Daily Archives: February 22, 2016
With Spring Training here, it is time to see how the players from the Kingdom of the Netherlands will do in the upcoming season. Of course there is no crystal ball and it is still up in the air, but in general you can make a decent prediction based on the performance of previous years.
Andrelton Simmons, new shortstop of the Anaheim Angels (sorry, I refused to call them Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), was acquired in a trade with the Braves that sent Erick Aybar, Sean Newcomb, Chris Ellis and cash to the Braves. Since the Braves are shedding salary and have two top prospects at the position of shortstop in the minors, they could make this move. One of the prospects is Simmons’ fellow countryman from Curacao, Ozainho Albies. But with Aybar, they can let Albies mature a bit in the minors before calling him up.
We are on the cusp of a new baseball season and that means that Spring Training is underway and players from all over the world including peach-fuzz faced rookies and grizzly old veterans are beginning their fight for a MLB roster spot, they want to be one of the 750 players on a 25-man roster participating in “The Show“. Some players are already guaranteed spots, others will win a job, and still others will get a job because someone else had the misfortune to get injured.
Baseball fans all over have been watching free agency, hot stove league action as well as play in the winter leagues and everyone has their own idea what each of the 30 GM’s should have done and what they can still do to improve the home team. One of the fun aspects of spring training is pretending to be the GM and manager and decide who gets to make the 25 man roster for the big trip up north when April rolls around.
Choosing who makes up the 25-man is no easy task because there is so much that goes into deciding who gets to wear a MLB uniform when the season-opener finally arrives. You obviously want to put your 25 best players on the roster but it is not that simple, sometimes money, politics, injuries, legal issues, MLB rules and options and just plain luck come into play. Say you have three players for a single position, one is a better hitter, one is better in the field and the third player isn’t the best hitter or fielder but can do an adequate job of both and is good in the club house, who gets the job?
Choosing a 25 man roster is important but not as big a deal as you may think. GM’s and managers have quite a bit of flexibility in changing the roster over the span of the 162 game schedule and the playoffs. If you want to be the team that wins the final baseball game of the season you need depth and 25 players doesn’t cut it. Having depth is more important than ever, the 1965 World Series team used 35 players, the 1987 team used 36 players and the 1991 Twins used 35 players. The 2015 champion Kansas City Royals needed 45 players to win it all. The number of players the Twins have used for the last 10 years has ranged from 39 to 48 players, last season the Twins used 44 players.
Today I am not going to try to guess at the 2016 Minnesota Twins 25-man roster but we are going to take a look at the number of players that the Twins have used each season for the last 10 years and determine where those players came from. Are the Twins players predominately home-grown via the draft and amateur free agent signings or did they become Minnesota Twins through the waiver wire, a trade, free agency or some other means. Every team, be it the Twins or anyone else is obviously a mix of home-grown and acquired players but some clubs like the Yankees or the Red Sox have reputations of trading their prospects for experienced players other teams can no longer afford and teams like the Twins, A’s and others believe the way to go is through growth from within. There is no right or wrong way to go, it all depends on your circumstances and your pocket-book.
The PDF shows that the Twins used 433 players during this time frame but not 433 unique players as many players were on the roster year after year. It shows the number of roster spots the Twins needed in each of those 10 seasons and how many pitchers and position players made up the roster and how the Twins got their rights.
You can read the rest of the story and check out the PDF over at Twinstrivia.com where it was originally published.
Spring training camps are up and running with games just around the corner and we’re taking a look at a couple of young players for each team that I think will have a larger impact in 2016. We started with the American League East, moved to the AL Central, hit the AL West, swung it to the National League East and today we touch on the NL Central. Keep on reading as we go division by division!
Kyle Schwarber, OF – I’ve got Schwarber on this list for numerous reasons. The first of course is his power potential and seeing that over the length of a season (played 69 games in 2015). Second, we’re going to see a more disciplined hitter I think. Schwarber as a minor leaguer carried a .333 batting average in his two seasons, but only hit .246 with the Cubs, and struck out 28% of time in the Majors compared to 20% in the Minors, so adjustments will be made. Additionally, Schwarber had a very good .842 OPS for Chicago last year, but his Minor Leaguer career shows room for improvement as well where he had a 1.042 OPS. The main focus for Kyle this year though, will have to be working on hitting lefties much better, as he hit just .143 off of them, with just a .481 OPS in 61 plate appearances. This is one guy I am seriously excited to watch grow this year.
JIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES
It is time for the Sunday Request.
@sullybaseball Do you think that Pablo will help eat up ground on the other AL East contenders? Nice off season working out, Kung Fu Whale.
— Pat Tarantino (@PATJAY13) February 18, 2016
Yup. Pablo Sandoval is fat. He was fat. He is fat. He may always be fat. And that is no way to win over fans.
That and some spring cleaning on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
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