Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Twins clean up 40-man roster

The Twins did a little housecleaning to their 40-man roster on Monday with midnight being the deadline for non-tendering players. The players who were arbitration eligible included Alexi Casilla, Francisco Liriano, Jose Mijares, and Glen Perkins. Kevin Slowey would have also been included in the group if he had not been traded to the Rockies during last week's Winter Meetings. One of the four arbitration eligible players would not survive the day on the roster for the Twins of Minnesota.

Last night, word came out that the Twins had non-tendered Mijares and he is now on the free agent market with little chance of returning to the Twins. In 2002, the Twins signed Mijares as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela. The 6-foot-0 tall, left-handed hurler made his way onto the major league team by 2008 where he posted a very impressive 0.87 ERA in ten innings pitched during September. The 2009 season would be his best in a Twins uniform where over the course of 61.2 innings he amassed a 2.34 ERA with 55 strikeouts and a 1.184 WHIP. The Twins watched the next two seasons as Mijares showed up to Spring Training overweight and this could be the reason for the variety of injuries that have plagued him during this time. His performance on the field was also impacted as he averaged 41 innings pitched with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.543 WHIP between 2010 and 2011. The organization has brought in a lot of other bullpen options and it seems that their time with Mijares had run its course.

Earlier in the day, it was announced that Jim Hoey had been claimed off of the waiver wire by the Toronto Blue Jays. The Twins had received Hoey as one part of the JJ Hardy trade from last offseason. In his one season with the Twins, Hoey was only able to pitch 24.1 innings to the tune of a 5.47 ERA and a 1.905 WHIP. His high caliber fastball was fun to watch but control was a problem and he has spent his entire professional career searching for a secondary pitch. He was unlikely to fit into he plans of the team next season but maybe he will be able to find a home in Toronto. On his Twitter account he left this final message to Twins fans, "I enjoyed everything Minnesota had to offer but it's time to be Canadian! At least I don't have to give up those bombs to Bautista." On May 14 of this past season with the game tied at 3 in the top of the eleventh inning, Hoey gave up a home run to Jose Bautista. The Twins would go on to lose the game by a final score of nine to three.

The other less significant 40-man roster decision on Monday came as the team outrighted newly acquire shortstop Pedro Florimon to Triple-A Rochester. A week ago the Twins had claimed Florimon from the Orioles and placed him on the 40-man roster. The 25-year old shortstop spent most of last season at the Double-A level where he hit .267/.344/.396 as a switch hitter. Terry Ryan seemed intrigued by his athletic ability and he did steal 12 bases last season. In a brief September call-up, he hit .125/.222/.472 with six strikeouts in eight at-bats. The Twins hope his change in scenery can bring out a little more from the player.

With all of these moves, the Twins 40-man roster has now been cut to 37 players. The team is still looking to add a right fielder for one of those spots and that would bring the roster to 38 members. The other spots could be left open for some flexibility during the season but the Twins would still like to add some pitching depth before Spring Training starts.

No comments: