With eight games until the end of Spring Training, infielder Ehire Adrianza isn’t assured of a spot on the Twins’ Opening Day roster, writes LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Adrianza is out of minor league options, so if he doesn’t break camp with the club he’d be exposed to outright waivers. Minnesota’s addition of Marwin Gonzalez and the emergence of Willians Astudillo have left Adrianza without a clear role. Gonzalez will open the season as the primary third baseman while Miguel Sano rehabs a foot injury, but the Twins could go with a bench consisting of catcher Mitch Garver, outfielder Jake Cave, first baseman Tyler Austin (also out of minor league options) and Astudillo. Cave has options remaining, and Gonzalez can play the outfield, but they’d be rather thin on outfielders if Cave opened the year in Triple-A. Adrianza has enjoyed a nice spring, but he’s in a tough spot at the moment. He’s set to earn $1.3MM after avoiding arbitration, but they’d only owe him about $315K of that sum if they cut him loose between now and Opening Day. If he hits waivers, another club would have to take on that $1.3MM salary in order to claim him.
More from the division…
- Danny Salazar’s progress in his recovery from 2018 shoulder surgery has “skyrocketed” in the past 10 to 14 days, Indians manager Terry Francona said Monday (link via Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer). Salazar had slogged through a pair of “down weeks” but has quickly bounced back to the point where he’s playing long toss from a distance of 180 feet. There’s still no clear timetable as to when Salazar will reemerge as a bullpen option in Cleveland — Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber have rotation spots locked down — but if healthy, he’d add a big arm to a relief corps that is lacking in established arms behind closer Brad Hand.
- The Royals are still trying to determine which of the several right field options they have in camp will make the roster, writes Rustin Dodd of The Athletic (subscription required). Manager Ned Yost has said that Jorge Soler will be in the lineup nearly everyday, splitting time between DH and right field, but the Royals still have Brian Goodwin, Brett Phillips and Jorge Bonifacio as candidates for significant innings in right. None of that trio has had a good spring, however, and Goodwin is out of minor league options. Terrance Gore, on the active roster after signing a big league deal this winter, is viewed as more of a bench option than a candidate to log many starts in the outfield. There will likely be occasional at-bats at the other outfield slots, but Alex Gordon and Billy Hamilton will get the bulk of the playing time in left field and center field, respectively. Dodd ultimately runs through the entire lineup and pitching staff in making his projections as to which 25 players will break camp and comprise the Opening Day roster.
- Gordon Beckham spoke with Chris McCosky of the Detroit News about his transformation from lauded top prospect to a journeyman bouncing from minor league deal to minor league deal. In camp with the Tigers on a minor league pact, Beckham was candid in discussing his ups and downs and many of the difficult moments he’s faced in his career. Struggling for the first time in his career at the big league level with the White Sox, Beckham said the pressure to meet expectations “mentally crushed” him. He had even weighed whether he’d continue his playing career if he failed to land a big league job this spring, reflecting that it’s “crazy to think I have to make this decision.” However, as McCosky outlines, he actually may not have to make that decision. Manager Ron Gardenhire has been impressed by Beckham this spring, spoken fondly of the veteran infielder, and expressed a desire for additional veteran middle-infield depth. All of that seemingly bodes well for Beckham, who entered play Monday hitting .314/.429/.429 in 42 plate appearances this spring.