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  • Twins Minor Leaguers Report Today

    Major League spring training has been running for two weeks now. The team has played five games already (with four wins). Today (Tuesday), minor leaguers will need to report to Ft. Myers for the start of camp. They will undergo physicals on Wednesday, and their first official practice will on Thursday.

    72 pitchers (25 left-handed) and 54 hitters who have not been at big league camp this year will be throwing bullpens, taking ground balls, shagging fly balls and taking some batting practice. Today, I want to give a bit of a spring training preview from the minor league perspective with some interesting things to look at.

    By early next week, the Twins will start sending some of the players from big league camp down to minor league camp. You may read the phrase, “Sending them across the parking lot.” If you have been to the Twins camp in Ft. Myers, the phrase makes sense. If not, the Twins minor league facilities are literally on the other side of a big parking lot, just a hundred yards or so from Hammond Stadium.

    After about four days of work- outs and practices, the minor league teams will start playing some games. The Rochester roster will play the New Britain roster. The Ft. Myers roster will play the Cedar Rapids roster. The teams will also play some games against affiliates from other organizations. As players are removed from big league camp, they’ll likely move to the Rochester roster and players there will move down to New Britain and so on until the last week in March when the affiliates' opening day rosters will be set and travel plans made.

    The Coaching Staffs

    Rochester: Gene Glynn (Mgr), Tim Doherty (hitting coach), Marty Mason (pitching coach)
    New Britain: Jeff Smith (Mgr), Chad Allen (hitting coach), Stu Cliburn (pitching coach)
    Ft. Myers: Doug Mientkiewicz (Mgr), Jim Dwyer (hitting coach), Gary Lucas (pitching coach)
    Cedar Rapids: Jake Mauer (Mgr), Tommy Watkins (hitting coach), Ivan Arteaga (pitching coach)
    Elizabethton: Ray Smith (Mgr), Henry Bonilla (pitching coach)
    GCL Twins: Ramon Borrega (Mgr), Riccardo Ingram & Rudy Hernandez (hitting coaches), Ehren Wassermann & Luis Ramirez (pitching coaches)

    The big change in the Twins minor league coaching staff is that Ivan Arteaga and Gary Lucas are switching levels this year. Lucas has been in the Midwest League for many years and he moves up to Ft. Myers. Arteaga has changed teams several times in the past few years. He will be tasked with working with some of the Twins' top pitching prospects in Cedar Rapids in 2014.

    For their Elizabethton rookie team the Twins will still need to hire a new hitting coach for 2014. Former big leaguer Jeff Reed had been the hitting coach for 12 years. Of course, since the Elizabethton season doesn’t start until mid-June, the Twins have some time to make that decision.

    Injury Update

    Top relief pitching prospect Zack Jones had successful surgery last Monday. Doctors had found an aneurysm in his shoulder which was cutting off circulation. He said he will not be able to start throwing for six or seven weeks, so his season will be delayed.

    JT Chargois had Tommy John surgery last September and will begin 2014 on the disabled list. The timing of his surgery is in line with that of Kyle Gibson's and Alex Wimmers'. If he maintains the same timeline, he could be throwing off of a mound by early June and possibly pitch some rehab games in the GCL in July.

    Adam Bryant continues to have problems with his toe. Nate Roberts has been running in Ft. Myers. I think we’re all hopeful that he can stay healthy. Alex Wimmers and Chris Mazza are already throwing bullpens in Ft. Myers.

    Position Changes

    Each year there are typically a couple of position changes. A year ago at this time, Tyler Grimes came to camp as a catcher after spending the first two years of his professional career as a middle infielder. This year, there are a couple of cases worth watching.

    Travis Harrison will be spending quite a bit of time in the outfield in 2014. He actually played quite a lot of outfield in summer ball during his prep years, but the Twins had him play third base since drafting him in 2011. He made some strides in 2013 in Cedar Rapids, and he will see time at third base in 2014, but he will also be playing a lot of outfield.

    Mike Kvasnicka has played a few different positions since the Astros drafted him in the first round out of the University of Minnesota. They tried him at third base, and behind the plate. Last year with Ft. Myers, he played in right field. He is going to get some time behind the plate again in 2014, though he will also play in the outfield.

    When the Twins drafted Dereck Rodriguez, they knew they had an intriguing prospect. The son of future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez is quite athletic. Because he has all of the five tools, the Twins played him in the outfield. Unfortunately, he was frequently injured and didn’t show a lot with the bat. Arguably his best tool is his arm. Because of that, there was always talk that he could be moved to pitcher. That transition began during the offseason in Puerto Rico and will go into full effect in 2014.

    Brad Steil begins his second season as the Twins Director of Minor League Operations. There is a lot of talent throughout the system, and the organization has been recognized by national sites as one of the best in baseball. Each affiliate will have several players with big league potential. As you know, each year, there will be a handful of prospects who will take big leaps forward. Who will those be this year?

