Minor League Update

21 Jul

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

  • As I mentioned last night, I spent some time chatting with Twins 3B prospect Danny Valencia last night and he agreed to doing an interactive Q&A with SethSpeaks.net readers. So, if you would like to ask the future Twin a question (or two, or up to 3), please e-mail me and I will send him the questions. I will accept questions until Wednesday night (around 10:00 p.m.).
  • And, of course, as the Trade Deadline is fast approaching, please consider picking up a copy of the TwinsCentric 2009 Trade Deadline Primer for just $9.95.

Rain and a scheduled off day limited the Twins minor league action on Tuesday, and with the Twins game just starting in Oakland, I figured a separate posting for the Twins minor league report made sense. Hopefully tonight’s game won’t be quite as exciting… or at least quite as long! I have learned that sleep is good!

But I thought I would throw in a few (OK, five) Twins minor league topics for you to discuss in the comments section while watching the Twins game. 

Untouchable? – In my Star Tribune blog yesterday (Twins Need to Deal), I wrote that the only two Twins minor leaguers that should be untouchable in nearly any trade would be Aaron Hicks and Danny Valencia. Would you add anyone else to that list?

Shut Down? – Since being promoted to AA New Britain, Carlos Gutierrez has thrown 36.1 innings. He has given up 51 hits (including six home runs). He was walked 18 and struck out just 17. He didn’t throw much last season between the University of Miami and Ft. Myers. This year, he did alright at Ft. Myers before struggling with the Rockcats. Since moving to the bullpen, he has given up 15 runs on 19 hits in just 8.1 innings while walking seven and striking out just five. Should he be shut down at this point, maybe given a couple of weeks off, or just keep throwing him out there and working through it? 

Arm Chair Psychologists – This is a tough situation because Shooter Hunt clearly is struggling. I have to think that he hit rock bottom with his last outing in which he faced seven batters, walked six of them and hit the other before leaving the game. Hunt as all the talent in the world. I don’t think anyone questions that, but right now, it just isn’t happening. What do you do? Keep throwing him out there? Shut him down? Is there even a right answer? 

Pecking Order – Alright, the Twins need a 2B. Alexi Casilla, Nick Punto and Matt Tolbert have all had their chances. So, I’d like to ask you how you would rank the potential Major League impact that the following Twins minor league 2B options could have. Alexi Casilla, Matt Tolbert, Steve Tolleson, Matt Macri, Trevor Plouffe, Brian Dinkelman, and Steve Singleton. Singleton’s .600 start since his recent promotion to New Britain certainly makes you think, doesn’t it? I can’t help but think he may be the guy in the long term.

Upcoming 40 Man Roster Decisions – Every year it is interesting to find out who the Twins add to their 40 man roster. Who needs to be added before the December Rule 5 draft? To keep it general and simple, please drafted out of college in the 2006 draft would have to be added or be potentially lost in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. High school players drafted (and many international players signed when they are 16 or 17) in 2005 would also be eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft if not protected. Here is a list of several players that will likely have to be added (or at least they will have to consider adding) after this season:

College Players Drafted in 2006:

  • 4th Round – 1B Whit Robbins
  • 6th Round – C Jeff Christy
  • 8th Round – 2B Brian Dinkelman
  • 11th Round – 2B Steve Singleton
  • 14th Round – RHP Jeff Manship
  • 15th Round – OF Mark Dolenc
  • 19th Round – 3B Danny Valencia
  • 39th Round – RHP Anthony Slama
  • Not Drafted – RHP Rob Delaney (signed as free agent right after the draft)

I would say there are a couple of very easy choices here, and a couple of possible adds, and a couple of probably not’s. Now, when you think of the 2005 draft, the Twins drafted Matt Garza, Kevin Slowey, Brian Duensing and Ryan Mullins in the first three rounds out of college. They did not have as much success (or luck, particularly injury luck) with their early high school picks. Hank Sanchez was really bad and then he served a 50 game suspension for being really bad, and then the Twins released him. Drew Thompson is having a nice comeback after missing two full seasons with injury. Paul Kelly’s knees just have not been able to keep him on the field either. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple of 2005 high school draft picks that the Twins will have to strongly consider adding to the 40 man roster:

