Young Twins hurler Fernando Romero is one of several of the club’s pitchers who could end up in a variety of roles when camp breaks, Phil Miller of the Star Tribune writes. While the rotation appears to be largely settled, perhaps it’s not out of the question that he could force his way into a job there — or, of course, take an opening if there’s an injury. Otherwise, Romero could certainly head back to Triple-A to continue developing and serve as depth. Most intriguingly, though, is the possibility that he’d stay with the MLB club as a reliever. While there’s an argument to be made that doing so now might make it less likely to capture his true upside, the Twins see several elements that make Romero a particularly interesting relief candidate. His prior injury history is one element; it also stands to reason that he’d thrive if allowed to focus on his two best pitches (fastball/slider) in shorter stints. The front office still seems to be contemplating the possibilities — closer competitor? multi-inning piggyback mate for Martin Perez? — with plans to wait and see how things look in Fort Myers.
A few more items from the AL Central …
- All indications are that the Royals believe they can rebound quickly from a down 2018 season and the loss of their prior slate of core players. That seems optimistic from the outside, but we certainly don’t know all that the club does about its own players. First/third baseman Hunter Dozier is one of several players who seems to have a big opportunity ahead of him, as John Sleezer of the Kansas City Star writes. Though he took his lumps in the big leagues last year, Dozier says he felt a change after he settled in at the game’s highest level. “Once things started clicking,” he says, “I got my confidence back and then it became a lot of fun again.” Of course, while Dozier did boost his performance later in the year, his .247/.287/.453 post-All-Star break slash line does highlight the biggest question facing him from an offseason perspective — i.e., whether he’ll consistently get on base. In the field, the team observed big strides, but it remains to be seen whether Dozier can handle third at even a roughly league-average level. He also graded as a very poor baserunner. Clearly, there’s plenty of risk in this profile, but the Royals still seem to have faith — or, at least, feel they need to use the coming season to see what they have in Dozier and a few other as-yet-unestablished players.
- As the White Sox continue to chase Manny Machado, Mark Lazerus of The Athletic (subscription link) looks at what that has meant for some of the team’s existing infielders. Yolmer Sanchez and Tim Anderson, could stand to see their own situations disrupted — whether by a loss of playing time, a change of position, or perhaps even a trade. Both Sanchez and Anderson say they are in favor of anything that moves the club closer to putting a championship contender on the field, though the latter certainly did not sound particularly inclined to hand over his slot at shortstop. “I’m not just going to give him shortstop,” says Anderson of a hypothetical acquisition of Machado. “I’m not just going to bow to him. That’ my position. … It’s mine until somebody takes it.” Just what the team’s plans would be if they do secure Machado’s services aren’t clear. Many have wondered whether a promise to play him at short would be part of the bargain, though GM Rick Hahn did suggest the star has indicated he’ll defer to the team’s positional preferences. In any event, the first order of business is to get Manny (or perhaps another star) to sign on — an ongoing priority that Hahn has made no secret of.
Sensationalism on the comments again….Yolmer Sanchez joked about Manny and fighting him for the 3B job…..
If the White Sox were fortunate enough to sign Manny Machado it wouldn’t just be Yolmer Sanchez and Tim Anderson who could be looking at a position change or trade as a result. Yoan Moncada could be in this potential scenario as well.
The White Sox plan had been to move Moncada off of 2B and to 3B in order to accommodate Nick Madrigal at the keystone position sooner rather than later. If they whiff on Machado, this transition could happen as soon as this coming season in what figures to be their final year of the rebuild. Madrigal is on a fast-track to his MLB debut and could see Guaranteed Rate Field as soon as the 2020 season. He is being counted on as a foundation piece at the leadoff or #2 spot of the batting order as well as possessing Gold Glove caliber defense at 2B. It would make more sense for the White Sox to expedite Moncada’s transition to 3B this year than wait until 2020 when the White Sox prefer to become more relevant in the AL Central and not have to use that season as another one of “musical chairs” with the alignment of key players on the field.
Machado’s signing could signal a position change or trade for Tim Anderson or Yolmer Sanchez but Moncada situation could be impacted as well with Madrigal’s quick ascension to the South Side.
You should be a sports writer.
Moncada was a product of the East Coast hype machine to induce a team like the White Sox to folk over what little vetted talent they had. Reinsdorf figured he’d just piggyback off the Red Sox superior scouting department and rely on their findings. Well, he got played and gave away Sale for a .240 second baseman and a issues-plagued pitcher at the precipice of TJ Surgery.
When Dombrowski balked at trading Devers rather than the so-called #1 prospect in MLB, I would have run not walked to Cashman and made a deal for Gleybar Torres and others.
