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  • Twins Sent Eight to Minor League Camp

    You know it is coming, but certainly there will be some disappointment. With just two weeks before opening day, the Minnesota Twins made some more moves. They optioned Danny Santana, Eric Fryer and Kris Johnson. Five players were reassigned to minor league camp. They are Sean Gilmartin, Brandon Waring, James Beresford, Jermaine Mitchell and Darin Mastroianni.

    Danny Santana was the biggest name on the list on Sunday as he was optioned to Rochester. That he was optioned at this time tells us that the team is comfortable with Pedro Florimon being ready for spring training. Santana was the player who likely increased his value most in spring training.

    In the clubhouse, Santana told the Pioneer Press's Mike Berardino that he was sent down and told to focus on making the routine play. He said he planned to be back "in a couple months."

    The Eric Fryer promotion means that it is between Josmil Pinto and Chris Herrmann competing to back up Kurt Suzuki.

    With Beresford sent back, Doug Bernier and Jason Bartlett are still around to compete for a possible second utility infielder role.

    Gilmartin came to the Twins this winter in exchange for Ryan Doumit. He pitched well in camp and hopes to return to form in 2014 after an injury-plagued 2013 season with the Braves.

    Jermaine Mitchell hit well early in camp. He is a veteran with plenty of minor league experience who could surface if the Twins need a fifth outfielder. (earlier in the week, I asked Mitchell what he enjoyed most about being involved in baseball)



    Darin Mastroianni was taken off the 40 man roster this winter. This demotion is pretty telling in what the Twins are thinking in the outfield. His ankle was hurt throughout the 2013 season affecting his best tool, his speed.

    Brandon Waring hit two home runs in spring training and showed he can be a good third baseman as well. That is consistent with what he has done with the Orioles in recent years, mostly in AA. He has very good power.

    The Twins now have 40 players remaining with the big league club in camp. They have 20 pitchers (4 non-roster), four catchers (one non-roster), nine infielders (four non-roster) and seven outfielders (two non-roster).
    Comments 38 Comments
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      I'm curious about Waring. Might he be the third basemen of the future if Sano goes to first?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
      I'm curious about Waring. Might he be the third basemen of the future if Sano goes to first?
      Waring is 29 and has just a handful of games above AA, so no. He's a guy with some power, but right now, he's behind Plouffe and Deibinson Romero.
    1. drock2190's Avatar
      drock2190 -
      So where does this leave Pinto?

      Is he the only other catcher left in camp with Sukuzi? If so, Twins must be planning on him to catch regularly.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      20 pitchers and 40 total still in camp?--way too many. The projected active roster need lots of innings to be fully ready for the regular season. 15 and 30 is far more appropriate. I predict another slow start because of this "indecision".
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Cutting Santana by itself might have made sense if Bernier (who has been barely average) and Bartlett (who has been horrible) were already cut. Add the fact that Florimon cannot even make contact in live BP by an A-level pitcher, and this looks like they are handing Eduardo Escobar the starting SS job.

      Herrmann is not necessarily competing with Pinto as a catcher. I think that Pinto and Suzuki will be the catchers in a 50-50 arrangement. Herrmann is competing with Kubel, Parmelee, Colabello & co for a bench/DH/OF job. That would give Gardy his third catcher.

      Also surprised at Kris Johnson. He has been good this spring and I was thinking that he might have a chance at a pen role over someone like Thielbar. But I guess the Twins want to stress him as a starter for Rochester and this then makes sense to do now.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      Cutting Santana by itself might have made sense if Bernier (who has been barely average) and Bartlett (who has been horrible) were already cut. Add the fact that Florimon cannot even make contact in live BP by an A-level pitcher, and this looks like they are handing Eduardo Escobar the starting SS job.

      Herrmann is not necessarily competing with Pinto as a catcher. I think that Pinto and Suzuki will be the catchers in a 50-50 arrangement. Herrmann is competing with Kubel, Parmelee, Colabello & co for a bench/DH/OF job. That would give Gardy his third catcher.

      Also surprised at Kris Johnson. He has been good this spring and I was thinking that he might have a chance at a pen role over someone like Thielbar. But I guess the Twins want to stress him as a starter for Rochester and this then makes sense to do now.
      Good points. Johnson needs stretching out. He's better than Diamond, IMO, but he has options. So he was not going to make the team out of spring training. But I wouldn't be surprised to see him before September this year.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I don't even begin to understand having Pinto in a true backup role. Catching every day and hitting every day in games seems more valuable. Suzuki is not good, though. So there's that.

      Everything else here makes sense. I don't understand why there hasn't been more said throughout the last few years about how Danny Santana has real fielding issues.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Yeah, the concerns about Santana's fielding issues are very real. Very inconsistent.