High School (and a JuCo Guy) Drafted in 2005:

  • 12th Round – RHP Alex Burnett
  • 32nd Round – RHP David Bromberg
  • 36th Round – OF Rene Tosoni (Junior College)

I think that all three of them have put themselves in a position that they will have to be added. Another player who has performed to a level that he should be considered is RHP Loek Van Mil who is doing great in his comeback from rehabbing his arm. Has David Winfree’s play this year in Rochester earned him a spot on the Twins 40 man roster? Before the season, I think we would have all assumed that Dustin Martin (another 2006 college draftee) would be a lock to be added. Do we still believe that? What about Deolis Guerra? He has struggled, but he signed in July of 2005 and still is just 20 years old and very talented and has done well in his short stint in New Britain. You would think a team like the Nationals would love to take a chance on him.

In other words, the Twins have some difficult decisions ahead of them at the end of the year. Maybe potential deadline trades will help clean up some of the questions, but it certainly is worth thinking about already. 

What do you think about any of these topics? What would you do? Leave your comments here. 

With that, I’m going to post this. I will be back later with thoughts on Game 2 of this Twins/A’s series. 


Tuesday – SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Daniel Santana, GCL Twins

Tuesday – SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Andrei Lobonov, GCL Twins  


Tuesday – Rochester, Pawtucket  – Postponed by Rain. 


Tuesday – New Britain, Portland – Postponed by Rain.    


Tuesday – Ft. Myers 4, Dunedin 6 Chris Parmelee homered yet again, his 14th on the season, but that was about it for the Miracle offense in this game. Evan Bigley and Nick Romero each doubles. Michael Tarsi took his first FSL loss. He went 6.2 innings and gave up three runs on eight hits. He walked four and struck out five. Henry Arias went the final 2.1 innings. He gave up three runs on four hits and a walk.     


Tuesday – Beloit  – No Games Scheduled in the Midwest League.     


Tuesday – Elizabethton 2, Princeton 3 Reggie Williams hit another homer, his third, but it wasn’t enough on this night. Brad Stillings started for the E-Twins and went the first six innings. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on four hits and two walks. Edgar Ibarra took the loss by giving up one run on two hits in two innings. Peter Kennelly pitched a scoreless inning. Josmil Pinto went 2-4 with his eighth double.    


Tuesday –GCL Twins 10, GCL Red Sox 6 – There was plenty of offense for the GCL Twins in this game. Daniel Santana went 3-6 with his third triple and two stolen bases. Nick Lockwood went 3-5. Jhonatan Arias went 2-4 with a walk, his fourth double and four RBI. Nick Tindall went 2-4 with his third double. Nick Freitas went 2-3 with two walks. Jhon Garcia went the first five innings and gave up two runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out six. Eliecer Cardenas gave up four runs (3 earned) on five hits and two walks in 2.1 innings. He struck out three. Andrei Lobonov had quite the game to record his second save. He pitched to five batters and struck all five of them out.    

Please feel free to Send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or comments here.


37 Responses to “Minor League Update”

  1. John July 22, 2009 at 12:18 am #

    Hunt is probably finished. It’s a sad state of affairs but no one comes back from these total meltdowns (e.g., Rick Ankiel as a pitcher), or Steve Blass Disease as some call it.

    I think they should just shut him down and go home… have him show up next Spring Training and hope he can pitch again. It’s a long shot but running him out there like this is pointless.

    With Gutierrez, it would seem something is wrong, but it also might be he’s not ready for AA. I’m sure the coaches down there wouldn’t keep pitching him if his arm was worn out.

