It’s officially the half way point in the Twins’ Spring Training schedule, and Paul Molitor and his staff have made the first round of cuts to the roster.
Lefty Stephen Gonsalves and righties Fernando Romero and Aaron Slegers were assigned to Minor League camp, while Mason Melotakis (LHP) was optioned to Triple-A Rochester and Felix Jorge (RHP) and Randy Rosario (LHP) were optioned to Double-A Chattanooga. Romero was also optioned to Chattanooga.
Gonsalves (my No. 1 prospect) and Slegers (No. 30) never really had a great shot at making the Opening Day roster, as they were both non-roster invitees. Melotakis (No. 22) hadn’t appeared in a game all spring after straining an oblique muscle before camp, so he’ll start the year in Triple-A. I imagine if he strings together a few good performances at Rochester he could be up with the Twins pretty soon if anyone in the pen struggles.
Jorge (No. 7) made only two appearances this spring, allowing two earned runs on two hits, including a home run, while striking out one and walking one in 0.2 innings pitched. Rosario (No. 34) and Romero (No. 4) both had strong performances this spring, with neither of the two allowing a run in a combined 6.1 innings pitched. Romero struck out two and walked one in three innings pitched, while Rosario struck out three in 3.1 innings.
In three appearances, Gonsalves struck out three and walked one in 3.1 innings pitched before he was sidelined with some soreness in his left shoulder. Slegers allowed two earned runs on two hits, including a home run, and two walks while striking out one in 2.2 innings pitched. Despite the rough numbers, Twins manager Paul Molitor told MLB.com Twins beat writer Rhett Bollinger, “Slegers came even better than advertised for me. I heard a lot of things about [his] makeup, but the way he threw the ball was good.”
Some other news and highlights from Twins Spring Training:
- Just three days after my last update, the Twins designated Pat Light (my No. 24 prospect) for assignment, and ended up trading him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later. I’ll post an official updated rankings once the MLB Draft is over, but for now I think I am going to slide Rule 5 draft pick Justin Haley into the No. 24 spot. His Spring Training numbers right now are nothing to write home about — 10 hits, six runs (five earned) in 8.2 innings pitched — but he has averaged 113 strikeouts over his last four seasons in the minors with a 3.51 ERA in that time span. There’s some potential here, but it will likely be a while before he makes a fantasy impact.
- Niko Goodrum (No. 45) launched a game-tying three-run home run to right field in the Twins’ 9-4 win over Tampa Bay on Monday. Goodrum is hitting .308/.357/.538 with one walk and two strikeouts in 10 games this spring.
- Daniel Palka (No. 8) has only three hits in 15 at bats this spring (one of which was crushed into the left field bullpen) and has struck out five times, but he is also showing some impressive plate discipline by leading the Twins with seven walks. He is one of only 10 players to have seven or more walks this spring as of March 13.
- After a rough go in his first two spring outings (seven hits, four earned runs, zero strikeouts in two innings pitched, J.T. Chargois (No. 11) has settled down over his last four appearances, allowing only one earned run on five hits with seven strikeouts over four innings pitched. While the total stat line for his spring doesn’t look good on paper, his showing over the last four innings of work are helping him make a good case for a spot in the Twins bullpen to start the year.