Chicks Dig the Longball
Dude it’s been one season, give them a chance.
Chicks Dig the Longball
I don’t see what everyone else sees with Madrigal. I get it, he doesn’t strike out, he also only had 7 extra base hits in over 150 abs. If it hits well enough to be a major leaguer then great, but wouldn’t be “clearing space” for the guy.
His bigger issue is he needs to walk more so he can raise his OBP. I see him sliding into the #2 spot eventually, so it will matter a little less if he’s on 1st or 2nd when Eloy, Abreu (if he’s still there), and others come up. His main job will be getting on base and getting Robert (whom I presume will be the leadoff guy) into scoring position.
No, he doesn’t have a lot of power and never will, but some of the power he does have was sapped by a wrist injury last spring. Assuming that’s healed, he should go back to getting more doubles this next year.
Also, if you think a guy who can hit .300 every year and play Gold Glove caliber defense isn’t worth clearing space for, I’m glad you’re not managing the White Sox. He may never be a superstar, but that is a very solid major leaguer.
This is not the “final year of the rebuild.” Jimenez will be on the major league club by June and maybe Collins or Zavala will make their debut this year, but Madrigal, Robert, Rutherford, and Adolfo have yet to play above A+, Cease and Dunning have has 114 AA IP between them and probably won’t get more than a callup if they do well, and Kopech obviously won’t pitch again till 2020. If everything goes perfectly then maybe they will show signs of life in 2020 and some of those guys will start to make MLB debuts over the next two years, but I don’t think they can reasonably expect to be relevant till 2021 at the earliest.
After spending some time at SoxFest over the weekend, I learned that Yolmer is absolutely hilarious, and that everybody on the team loves him. And not only is he a great clubhouse guy, but he’s a damned solid bench player who can play IF or OF. I don’t think signing Machado makes a bit of a difference for him. He should be on the roster as a utility player regardless.
Agreed. Everyone talks about Abreu and the presence he brings to the team (and don’t get me wrong he does) but there’s something infectious about the way yolmer plays the game
At this point, don’t care to read anything about Harper or Machado until they’ve signed somewhere. Enough palavering.
Just read a feed that Harper most likely has already signed and the reveal will be seen as a Super Bowl commercial with MLB the Show 19 to reveal their new cover…
If Harper, Boras and the team have been able to keep this signing under wraps as well as they have, that would be the most amazing thing in sports I have seen in my lifetime.
Harper is already on the cover and he’s wearing a black and white hoodie.
Yep, came out a while ago already.
That’s a white and dark blue hoodie. Pretty clear Yankee colors. Who knows, but I don’t see a need for the Yankees to sign him.
It’s White and Black, and the Yankees aren’t.
I think you need to check the colors closely.
Palavering is a word not used enough! Well. Unless you are Stephen King. He uses it fairly often.
Palavering. Great word. Good way to start the week.
Sox can’t wait any longer for Machado and Harper to sign.
What’s the Sox next move? 3B? OF? SP?
Missing out on both Machado and Harper would suck. But throwing money at subprime FAs would be pointless. All the Sox can do is prepare for the draft, and continue focusing on player development at every level. Fans should tune out again this season.
They absolutely can wait. If neither signs, they have zero reason to go out and grab other free agents this year. Let the kids develop and try for a big free agent again next year.
Wouldn’t Kuechel look good in a Sox uni?
Not as good as Sale would next year, cut up or not.
Would LOVE to see Sale back in the fold. Doubt that’ll happen, tho…
Yikes I hope we don’t waste Romero on the pen he’s got great upside as a starter
Johan Santana started in the bullpen until he could figure some things out so it’s a good option if a pitcher needs to polish a couple things. That said, Romero just doesn’t have the same upside as he did a couple years ago. He’s probably a back end of the rotation type of pitcher. One of many, many, many such arms the Twins have.
A lot more upside than Perez.
Same thing occurred with Carlos Carrasco with the Indians. Time in the bullpen enabled him to refine his stuff and work on the mental part of the game. Could be a good move by the Twins.
For decades teams brought along young starting pitchers from the bullpen. Often they were 5th starters that would miss a turn if the team had a rain-out or an off-day. They would pitch long relief if a starter got injured or shelled – at least 3 innings.
Now with the silly pitch counting and relief pitchers usually held to one inning or less, starters pitch out of the bullpen primarily using their top 2 pitches. The batters know what’s coming, so it’s power vs. power……and the youngster overthrows, doesn’t develop secondary pitches, never learns to set-up hitters and how to pitch.
I don’t think the pitch count has changed much since the early 2000s. It’s certainly been at 100 for the last 15 years.
