The Twins on Tuesday cleared the way for the starting rotation competition to get settled well before the end of camp. Minnesota optioned 5 pitchers to the minor leagues, and at least 2 of them were nominally in the hunt to break camp with the big club.
The Twins optioned Adalberto Mejia, Stephen Gonsalves, Aaron Slegers and John Curtiss to Triple-A Rochester. They optioned Fernando Romero to Double-A Chattanooga.
The rotation figures to begin with some combination of Jake Odorizzi, J.O. Berrios, and Lance Lynn. Ervin Santana joins that mix whenever he’s ready to go after his surgery. Kyle Gibson is the next in line, and Phil Hughes is healthy in camp and expected to compete for a spot in the rotation. Tyler Duffey, too, is stretched out as a starter and could get a look in the Major League rotation if things break right for him.
As for the players sent out Tuesday, Mejia was nominally in the mix for the starting staff, and to a lesser extent, so where Gonsalves, Slegers and Romero. The move to Double-A could be indicative that the Twins think Romero is further away from the Majors, although it’s widely acknowledged that he has excellent stuff.