October 27, 2008

Twins drop a few

The Twins dropped 4 players from the 40-man roster over the weekend. All four spent all or at least the majority of their time in the minor leagues this season, and all were still retained after clearing waivers.

Oswaldo Sosa was probably the hardest player to outright. The 23-year-old right-hander was an up-and-coming prospect prior to the 2008 season. Sosa originally from Tovar Merida, Venezuela, the same city as former Twins ace Johan Santana. Sosa signed as a 16-year-old un-drafted free agent in 2002. He started in the Twins system in 2004 at 18 years old in the GCL. Over the next 4 seasons he posted a 26-24 record with a 3.02 ERA through 390 innings of work. In 2008, he spent time in both Double-A New Britain as well as Advanced-A Ft. Myers. He went 4-7 in 30 games (19 starts), he also posted a combined 5.65 ERA. This regression allowed the Twins to make a move which looks to have payed off.

The other players were catcher Ryan Jorgenson, pitcher Julio DePaula and infielder Sergio Santos.

Jorgensen, 29, was a September Call-Up to take on the role as third catcher for the Twins which allowed the team to sometime use both Mike Redmond and Joe Mauer in the same game. He only appeared in two games and went hit less in his only at bat with the Twins. With the Rochester Red Wings, he hit .247/.314/.429 with 8 home runs and 25 RBI in 198 AB's. The Twins likely view Jose Morales and Drew Butera more highly than Jorgensen, however Morales was injured and Butera is extremely limited with the bat, allowing Jorgensen to get a look.

DePaula, 26, was a solid relief pitcher prior to the 2008 season but really regressed in '08. I think it's a little surprising that a team didn't take a flier on him. Prior to the 2008 season, DePaula was 36-25 with a 2.85 ERA in 219 games (11 starts). But in '08, like Sosa we saw a regression. DePaula went 3-5 with a 5.70 ERA in 51 games (5 starts) to go along with a bad 1.64 WHIP. DePaula doesn't look to figure into the Twins' bullpen plans, but could eventually latch on with another team.

Finally Santos was claimed off of waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays in May. A former first-round pick, Santos was nothing special either offensively or defensively last season. Just a year after hitting 20 home runs with an OPS of .802, Santos hit just 5 long balls in '08 and compiled a .653 OPS. Santos played both shortstop and third base this season but doesn't figure to be considered for either position on the major league roster.

The Twins now have 34 spots occupied on the 40-man roster and with the likely departures of Adam Everett, Eddie Guardado and Dennys Reyes and possibly a few others (Randy Ruiz and Matt Macri perhaps), the Twins will likely have at least 9 spots open on the roster to add several key minor league players that will need to be added to remain protected. Also, the team needs to keep a few spots open to add any new incoming players.