MLB teams have officially reported to Spring Training, and one of the more interesting teams right now in camp are the Minnesota Twins. The Twins, after losing 103 games in 2016, have hired brand new front office personnel and have signed a ray of veteran players, including outfielder Drew Stubbs, right-handed pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, left-handed pitcher Craig Breslow and catcher Chris Gimenez, as they hope to contend once again in 2017.
Out of those four players, only Craig Breslow and Chris Gimenez seem to have a legitimate chance of making camp out of Spring Training. Like we said in our last article, baseball is an unpredictable sport.
Craig Breslow, LHP
The Twins only have one left-handed pitcher in the bullpen, with Glen Perkins expected to begin the season on the DL. In order to make room for Breslow, they could make arrangements with the Red Sox in regards to Rule 5 selection Justin Haley, so they could send him down to Triple-A without returning him to Boston. The only member of the bullpen that could be optioned down to the minors is fellow lefty Taylor Rogers, who held left-handed hitters to a .202 batting average in 2016.
Another option could be to expose Michael Tonkin to waivers if his struggles from 2016 continue to show in Spring Training. Breslow's main competition is with Ryan O'Rourke and Buddy Boshers (both left-handed pitching options who could be optioned down to the minors). However, Breslow was signed to provide veteran leadership, therefore as long as Breslow pitches decent with his new arm slot, he seems to have a legitimate chance to crack the Twins' roster.
Chris Gimenez, C
Barring an injury, Chris Gimenez has a low chance of breaking camp. He's behind incumbent catcher John Ryan Murphy and Mitch Garver on the depth chart. Gimenez signed on with Minnesota due to his ties with new CBO Derek Falvey from their time in Cleveland and GM Thad Levine from their time in Texas, but that doesn't guarantee him a roster spot.
Gimenez was heavily praised by Indians' righty Trevor Bauer in 2016, as Gimenez was his personal catcher ever since the team acquired him from the Rangers in early May of last year. Gimenez will likely begin the season in Triple-A with Mitch Garver or be released right out of camp.