  2. Joeboo22 July 22, 2009 at 12:50 am #

    Shooter? I’d send him to Ft. Myers…. sometimes a warentless promotion is just what the doctor needs…. I would NOT send him home, maybe just keep him around the complex have him work on the side from time to time and try to figure it out… the difference between him and Ankiel he has had a history of control problems…

    Gutierrez… I’d shut him down… he is losing confidence and I think he is also losing support of others around him… he can always throw on the side…

    as far as untouchables, I’d put Parmelee, Hermsen, and Benson all on the list…. Parmelee because we don’t have a guy with half of his power in the system, Hermsen because of how much upside he has and Benson because he is on the same plateau as Hicks in my opinion just with more power and has actually hit in the minors… (needs to quit getting injuried doing stupid things though)

    40 man moves… I’d put Guerra, Van Mil, Slama and Manship on the list because I think they could all be hid in numerous staffs… they are better then a pitchers in the Rockies pen and they are right in the thick of things for the Wild Card. I think Tosoni has to be put on because of potential, he could realistically be a 5th outfielder for many teams… Christy? It’s either him or Butera, do we need 15 backup catchers on the 40man? Valencia will be put on the roster no doubt…

  3. Joeboo22 July 22, 2009 at 1:02 am #

    do guys on the 60 day DL have to be taken off before the rule 5 draft?

  4. Joe July 22, 2009 at 6:36 am #

    I still think that Ben Revere is the Twins Top and most consistent prospect. I know there are some questoing about his throwing arm but in the long run he will be a left fielder. And the job of the left fielder is to make sure nothing gets behind you which he has the speed to do that and hit the cut off man and 3B or SS. So there will not be too many times in the season where he has to air mail something to home plate or 2B.

    Rene Tonossi David Bromberg and Alex Burnett all have to be put on the 40 man roster I feel. Especially with how they have performed this season and there ages (all 23 or younger) a lot of teams would like to have guys like that.

    For the college players, Jeff Manship, Anothony Slama, Rob Delany and of course Danny Valencia are the musts to keep on the 40 man. Steve Singleton is borderline. The Twins already have 4 catchers on the 40 man is Wilson Ramos remains on which I think he will.

    I don’t think there should be a problem taking guys like Matt Marci and Jason Pridie off the roster to put some of these guys on.

    The problem lies with Deolis Guerra. He is in AA so at least he is in good position to be put on. He does not turn 21 until April. Any team would be willing to spend 50,000 dollars to have a project for a season or 2.

    All in all this could work out the way its supposed to or we might see a potential major league player leave town.

  5. Bill in Sarasota July 22, 2009 at 7:08 am #

    Besides Valencia and Hicks, I wouldn’t trade Ramos until Mauer signs his next contract.

    For the 40 man roster – Tonsoni, Burnett, Bromberg, Guerra, Slama, Manship, Delaney, and Singleton.

    I would take off Pridie, Crede(don’t resign), Redmond, Macri, Tolbert, Romero. The last three I would take off Plouffe, Duensing, and Buscher.

    Since the 40 man roster will be a tight squeeze next year, I would try to make a trade to reduce this issue and obviously get help this year – maybe Manship, Slama or Delaney, D. Romero for Sherill.

  6. gobbledygookguy July 22, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    it would seem there are more players than spots. wouldn’t it make sense to package a couple of these guys to get help at the “major league level”?
    smith doesn’t want to trade prospects but every year we give 3-4 (guess) guys away in the rule 5 draft.
    we need help now!!!

  7. BB-STC July 22, 2009 at 8:39 am #

    Rule V roster dilemma – Crede and Redmond will open two spots for sure. Assume that Dickey and Keppel will be resigned. Possible removals would be Tolbert, Buscher, Macri, Gabino, and Romero. That would free seven spots. Twins never max out the 40 man roster when the draft rolls around so it would be set at 39 or 40. Keeping spots open for a Rule V signing and possible free agents. With 5 spots open and surely have to add Valencia, Delaney and Slama. That would leave 2 spots for other top prospects Manship, Singleton, Dinkelman, Robbins, Dolenc, Bromberg, Tosoni, Burnett, Van Mil, Martin and Guerra. Teams have a tendency to protect the major league ready arms who are the most likely to be drafted which I think would be Manship, Van Mil, Burnett.

