Wetmore: Assigning Byron Buxton, Alex Meyer to minors early is logical
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The Twins on Sunday announced a slew of cuts from Major League spring training. They optioned seven players and reassigned nine to minor league camp.
Most notable among those players are Byron Buxton and Alex Meyer and Miguel Sano.
Having high-profile names in this wave of cuts is not unusual, as Phil Mackey pointed out Monday morning on the Mackey & Judd show. (It's too bad for Judd Zulgad, who will be vacationing in Florida and would like to see Buxton and Meyer in Major League camp, but from a competitive standpoint it's no big deal.)
Buxton was an extreme long-shot to make the Opening Day roster, as he hasn't yet seen any action beyond Class-A Advanced. I would be a little surprised to see Buxton receive a September call-up, but a 2015 arrival seems reasonable.
Sano, of course, will miss the 2014 season following Tommy John surgery, which he's scheduled to have Wednesday in New York, his agent confirmed. There's hope that Sano can return to action in time to participate in the Arizona Fall League and perhaps play Winter Ball next offseason. An early 2015 promotion to the Majors doesn't seem out of the question.
As for Meyer, the Twins staff, including pitching coach Rick Anderson, really like his upside. He may have a little more to polish in the minor leagues but Anderson said during the first week of spring training that it's not unrealistic to see Meyer in the Majors at some point in 2014. Meyer struck out 10.8 batters per nine innings in 70 Double-A innings in 2013. He dealt with a shoulder injury but returned in time to pitch effectively in the Arizona Fall League. (Meyer was a guest of the Sports Over Beers podcast several weeks ago and that interview can be heard here, midway through episode 5.)
So no big deal that these three players - who are not on the 40-man roster - have been sent to minor league camp. The move allows more time to acclimate to minor league camp, more playing time, and more individualized instruction from the coaching staff. The long-term prospect of each player still appears bright.
Here's the full list of players:
OPTIONED to Triple-A Rochester
LHP Logan Darnell
LHP Edgar Ibarra
LHP Brooks Raley
RHP Trevor May (May also was a guest of episode 5 of Sports Over Beers, heard here.)
OPTIONED to Double-A New Britain
1B Kennys Vargas
OPTIONED to Single-A Fort Myers
INF Jorge Polanco
OF/IF Max Kepler
REASSIGNED to minor league camp
OF Byron Buxton
OF Chris Rahl
IF Miguel Sano
RHP Alex Meyer
RHP Lester Oliveros
RHP Yohan Pino
C Kyle Knudson
C Matt Koch
C Stuart Turner
The team now has 48 players in camp, according to the Twins: 22 pitchers (5 non-roster), 5 catchers (1 non-roster), 12 infielders (5 non-roster) and 9 outfielders (4 non-roster).