With four Twins outrighted off 40-man roster Wednesday, who's next?
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins announced their first wave of roster moves following the 2013 season by outrighting four players off the 40-man roster on Tuesday.
RP Shairon Martis
OF Clete Thomas
As a result, the 40-man roster presently stands at 36.
This is just the first wave of cuts, however. General manager Terry Ryan hinted that there could be as many as 15-18 players moved off the 40-man in any given offseason, and that this winter is likely to be no exception.
So who should the next round of cuts include? Here are a few names the Twins will likely consider trimming off the roster:
1B Chris Colabello - His age and on-field MLB experience works against him. He would likely re-sign with Twins on a minor league deal, however.
C Eric Fryer - His removal seems to be just a formality. Fryer is 28 and has little to show for the past two years in Triple-A.
IF Doug Bernier - He only got 10 plate appearances in an awful September for the Twins, and he is in roughly the same boat as Fryer in terms of long-term utility to the club. He should be removed in short order.
OF Wilkin Ramirez - He could be removed once healthy. He has all the physical tools to succeed, but can't stay healthy and has showed very little on the big stage when he's gotten the shot.
OF Darin Mastroianni - He went from the possible opening day centerfielder to possible roster casualty on the heels of an injury-riddled season. Once healthy, Mastroianni played poorly and could be pushed off the roster by Alex Presley.
SP B.J. Hermsen - He was absolutely battered at Double-A -- 1-10, 4.81 ERA, 3.7 K/9 -- and should be removed from the roster before long.
SP Andrew Albers - Pitched moderately well in his short time in the big leagues, but likely doesn't have long-term future in a big league rotation with sub-standard velocity. He should be safe this offseason, but if Twins start spending money, he could be trimmed.
SP Liam Hendriks - His late-season performance, age, one more option year, and late-season hints from Ryan seem to suggest he's safe. If additions are made over the offseason, those players could bump him off, however. He still has the look of a Quad-A type.
RP Brian Duensing - The left-hander's overall numbers were much better than the previous two seasons, but his performance against left-handed hitters -- his bread and butter -- slipped considerably. Due a raise from the $1.3 million he made in 2013, he's a non-tender candidate.
As for the players trimmed Wednesday, here is a look into why they were worthy cuts.
De Vries, a product of Eden Prairie High School, won a rotation spot out of spring training before forearm woes placed him on the disabled list in April. His season never really gained any traction as he rehabbed in the minor leagues, and his September cup of coffee went poorly (10.80 ERA).
Martis' call-up was a bit of a surprise, but he had pitched well in the bullpen at Triple-A Rochester in recent months. From July 1 until he arrived in Minnesota, Martis threw 34 1/3 innings with a 2.62 ERA, .497 OPS allowed, and a solid 33-9 K/BB ratio. Martis previously pitched in the major leagues with the Washington Nationals in 2008 and '09.
Roenicke spent the entire season with the Twins after spending parts of five seasons with the Rockies, Blue Jays, and Reds. Roenicke's 4.35 ERA masked ugly peripherals, including just 6.5 strikeouts per 9 innings, 5.2 walks per 9 innings, a 1.60 WHIP, and the worst expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP) among all big leaguers who tallied at least 50 innings. He was nearly half a run worse than the next worst qualifier.
Thomas spent his second season in the Twins organization in 2013, and had his contract purchased by the Twins on June 3. And while Thomas did well not to replicate his ugly 2012 performance -- 16 strikeouts in 29 plate appearances -- offensive highlights were few and far between for the fill-in centerfielder. Thomas hit .214/.290/.307 with 92 strikeouts in 322 plate appearances.