  8. SethSpeaks July 22, 2009 at 8:43 am #

    Joeboo – yes, Pat Neshek will be counted among the 40.

    the Twins really like Romero, that’s why they put him on the 40 man roster last year despite him playing so little at Beloit. I hae to think they’ll stand by him. Are there any arbitration-eligibles that could be let go? Trades could happen. There are a bunch that seem, to me at least, to be givens, so there will be some really tough choices.

    And, I realize that Christy won’t be added. I just always think it’s funny when people talk about how he should be released and such, and yet, he’s flown through the system. I don’t think he’s on par with Butera, even defensively, but obviously he must be very good behind the plate.

  9. mike wants wins July 22, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    Ramos needs to be protected until Mauer signs. They can’t lose both. Hicks and Valencia are untouchable (unless we are getting back young MLB proven talent at their positions or a great, young pitcher, but even then I’m not sure I’d deal them). Other than that, most of the players look like they have a ceiling of “good”, and no player with that ceiling should be untouchable. Revere cannot hit the ball hard, he just can’t. Until he shows otherwise, I think he’s most valuable as a trade chip.

    Hunt: I have no ideas there. Clearly, they need to try something else than they have been trying, though. However, this is an “old school” organization, and I have my doubts about their ability to come up with any new idea.

    Guerra: he should be protected. If he has the upside they all say he has, he needs to be protected.

    Gutteriez: Give him 2 weeks off. Let him know you think he’s going to be really, really good some day, but that you believe for the good of his arm, he needs to take some time off. (that draft isn’t looking so genius like right now, is it – this is why you can’t ONLY realy on the draft – it’s a crap shoot).

    2B: can I choose “none of they three they’ve tried this year”, please? I don’t think any of those three are good MLB players. All of these guys have tremendous talent, that’s why they are in AAA and MLB. But, the difference between AAA and MLB is big, really big. And, Punto and Tolbert 100% are not every day players, and Casilla appears not be also. I’d be thrilled if they dealt for a real 2B.

    Clearly they have lots of medium to decent level talent, more than 40 guys. I have no idea why they would not deal a few of them to clear up the bottlenecks.

    Guys I’d protect for sure: Delaney, Slama, Valencia, Tosoni, Guerra, Ramos (though I’d prefer they sign Mauer and deal Ramos).

    Guys in the next group I’d really want to protect: Manship, Van Mil, whichever 2B is the best.

    Guys I’d remove for sure: Redmond (seriously, move on Twins), Buscher, Crede, Pridie, Tolbert, Gabino, Romero, Macri.

    Guys I’d consider removing (though I’d rather deal them): Deunsing, Crain, Casilla (I know, I’m insane).

  10. SethSpeaks July 22, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    Just as an FYI – there is a 0.000% chance of Wilson Ramos coming off of the 40 man roster. No chance whatsoever.

  11. mike wants wins July 22, 2009 at 10:05 am #

    heh, I would hope not. And, I’d probably not rather trade him either, but at some point they’ll need to make a deal to get more good to great players. I don’t see Ramos as untouchable in that process, once Mauer signs.

    Not sure why I put him on the protect list, he’s already on the 40 man – easy to make mistakes sometimes.

  12. sam July 22, 2009 at 10:26 am #


  13. twinlves July 22, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    This doesn’t have anything to do with the 40-man, but doesn’t parmelee deserve a promotion?

    And I’m with you Rick, trade Crede while we can get something and promote Valancia

  14. sam July 22, 2009 at 11:09 am #


  15. roger July 22, 2009 at 11:53 am #

    OK Seth, First, I would shut down Hunt for about 3 weeks and bring him back at either ETon of Beloit in mid-August. Would also shut down Gutierrez until FIL.

    We currently have 41-players that will be on the 40-man roster as the end of the year. Players that I would make some type of move with (include in trades before July 31) would include Brian Buscher and Brian Duensing as neither should be protected come November. We will have space open up from two free agents that shouldn’t be resigned, Joe Crede and Mike Redmond. Other players that I believe must be taken off the 40-man roster include: Jason Pridie, Matt Macri, Matt Tolbert, Juan Morillo (unless he improves his BB rate) and very possibly Boof Bonser. These moves would free up 9 spots, thus, taking our 40-man roster down to 32.