      As for having guys like Bernier/Bartlett and so many pitchers is that they do have to have arms.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Most of this makes sense. Twins expect Florimon to be ready and Escobar to be the utility guy. If Florimon is not ready than Bartlett makes the team as the backup to start. Unless Bartlett is so bad they cut him and bring up Santana to start until Florimon is ready.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      20 pitchers and 40 total still in camp?--way too many. The projected active roster need lots of innings to be fully ready for the regular season. 15 and 30 is far more appropriate. I predict another slow start because of this "indecision".
      Another? Didn't they go 4-2 last year during the first week? It must have been one of their better weeks.

      I am certain they are following a plan based on B games, schedule and stretching out starters. They probably knew they were get down to this number on this date.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      In every position besides catcher, I would say a prospect needs to play every day. But there's plenty of work to go around the catching position that a 50-50 split won't hinder Pinto's development. Even when he's sitting next to Steiny, or out in the bullpen with Cuellar, he'll learn something.

      After watching Fryer yesterday, it is clear that he's behind Pinto both offensively and defensively, not counting upside. His defense was brutal.
    1. DocBauer's Avatar
      DocBauer -
      Love what Santana brings to the table offensively. And if he isn't ready now, it sure looks like it won't be long. Very disappointed to see him sent out at this point, especially with nothing showing Floriman will be 100% by opening day, and nobody else showing anything to this point.

      Defensively, all indications, reports and watching him, are that he has the tools to do the job in the field eventually. There have been a few boots so far this ST that just won't do. I wonder though how much of those are due to youth vs playing tight? As Gladden pointed out the other day in a broadcast, while showing ability, there have been no real WOW or signature plays defensively to this point. Still, I would have liked to see him another week at least, especially if told he was going to open in Rochester. Perhaps he would relax more.
    1. lukingood's Avatar
      lukingood -
      Santana has a great bat and he has speed. But the Twins need a shortstop who can make the average play at shortstop and Florimon and Escubar can certainly do that. Will Santana reach that point? No one truly knows at this point.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      I think we'll see Florimon almost everyday at this point. If he's not ready, he'll stay in extended spring until he is. In that case, Escobar will start until Florimon is ready. Santana needs seasoning. But he opened some eyes this year. I'd be surprised if he isn't up yet at the All-Star break. That would mean he's not making the adjustments defensively. It's up to him.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Florimon has likely shown that he'll be 100% by opening day, just not to us. I see no reason to be disquieted by Santana's departure ahead of Bernier or Bartlett. Santana has his marching orders: go down and get your act together regarding routine plays, and if you demonstrate the ability to slow the game down on defense, you'll be back up. No one expects Bernier to take a sudden jump from his AAAA ceiling. Bartlett either beats out Escobar or he doesn't, and I personally hope he gets his walking papers. Having both Bartlett and Escobar on the bench would really be dissappointing.

      I'm not as upset about the prospects of watching Florimon for much of 2013 as others. He's fun to watch on defense, and he was sent to winter ball to work on cutting down his strikeouts, and if he shows some improvement in that regard, his AB's may be slightly more bearable.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      I'm relieved Hicks wasn't part of these cuts. I need something to watch early in the season after my "yay baseball is back!" enthusiasm wears off and I have to watch this brutal offense. He would fit that bill perfectly.
    1. Wookiee of the Year's Avatar
      Wookiee of the Year -
      I'm actually most surprised by Mastroianni being sent down. Doesn't that make a strong case that Hicks will make the Opening Day roster and therefore be the center fielder?
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      Hicks will be the opening day center fielder, and Presley bench.

      Florimon played well today in the minors and did hit a triple. He just glides around the bases, long strides, and so smooth. Played well in the field too. He'll be ready to go. I like the guy, myself.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      Cutting Santana by itself might have made sense if Bernier (who has been barely average) and Bartlett (who has been horrible) were already cut. Add the fact that Florimon cannot even make contact in live BP by an A-level pitcher, and this looks like they are handing Eduardo Escobar the starting SS job.
      I agree--why are Twins still carrying Bartlett--stick a fork in him--he is done. I understand that Santana (maybe SS of the future) has defensive problems and needs to play everyday. The key is--Florimon. If he can go opening day (I have my doubts) then OK. If not, then why not play Santana until Florimon is ready.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Halsey Hall View Post
      Hicks will be the opening day center fielder, and Presley bench.

      Florimon played well today in the minors and did hit a triple. He just glides around the bases, long strides, and so smooth. Played well in the field too. He'll be ready to go. I like the guy, myself.
      Presley made another base running boo boo today, over sliding the bag on a stolen base attempt. Meanwhile, Hicks homered in a minor league intra-quad game, as did Pinto.
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