    Twins Daily strives to be the best place on the internet for Minnesota Twins minor league information. As we have done in previous years, we will continue to post daily game updates and reports. We will attempt to stay ahead of any news and information throughout the system. Please let us know if there is any more information or storylines that you would like us to follow.
    Comments 26 Comments
    1. beyondclarity's Avatar
      beyondclarity -
      I'm looking forward to another trip down to Cedar Rapids early this season. Would you expect that Stewart, Felix Jorge, Gonsalves and Eades could all be there to start the season? They wouldn't hold any of them back for EST, would they? Any other names you expect will start there?
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      Seth, good catch that 25 of the pitchers are left-handed. When our favorite team decides to address an organizational weakness they don't fool around.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Not to be debby downer, but two of the three guys I was looking forward to are not playing (Rosario and Sano)
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by beyondclarity View Post
      I'm looking forward to another trip down to Cedar Rapids early this season. Would you expect that Stewart, Felix Jorge, Gonsalves and Eades could all be there to start the season? They wouldn't hold any of them back for EST, would they? Any other names you expect will start there?
      I wouldn't expect Stewart or Gonsalves to be there Opening Day, but sometime during the season. Jorge will likely be there. I think there's a chance Eades goes to Ft. Myers, but could start in Cedar Rapids.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Seth, any idea where Adrian Salcedo will begin 2014. Will it be New Britain? Also, any word on whether or not he will be back starting after being in the bullpen his first year back from surgery?
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      Seth, good catch that 25 of the pitchers are left-handed. When our favorite team decides to address an organizational weakness they don't fool around.
      I seem to recall that a couple of drafts back, nearly half of ALL the draftees were LH pitchers.
    1. Major Leauge Ready's Avatar
      Major Leauge Ready -
      I am looking forward to tracking the progress of the system as a whole this year. Bummer about Sano and Rosario but I am hoping for a couple of the guys outside the top 100 type prospects step-up this year and prove they are potentially high impact MLB players. I think those players developing take us from a bright future to something potentially really special.

      Danny Santana and AB Walker are two that I will keep a close eye on. Santana because of need and Walker because there seems to be a large gap between his floor and ceiling. For SPs, Gonsolves is a guy that might end up being a real steal and Thorpe could be a guy that moves up the rankings quickly. Eades is also interesting. Some people still believe he has #2 stuff.

      Who do you like to move up the rankings?
    1. SoCal Twin's Avatar
      SoCal Twin -
      Don't tell Stephen that Seth.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Quote Originally Posted by Major Leauge Ready View Post
      I am looking forward to tracking the progress of the system as a whole this year. Bummer about Sano and Rosario but I am hoping for a couple of the guys outside the top 100 type prospects step-up this year and prove they are potentially high impact MLB players. I think those players developing take us from a bright future to something potentially really special.

      Danny Santana and AB Walker are two that I will keep a close eye on. Santana because of need and Walker because there seems to be a large gap between his floor and ceiling. For SPs, Gonsolves is a guy that might end up being a real steal and Thorpe could be a guy that moves up the rankings quickly. Eades is also interesting. Some people still believe he has #2 stuff.

      Who do you like to move up the rankings?
      Picking 5 off the top of my head: Max Kepler, Amaurys Minier, Luke Bard, Stuart Turner, and Alex Wimmers.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      My projected CR rotation this year is:
      Felix Jorge
      Aaron Slegers
      Ryan Eades
      Austin Malinowski
      Yorman Landa
      Hein Robb

      With Romero, Gonsalves, Stewart & Thorpe all ending the year at CR.

      Twins are going to have to make some quick choices in the lower levels this year to ensure guys get innings, develop and build up strength.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Tom Powers' article about Stewart suggested he could skip Elizabethton and go straight to CR. He mentions it right after a quote from Brad Steil, but it's not clear whether Powers is just speculating or got that indication from Steil. Of course, Stewart could start the year in Extended Spring Training and still go to CR without a stop in Etown first.

      I agree that there could be a bit of a logjam of arms at Class A this summer. That's not altogether bad, since the Twins are so careful about the innings they put on these young arms. On the chance that the Kernels could reach the MWL playoffs again, it would be nice to have a couple of big time prospects available who haven't hit their innings limits.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      My projected CR rotation this year is:
      Felix Jorge
      Aaron Slegers
      Ryan Eades
      Austin Malinowski
      Yorman Landa
      Hein Robb

      With Romero, Gonsalves, Stewart & Thorpe all ending the year at CR.

      Twins are going to have to make some quick choices in the lower levels this year to ensure guys get innings, develop and build up strength.
      I guess there really aren't a lot of guys here that get me excited. I want to see Stewart, Gonsalves, and Thrope from pretty much opening day. I think you could make a case for all of them.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by SoCal Twin View Post
      Don't tell Stephen that Seth.
      I won't... ha! I promise!

      I don't know where he will be. They're going to be protective of the high ceiling guys, so they may keep him out of Cedar Rapids for the first month (also innings counts). But, he certainly could be there as well.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
      Seth, any idea where Adrian Salcedo will begin 2014. Will it be New Britain? Also, any word on whether or not he will be back starting after being in the bullpen his first year back from surgery?

      I would assume he'll be in the New Britain bullpen. I know he's not going to start the season as a starter, and I think they'll keep him in the bullpen.
    1. Ncgo4's Avatar
      Ncgo4 -
      Thorpe has the most interest from me as a potential guy. Any idea where he may begin the season?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ncgo4 View Post
      Thorpe has the most interest from me as a potential guy. Any idea where he may begin the season?
      Extended Spring Training.
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      Not sure why other than the place not being ready, but a bunch of rookies practiced at City of Palms today, including Stewart. There's a big tent set up outside the locker room where the players have lunch now as the work continues inside.

      Work groups and minor league schedule is on the counter in the office.
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      I'm planning on going down to Spring Training next weekend. Can anybody post the minor league game schedule (on here) so my friends and I can figure out where we need to be to follow the right teams (A / A+ or AA / AAA)?
    1. oldguy10's Avatar
      oldguy10 -
      If possible could someone please post the last week of pre-season games for the Twins in March and the schedule for the minor league teams in ALL classifications also for the same time period.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Halsey Hall View Post
      Not sure why other than the place not being ready, but a bunch of rookies practiced at City of Palms today, including Stewart. There's a big tent set up outside the locker room where the players have lunch now as the work continues inside.

      Work groups and minor league schedule is on the counter in the office.
      The Cedar Rapids roster is practicing over there, and it's solely due to space. Once games start on Monday, they'll likely be back.
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