    Players that I see at risk if not protected include: Jeff Manship, Rob Delaney, Danny Valencia, Cole DeVries, Matt Fox, Yohan Pino, Deolis Guerra, Anthony Slama, Alex Burnett, Whit Robbins, Erik Lis, Steve Singleton, Rene Tosoni, Juan Portes, David Bromberg, and Jeff Manship. Thats 16, so at best we can protect one-half.

    My eight from this group would be Danny Valencia, Rob Delaney, Anthony Slama, Deolis Guerra, Alex Burnett, Rene Tosoni, David Bromberg and either Dinkelman or Singleton, but not both. That would expose one of the second basemen and DeVries, Fox, Pino, Robbins, Lis, Portes and Van Mil. Maybe there will be some additional movement and we can salvage one or more of this last group.

    But yes Seth, it is gonna be a tight year and it wouldn’t surprise me if one or two of these guys get picked by someong in the Rule V. Now whether or not they stick it out with that club or another club is another question.

  16. roger July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    Seth, sorry but I forgot Winfree whom I feel the Twins should protect. That means that I would have to think long and hard about keeping Manship and either of the second basemen.

  17. twinlves July 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    Erik Lis also deserves a promotion to AAA, and I’m sure you could find an under achieving corner infielder (Macri, Peterson, Watkins) to release or something to make room.

  18. DH in Philly July 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    In the right trade, I would let Hicks go. The only untouchable I see is Valencia, not necessarily because he is great, but because there is a need, he is ready to fill the need, and there are no other palatable options to fill the need.

  19. TT July 22, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    I think you are way over-estimating Valencia. He will be 25 this fall and has less than 100 plate appearances at AAA. I am hard-pressed to think of a successful Twin regular who that was true of. Lew Ford, I guess, if you want to consider him a regular.

    Valencia’s appeal is that he plays third base and everyone assumes Crede won’t be back. I don’t think that is a safe assumption and I don’t think it is a safe assumption that Valencia is going to be his replacement either.

    I don’t think any Twins prospect is “untouchable”. They need help in the infield and would deal any prospect for the right player. But I don’t think any of the Twins prospects are likely to bring a major league middle infielder of any stature. They are going to have to give up something off their major league roster – probably a starting pitcher. And that price seems too high. They can survive better without a better second baseman than with a hole in the rotation. Swarzak’s performance last night makes that a little more acceptable. But they need Mulvey or Duensing to show they can get major league hitters out consistently before they trade away their 6th starter.

    I think Hunt may be a lost cause. Is there anyone who has ever recovered from those kinds of control problems? Guttierez is more of a puzzle. He seemed to be doing well and now he is really struggling. Its possible they are having him work on his secondary pitches instead of relying on his sinker. Or that his sinker just isn’t sinking.

    I think Guerra and Tosoni are no-brainers. Despite what I said above, I don’t think the Twins are going to expose Valencia to the rule 5. Burnett and Loek Van Mil seem like the kinds of guys teams take in the rule 5. I think they will protect Winfree this year. That is 6 players they will probably protect.

    After that, Manship, Delaney and, perhaps, Bromberg need to be considered since pitchers are prime targets. Singleton is a bit of a mystery. He is hitting much better at AA but whether he needs to be protected depends on his defense. If he is a legitimate major league shortstop, then yes. Otherwise, I don’t think his bat would justify carrying him a full year on a major league roster right now.

    Where do they find spots?:

    If Crede and Redmond declare as free agents that is two spots. In descending order Macri, Hughes, Tolbert, Pridie, Buscher would all be possibilities. Keppler, Duensing, Neshek and Bonser are possibilities depending on how the rest of the year plays out in terms of either performance or medical reports. Of course we don’t know what other moves might get made before then.

    In terms of second base, I think Casilla is really the only long term internal candidate. Maybe Singleton. The rest of the list is guys who are either major league shortstops (Plouffe) or defensive liabilities (Tolleson, Dinkelman, Macri) who are unlikely to hold the position any longer than Brendan Harris did.