Pitchers were just a heck of a lot more efficient years ago. If you weren’t throwing 65%+ strikes, you were going to have a bad day on the mound.
Pitchers didn’t throw nearly as hard years ago. There were outliers like Nolan Ryan, but now there’s a dozen guys who touch 100 regularly. It’s just a different game. All sports evolve based on new information.
I’m fine with Romero in the pen as that’s where I always thought he’d end up anyway. He’s a two pitch pitcher. If he can finally develop the changeup then great but he’s not there yet.
Chicks Dig the Longball
He reminds me of Seranthony Dominguez. Was a decent prospect as a starter, but moved to the pen and became dominant.
I’ve got some questions about a few guys I’ve not been able to find out anything on:
Has anyone read anything on these three guys?
All three of them suck now, but the last one is signed through 2020.
Hope that helps!
Ervin Santana was supposedly drawing widespread interest and was set up for pitching in the Dominican Winter League but seems to have never thrown a pitch. It’s a really bad marketing strategy to say you’re going to be ready to pitch and then not do it.
Basically, I expect Ervin Santana’s career is over, but he’ll probably get a minor league contract with a spring training invite once rosters are pretty well finalized.
Thanks for the update. Sorry to hear that.
At times with the Angels he would have eye-popping hot streaks – pretty much a #3-4 starter. When he got to KC he learned to pitch, matured, became consistent, and evolved to a #1-2 starter for years with multiple teams.
He had a great career. Was fun to watch, and entertained the hometown fans.
I think the Dodgers had some minor interest in Gattis but eventually determined he couldn’t catch on even a part-time basis anymore. Gattis is older than you’d think – he’ll turn 33 this season, and power is the only tool; his plate discipline is getting worse every year, and he has no defensive value anywhere. There are a lot of guys like that every year that just sort of fade away – remember Chris Carter a few years ago? Santana was pretty good in 2017, but is probably in the injury spiral most pitchers hit in their mid-30s. Samardzija is still under contract with the Giants, although the one skill he always had- health – deserted him last season.
Yeah, I know Santana and Samardzija had disappointing ‘18 seasons. Gattis had good catcher points but loses his eligibility (and any value)
for ‘19. Just hasn’t been much reporting on them.
Hard to cut bait on previous producers sometimes. Thanks for your insight.
It’s not about Santana’s stats at all.
It’s about the fact he dropped 4+mph and had a couple multi-month setbacks after what was supposed to be a 6-8 week recovery time minor surgery on his throwing hand.
Santana isn’t effective when throwing 88-89mph instead of 93-94mph.
They’re all working for Ru Paul now as drag queens on the LOGO network….Evan Gattis in a dress is an amazing visual……
I love that Tim Anderson isn’t just conceding his position, great mentality of a competitor.
Yes, but that’s big talk with a guy with his terrible slash line
He’s only got 400+ at-bats in the majors. The potential is there, he needs time to develop.
How many AB’s does Anderson have?
Los Calcetines Rojos
he has over 1500+ ABs in the bigs.. this will be his 4th season as a player on the Sox roster and if he fails to show any significant progress in the field and at the plate then I’m afraid he’s backing himself off the team.
Nearly 1700 PA’s and just broke 50 career walks last year. That is disgusting for a guy who doesn’t make much contact
My bad, he has nearly 3 years worth. I still see plenty of talent and potential there. A move to CF might do him some good.
Tim already made significant progress in the field last year and became a VERY good defensive shortstop (and base runner). He also more than doubled his BB% while dropping his K%. Those percentages obviously still aren’t where everyone would like them to be, but he absolutely has made some very nice strides, and he shouldn’t be written off any time soon.
Chicks Dig the Longball
Dude has nearly 1000 at bats. So I guess you aren’t wrong it is more than 400. Aslo why move him to CF, he was great defensively last season. That’s the reason he was an everyday player. You are taking away all of his value. Why would you be so cruel?
The White Sox must feel like the guy who has money and wants to marry the pretty woman but she’s making sure there aren’t any better looking guys out there with coin before she takes the leap with him.
Did you say the same about J.D. Martinez waiting for a bigger contract last off-season?
No because JD was being courted by a rich dude who wasn’t fugly.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Tim Freakin Anderson, agree that is awesome
Good for Tim Anderson for not bowing out to a prima donna.
There is zero chance the Sox would sign Machado to play SS and anyone who writes otherwise doesn’t understand baseball.
Yolmer was alsways a utility IF.
Because he is way better at 3b, and they have a need at 3b. Doesn’t make sense to move multiple players off their their best spot to accommodate 1 player.
