Tuesday, April 29, 2014

25-Man Roster Dissection: Sam Fuld

The Twins have gone through a little bit of a roster shake-up in the last couple of weeks. This lead to Darin Mastroianni returning to Toronto, the team the Twins originally claimed him from. Mastroianni was available because the Twins claimed Sam Fuld from the Oakland Athletics. Both of these players have similar skill sets so there was no reason to have them both on the roster.

Fuld had already made an appearance at Target Field earlier this season when he visited with the Oakland Athletics. He hit a home run in one of his 15 at-bats so maybe the Twins like what they saw from him. Fuld is probably most famous for his tenure with the Rays organization, where he became a fan favorite.

2013 Recap: .199/.270/.267, 2 HR, 0 2B, 17 RBI (119 Games)
Fuld played the most big league games of his career in 2013 but the results weren't exactly fantastic. He hit under .200 and his slugging percentage was actually lower than his on-base percentage. His defense in the outfield is good enough to play center field but he doesn't have the power numbers to get consistent playing time in a corner spot. The Rays continued to play Fuld even though he was hitting below his career numbers across the board. In 2012, Fuld played in limited action but he hit above his career average. He had 20 steals in 2011 but he played over 100 games and he hasn't gotten back close to that number in recent years.

Forecasting 2014: .236/.312/.368, 2 HR, 7 2B, 25 RBI (85 Games)
It's hard to know what kind of role Fuld will play with the Twins. He got some playing time in his first series with the club but some of that time was to give other players on the roster a break. He's 32-years old so there isn't a ton of upside to having him on the roster. His ability to back-up center field is a plus since Aaron Hicks might need to have an occasional mental break. Ideally, the Twins will be using other players on the roster on a more frequent basis and Fuld can serve as a late-inning defense replacement or a pinch runner. If Fuld does get more playing time, it will likely be due to the fact that one of the other regular outfielders suffered some kind of injury. This is probably not something the Twins would not like to see from a player on the fringes of their roster.

25-Man Roster Safety: On the Fringe

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