  20. TT July 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    Morillo passed through waivers and is not on the roster. So he is another player to be considered for a roster spot. Likewise Phil Humber.

  21. mike wants wins July 22, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    I’ll be disappointed if they protect Humber.

    Protection is also, as several have posted, about who you might lose. I think pitchers are more likely to be lost than any position player they’d leave unprotected (some AL team might go for Hughes as a DH, 4th OF – he’d be a great upgrade for KC, for example – plus their GM doesn’t believe in defensive stats….). None of their MIF prospects are likely to be lost (at least not the 2B), I’d think.

    I’d be decent money Delaney and Slama would be lost if left unprotected.

    As for the last poster, Valencia is viewed highly by me because they have no other alternative at the position. I think he may be a tad over-rated by TWins and their fans, but he’s their best shot. Unless you get a 3B back, I’d hate to lose him. Crede won’t re-sign here, he’s a Boras client. Plus, the Twins will want to sign Slowey, Mauer and otehrs this offseason, and they’ll want to save money at 3B.

  22. Seth July 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    Even the great John Manual agrees that Danny Valencia is an untouchable! (http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/prospect-bulletin/2009/268579.html)

    The 40 man roster construction is definitely about protecting players that would be lost. Delaney and Slama would definitely be lost. I think Burnett, Van Mil and Manship would be too. Guerra almost certainly would be.

    The Twins have plenty of possible 2B in the system, so it’s also possible that neither Singleton or Dinkelman are added to the 40 man, and they’ll hope that at least one of them sticks. Of the two, you have to prefer Singleton just because of his age in comparison to Dinkelman.

    And again, Valencia is a no-brainer.

    Philip Humber, most certainly, will not be protected.

  23. cmathewson July 22, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    I say you have to protect Valencia, Slama, Delaney, Tosoni, Burnett, Guerra, Robbins and Van Mil.

  24. Seth July 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    The only difference I would have would be replacing Robbins with Manship… only because Robbins as a 1B probably isn’t a guy people would draft in the Rule 5. I would agree with the rest though.

    Great comments today… very much appreciated!

  25. Bill in Sarasota July 22, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    D. Romero – 2nd straight disappointing season. Has has a low .235 batting average, low .328 slugging pct, and a bad 33 BB / 75 K ratio.

    Unless the Twins trade some excess off the 40 man roster, I would take my chances on taking off Romero for 2010. If he turns it around next year, he could be put back on for 2011.

    Toronto grabbed George Bell in 1981 in Rule 5 a year after Bell had 22 HR, 102 RBI, .305 avg as a 19 year old in Class A. They hid him on the end of the bench for a year.

    I doubt anyone thinks that highly of Romero unless he has a great last month of the season.

  26. Seth July 22, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    And I would like to find a way to get Bromberg protected too.

  27. Bill in Sarasota July 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    I would protect Bromberg over Van Mil.

  28. Lonestar July 22, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

    TT mentioned Morillo. You would also have to consider Portes, Pino, Fox and Henn before you consider Robbins, Christy, Dolenc, and Manship.

    Flush Crede, Redmond, Bonser, Duensing, Gabino, Mulvey, Butera, Buscher, Macri, Plouffe, Romero, Tolbert, and Pridie. Trade the ones most likely to get drafted and not come back: Duensing and Mulvey, at least. Plouffe and Romero would still be under team control if returned or not drafted. That’s an assumable risk given their 2009 performance.

    Protect Valencia, Slama, Bromberg, Tosoni, Burnett, Delaney, Guerra, Fox, Van Mil, Morillo, and Singleton if he’s a legit SS. That leaves two spots open.

  29. Lonestar July 22, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    Make that one spot open.

  30. Seth July 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    Mulvey’s 23, there’s no chance he’s coming off the 40 man roster at this stage. That would be silly. But I can see trading him. You know, I’m a fan of Matt Fox, but he’s not going to get added. Manship is almost a given. Portes, Pino and Henn will certainly not be added.

  31. mike wants wins July 22, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    Today’s game, and Perkins’ success in general, should remind us why no prospect should be untouchable…..

  32. TT July 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    I don’t think the Twins are going to add a bunch of 25 and older players who have yet to play a full season at AAA to their roster next fall.

    After looking at his age I agree Van Mil is unlikely to be protected. I hadn’t realized he turns 25 this fall. He is having success in A ball, but he is in a pitchers stadium and very old for the league.

    A name not mentioned yet is Kyle Waldrop who will have to be considered. If he is healthy and pitching well he should be ahead of guys like Slama.

  33. Seth July 22, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    On Van Mil, remember that pitchers who are tall generally take a couple of years longer to develop and find their release point. Secondly, he missed time last offseason and early this season… but he is 7-1 and throws 95. I think he’ll make it.

    Waldrop is worth considering. He and Rainville could have been drafted last year and weren’t. Waldrop is doing well in the bullpen this year. Not Burnett good, but good.

    Slama is a given.

  34. TT July 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Seth –

    There are still 5 weeks of the minor league season, major league callups, the instructional league and the AFL before any decisions get made. And that doesn’t consider any contract moves. There is a lot more baseball to make evaluations.

    That said, I don’t think Slama is a given. At this point, I would be surprised if he is protected on the roster and even more surprised if a team took him and kept him in the major leagues all next year.

  35. Observer July 23, 2009 at 12:38 am #

    This year you’d have to think the 25 man is going to be as much or more about needs first over potential. That’s because the Twins seem to do very little in the FA market.

    Need: Starting pitching depth. Manship, Guerra and Bromberg would have to be the top contenders here, with the last two perhaps more interesting, yet Manship more “ready”.

    Need: Relief pitching depth. Delaney, Slama, Burnett and Van Mil. Delaney is closest. Burnett’s probably the brightest prospect. Van Mil because he’s only in A ball. So unless he gets moved up to AA before the season’s out, he is available in the AA portion of the draft….meaning the Twins are essentially giving him away, because he’d probably be in New Britain next year anyway. I think it is “flip a coin” between Delaney and Slama…but not both. That said….it’s probably Slama, because he can be taken in the AAA round.

    Need: Third Base. Danny Valencia is ready for his turn at the Big League level. I don’t think any of us will be let down.

    Need MIF (2nd Base Preferred): Singleton, Dinkelman. Singleton is the better choice here. He plays both positions defensively. He hits for average and gap power (as does Dinkelman), something that the Twins have not seen up the middle in a long time. Two years younger with the added versatility gives him the edge.

    Need: No other needs.

    Potential: Tosoni. A very attractively polished package of offense and defense (all 3 positions).

    I don’t think you need to add any of the other AAA guys, because they have to be taken in the Major League round. I don’t believe any of them have done enough to warrant that consideration.

    With regards to AA, you take some chances there, but age will be a factor.

    That said, there is a possibility that if Dolenc continues to have a strong year in Ft Myers, he could be moved up to AA to force anyone interested to have to select him in the AAA round.

    So who comes off? All the marginal AAA guys. Plouffe probably stays because of his age, though he’s running out of time to show that he actually can help a big league club. I don’t know if both Casilla and Tolbert come off, but at least one probably should.

    My sense is that if they don’t deal for middle infield help, Tolbert, Casilla and Singleton battle it out in Spring. I think Singleton is the best of the three. Hits better and fields more consistently.

    Winfree, Lis, Portes, Robbins. Winfree is already at AAA. Lis is a possibility of being taken in the AAA round if not protected. Portes has age on his side, but I just don’t see anyone taking him. Robbins is a very good hitter otherwise limited, so I don’t see anything there either.

  36. sam July 23, 2009 at 9:37 am #


  37. observer July 23, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    Good call on Tollesen. Oversight on my part. I think he is in the mix. He hits, though I’m not sure about him defensively. He is already on the 40 man though. THe problem with Lis and Robbins has nothing to do with them. It has everything to do with Morneau (in Lis’ case) and Morneau and Valencia (in Robbins’ case). Garrett Jones ran into the same block.

    I think Tosoni is better than Martin….and younger. I think Winfree is ok, but who gets ousted for him? The same with Portes…..who do you bounce?

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