on a prospect, what would that make 537 PA's spent on a 38 year old utility infielder in a lost season?

      ideally the last spot would have gone to a Bucky Buchanan-ish AAA guy a bit younger than CC, blocked from the majors or labelled quad A by another franchise. But apparently those are as impossible to come by as backup catchers who can Obp their weight.
      I believe the Twins paleontology department has considered them an extinct species since the the closing of the WilsonRamoscene Era.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by spideyo View Post
      Let me restate that: one of the best right-handed bench options since 2007? I would be willing to bet money that at the ML level he'd at least be able to hold his own compared to Matt Tolbert, Brendan Harris, Jason Repko, Craig Monroe, Randy Ruiz, Luke Hughes, and our rotating cast of extra OF from the first part of last year.
      The difference is, most of those guys can also give you some value in the field. If a guy is ONLY on the roster for his bat, it had better be a pretty dang good bat.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Why would the Twins let any player with an ounce of prospect mojo stagnate or regress in a 25 AB per month utility role? And if 'wasting' 150 bench AB's on CC is negligent because they could be used on a prospect, what would that make 537 PA's spent on a 38 year old utility infielder in a lost season?

      ideally the last spot would have gone to a Bucky Buchanan-ish AAA guy a bit younger than CC, blocked from the majors or labelled quad A by another franchise. But apparently those are as impossible to come by as backup catchers who can Obp their weight.
      I've never said they should.
      I said one thing they could do is put Arcia in RF, move Parm to 1B, Morneau to DH, and make Doumit the bench bat.
      I also said, if they are not going to do that, then they should go out and sign someone like Thome for that role, someone we know can hit MLB pitching.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      The 299 PA's in AA Arcia? Next to AA CF Hicks... The promotion fever is on the verge of an epidemic.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      To me, it looks like it is coming down to Wilkin Ramirez vs. Drew Butera. Ramirez can get an occasional knock and it wouldn't stun anyone if he hit a ball over the fence. Butera's value is the defense he provides at his only position. I want Ramirez, but I expect Sweet Drew.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      The 299 PA's in AA Arcia? Next to AA CF Hicks... The promotion fever is on the verge of an epidemic.
      Players have jumped to the majors with right around that or less, and been successful.
      If a guy is ready, he's ready.
      Its hard to get prospective being a Twins fan, because they havent had may prospects good enough to make the jump that quick, but around the league its really not that rare for good prospects to go from AA to MLB with right around 300 PA's.
      From everything we've heard from Gardy and Terry, he's pretty much ready.
      I realize that could just be lip service, and if he's not ready thats fine. I was just giving an example of one option out there.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      I've never said they should.
      I said one thing they could do is put Arcia in RF, move Parm to 1B, Morneau to DH, and make Doumit the bench bat.
      I also said, if they are not going to do that, then they should go out and sign someone like Thome for that role, someone we know can hit MLB pitching.
      If Morneau is healthy, and on the team, he is going to play 1st base. Moving him to full time DH is just not going to happen. It's not even worth considering.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      If Morneau is healthy, and on the team, he is going to play 1st base. Moving him to full time DH is just not going to happen. It's not even worth considering.
      Fine, then Parm at DH and Justin at 1B.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      I realize that could just be lip service, and if he's not ready thats fine. I was just giving an example of one option out there.
      Fair enough. To be honest, I've generally been a little impatient over the years with the Twins' usually very conservative approach to prospect promotion. But my feeling about this current crop is that since the Twins are not just a player or two away from contention, the whiz kids should see at least a couple of months at AAA.

      The Hicks thing still bothers me. If Hicks and Benson were deemed unready and Mastro was given CF, where's the 4th OF who can play center? It just seems to me the 'competition' was a farce, with no real plan other than to pound pegs into holes, whether they fit or not.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      I dont think its a farce.
      I think they REALLY hoped Hicks would do well enough to get the job, as that makes it easier.
      But if Hicks completely fell on his face, I dont think they would have hesitated to send him down, like they have with Gibson.
      You can find a 4th of'er who cant hit or do anything else besides play competent CF. They are not very good, but if all you need is one to hold down the job until one of those 2 is ready, they can be found.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      You can find a 4th of'er who cant hit or do anything else besides play competent CF. They are not very good, but if all you need is one to hold down the job until one of those 2 is ready, they can be found.
      It would look a lot less like Hicks showed up with the job if there were at least one viable (> Clete Thomas) NRI CF besides the prospects and Mastro in spring training from day 1. Small potatoes compared to other issues, but finding a last-minute 4th OF if Mastro wound up in center seems less desirable than having them ready at the outset.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      Mastroianni's ability to play all outfield positions my be the asset that hinders his dream of earning an everyday starting position.....
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      Mastroianni's ability to play all outfield positions my be the asset that hinders his dream of earning an everyday starting position.....
      Yes, another sign it's been Hicks' to lose since winter meetings.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      Mastroianni's ability to play all outfield positions my be the asset that hinders his dream of earning an everyday starting position.....
      That and his lack of pop in the bat.
    1. spideyo's Avatar
      spideyo -
      My understanding is that Colabello is a decent fielder. Unfortunately, it's at the one position where we have incredible depth of options.

      If he could cover both corner OF spots and/or 3B, his chances would be upped considerably.

      Heck, if Mourneau got hurt or traded, a Parmelee/Colabello platoon at 1B would be pretty interesting.


      So basically, my point is that offensively, he'd be one of the best right handed bats we've had in half a decade. Defensively, he probably isn't any worse than some of previous bench guys, he just happens to specialize in an area where we aren't lacking for depth
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Just sending a player to AAA does not mean that he cannot be called up. Players play their way off the roster in spring training or if really good, play their way on. Do not think Butera is who they want, but some other options take time to prove in AAA that they belong.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by spideyo View Post
      My understanding is that Colabello is a decent fielder. Unfortunately, it's at the one position where we have incredible depth of options.

      If he could cover both corner OF spots and/or 3B, his chances would be upped considerably.

      Heck, if Mourneau got hurt or traded, a Parmelee/Colabello platoon at 1B would be pretty interesting.


      So basically, my point is that offensively, he'd be one of the best right handed bats we've had in half a decade. Defensively, he probably isn't any worse than some of previous bench guys, he just happens to specialize in an area where we aren't lacking for depth
      The guy has never had a MLB at bat.
      What would you think if I were to say, "It's safe to say that Sano is going to be the best power hitter we've had in decades."?
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