For 2019, does it really matter where Machado plays on the field? He can play SS this year, and Anderson can start playing CF. Leave Yolmer at 3rd until Madrigal gets promoted. At that point, move Moncada to 3rd, Madrigal at 2nd, and Machado at SS for the remainder of the season. If Machado’s bad at 3rd, at least you gave him the courtesy of trying. Move him back to 3rd in 2020, it’s as simple as that. I can see Anderson in CF longterm anyway.
I get what you’re saying and during this next season barring any other major moves, most likely wouldn’t matter. With that said I am still not a fan of that much moving players around. I say put them where they will be and let them get more experience at 1 place instead of all over.
I understand. Keep in mind, it’s a very young team with prospects on the way—change is inevitable. Try to see them more as Infielders, vs. 2nd or 3rd basemen for now.
I was actually at SoxFest over the weekend. Machado has “said” that he’ll play wherever the team needs him. And being completely objective, he himself would have to admit that he’s better at 3B, and the team has a need at 3B. The club really likes Timmy at SS, and he did improve a lot last year, particularly on defense.
All that being said, if playing SS is what it would take to get Machado into a White Sox uniform, they’ll trade him to the Chunichi Dragons quicker than a hiccup. They’re not moving him to OF, because they have Eloy Jimenez coming up this year to play LF, and Luis Robert (possibly this year, likely next) to play CF.
You want to replace Engel..
1) He’s an elite third baseman and mediocre shortstop
2) They have a shortstop that is quickly becoming an excellent defender
There’s more than a 0% chance they’d give him short just to sign him, but it certainly wouldn’t be the smartest move.
Yolmer shouldn’t be hitting in any MLB lineup regularly. Anderson at 3B is an interesting idea.
Yolmer would be a perfect INF utility guy for a contending team. If the Sox sign Machado, I’d definitely keep Sanchez for depth. Machado at 3B, Anderson at SS, and Moncada at 2B. That’s solid.
What about Nick Madrigal? He projects as a GG infielder and potential batting champion (rarely strikes out, excellent eye-hand coordination, blah blah). The Sox need to keep a spot open at 2nd or SS for him.
No they don’t. It’s simple: when he’s ready to play in the majors (no less than a year from now), he forces the weakest player off his spot.
What I’m saying Madrigal projects as a better player than all the infielders they have now. And none of the positions on this team other than 1st base, have been solidified yet.
I don’t think Madrigal projects better than Moncada projects. There’s a reason they traded a future HOFer in his prime to get Yoan.
Chicks Dig the Longball
I just don’t see that. Madrigal may not strike out but he doesn’t hit for any power whatsoever. If he starts hitting more, then sure move a guy off for him, but I am not clearing spots for a guy who may have a career ops below .700.
Much more solid later when Madrigal at 2B. Moncada needs to swing earlier in the count when warranted. Can’t be mister take a strike for the sake of seeing more pitches when you are a hitter who inherently struggles to make contact. It may work against bad pitchers that are prone to walking guys, but not against those who have even decent command. Book is to get strike 1 looking and mess with him from there.
I really hope Moncada has worked on pulling the trigger this winter. He struck out looking *85 times* in 2018. The next highest total in the majors was 56. That’s an unfathomable amount, but it also shows his sky-high K-rate can be reduced by tweaking his approach to be more aggressive.
I don’t get it, what has Romero done to deserve a demotion to the bullpen other than being a rookie who had his “ups” and “downs” last year. I mean, look at Berrios’ rookie year, much worse than Romero’s…
Romero has struggled to hit the strike zone and hasn’t seen good K rates in years. After a promising start, hitters were quick to figure him out and were absolutely crushing his pitches.
Romero either doesn’t have the talent fans were hoping he did or he needs some time to work on his craft. Romero is out of options (used in 2016, 2017, 2018) so the Twins can’t use another option to keep him in AAA and they certainly don’t want to just give him up by DFA’ing him. He can work on his craft in lower leverage situations from the bullpen while the Twins evaluate his talent. Same thing they’re going to to do with a bunch of other guys like Kohl Stewart.
I never got the Romero hype. He’s definitely not on Berrios’ level. He needs to develop a third pitch to survive as a starter. I always figured he would end up in the BP.
That being said I’d sure rather see Romero in the rotation than Perez.
I respect Tim Anderson’s position. He has improved his production each year at the ML level. You want it? Outperform me! Highly motivating for both players.
Sometimes I wonder, is there a pro down-voter on this site who just stalks users and down-votes them? LOL
Both Tim Anderson and Moncada are athletic enough to change positions if necessary. Now I’d much rather have Anderson at SS than Machado not sure if Moncada is a 3B or has enough arm for the OF.