Minnesota Twins: Surprises in the 2020 Wild Card Series Roster

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The Minnesota Twins celebrate being the American League Central Division Champions after the game against the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Twins celebrate being the American League Central Division Champions after the game against the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins announced their postseason roster ahead of their series, and there were quite a few surprises on the roster.

The Minnesota Twins just announced their postseason roster for their 2020 Wild-Card series against the Houston Astros. There were a few surprise additions and subtractions to the roster which we will get to in a minute. First, which players made the 28-man roster?

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Minnesota Twins Postseason Roster

Pitchers (13): Kenta MaedaTyler ClippardJose BerriosTyler DuffeyMichael PinedaTrevor MayJake OdorizziSergio RomoTaylor Rogers, Randy DobnakCody Stashak, Caleb Thielbar, and Matt Wisler.

Catchers (4): Ryan JeffersAlex AvilaMitch Garver, and Willians Astudillo.

Infielders (5): Miguel Sano, Jorge PolancoLuis Arraez, Ehire Adrianza, and Marwin Gonzalez.

Outfielders (5): Eddie RosarioAlex KirilloffByron Buxton, and Max Kepler.

Designated Hitter (1): Nelson Cruz

Minnesota Twins: Additions, Subtractions, and Surprises

The addition of Alex Kirilloff to the roster was certainly a surprise. But it does make sense given the fact that Josh Donaldson was excluded from the roster due to a strained right calf. Donaldson has a history of calf injuries, so this was not totally unexpected.

With that being said, he did take batting practice at Target Field yesterday so there is some hope that he may return before the end of the series. He is not on the roster for today’s game against the Astros, but he would likely be available going forward.

The addition of Kiriloff caught many people off guard. Not having played a game above the Double-A level, he spent the entire regular season at the club’s alternate training site at CHS Field in St. Paul. He has been successful hitting across four minor league levels, and he gives the Twins another left-handed bat off the bench.

He could also play first base or a corner outfield position should the need arise. If he plays in a post season game this year, he would be only the fourth player to make his major league debut in the playoffs since the 1870’s. To make room for Kirilloff on the 40-man roster, the Twins designated pitcher Sean Poppen for release or assignment.

Willians Astudillo’s place on the roster also surprised some people. La Tortuga had a rough year at the plate, but he gives the Minnesota Twins another catcher on the roster and he provides depth at several infield positions. He is unlikely to see much action in this series unless there are injuries to the Twins starting lineup.

The addition of Randy Dobnak to the 28-man roster certainly makes this writer happy. As mentioned in a previous article, I have the belief that Dobnak, with his excellent command of both his sinker and slider pitches, has the potential to be extremely effective in long-term relief situations.

Rich Hill’s omission from the roster also may have surprised some people, but Hill started Sunday’s game, going 5 2/3 innings against the Cincinnati Reds, and would not be ready to pitch at any point in the Wild-Card Round. Should the Minnesota Twins advance in the playoffs, he would likely be added to the roster in spot start and long relief situations.

The Minnesota Twins 10-Man Taxi Squad for the postseason was also announced, and it includes the aforementioned Donaldson, Hill, as well as pitchers Jorge Alcala, Edwar Colina, and Devin Smeltzer who have the potential to be added to the roster at a later date.

The rest of the players on the Taxi Squad are INF Travis Blankenhorn, LHP Lewis Thorpe, RHP Jhoan Duran, OF LaMonte Wade Jr., and RHP Juan Minaya. Here’s to hoping for a better game tomorrow.

Next. Minnesota Twins: Is this year’s Playoff Rotation the best of the 2000s?. dark

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