Minnesota Twins: Two roster moves the Team Needs to Make
By Michael Crow
The Minnesota Twins just escaped their worst stretch of the season where they lost six straight games. Here are two roster moves that would help the Twins.
The Minnesota Twins, despite winning last night’s game, are in the midst of the worst stretch of the season, losing six of their past seven. Earlier in the season pitching was carrying the Twins and the hitters were catching up, but now the bats are quiet and even the pitching is spotty.
The trade deadline has come and gone, so the only option to improve comes from within: players getting healthy and calling up prospects. Here are two roster moves I believe would help the Twins turn their hitting woes around:
Minnesota Twins Move No. 1: Release Jake Cave and call up Alex Kirilloff
Teams have called up prospects at a higher rate in 2020 than in a typical season. This is because they don’t want them to regress due to not being able to play in the minor leagues. In some cases, it’s also to see if they can provide an upgrade, as would be the case here.
Jake Cave is struggling right now hitting at the Mendoza line and posting a paltry .572 OPS. In addition to he poor hitting, this season Cave is not stellar in the field either. Given Byron Buxton‘s penchant for injuries, keeping lots of outfield depth is essential.
Alex Kirilloff is one of the Twins top prospects and is considered to be very close to Major League ready. I believe that Kirilloff would be as good an option, if not better, than Cave. If the Twins can help continue Kirilloff’s development and also possibly upgrade at the plate and in the field, it’s a move they should make.
Minnesota Twins Move No. 2: Send LaMonte Wade Jr. down and call up Brent Rooker
Lamonte Wade Jr., like Cave, has struggled at the plate in 2020. Wade has a much smaller sample size than Cave, but he has struggled greater in the at-bats he’s had. Perhaps it’s unfair to write-off a guy with just 84 plate appearances but with the teams’ offensive struggles, this is something the Twins can’t afford.
Calling up Brent Rooker would bring power to the lineup, as he’s been mashing minor league pitching for a .500 slugging clip. In addition to his skill, Rooker is also 26 years old and at that age, it’s getting to the point where they have to see what he can do in the major leagues. There’s really no downside to this move (outside of his awful defense).
Will the Minnesota Twins make either move?
Everyone wants to see Kirilloff in the majors, and justly so with the potential he has. However, looking at the lineup and the trouble the Twins have had with left-handed pitching, Kirilloff may not be the most sensible of the two moves. A right-handed bat would be the better move.
Rooker is a big right-handed bat. Rooker is also at an age where he’s due his shot in the majors as well and has been very productive in the minors. That being said, Rooker doesn’t hit left-handed pitching very well at this point.