4 exciting Twins players who'll be squeezed off Opening Day roster

Part of making some tough roster decisions means keeping some guys on the outside looking in.
Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox
Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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It seems like just yesterday that we were watching the Minnesota Twins end their 19-year postseason losing streak, but Opening Day is almost here. With the season starting in just a few weeks, the Twins are going through final preparations in Spring Training to make sure the roster is set and the right peices are in place.

Part of that means leaving guys who might be deserving off the roster.

The 26-man roster seems to be pretty much set, with only a few fringe questions still needing to be answered. What happens with the final reliever role in the bullpen is really the only open roster spot as everything else seems to be secure.

What that means is the youth movement we're expecting to see continue this season will have to wait to get back underway. We know who will be on the final roster, but there are a few exciting players who will get left off that Twins fans will want to keep an eye on.

4 exciting Twins players who'll be squeezed off Opening Day roster

Jorge Alcalá, RP

Last year Jhoan Duran was touted as an All-Star caliber reliever who lit up the league with his 100 mph pitches and his electric walkout entrance. Had things gone a different way, Duran might not be the only stud reliever in the Twins bullpen, as Jorge Alcalá had -- and still possess -- the right stuff to be dominant for Minnesota.

Just a few yers ago he seemed to be on the rise in a big way. Alcalá posted a 3.42 ERA and a 1.043 WHIP across 85 innings between 2019 and 2021. He also struck out 89 batters and walked just 22 as well as a 124 ERA+, all of which suggested he was trending hard in the right direction as a reliable late innings pitcher.

Injuries interfered, though, and he was utterly forgettable the last time we saw him. Prior to getting shut down, Alcalá was rocked for a 6.23 ERA in just over 17 innings. It was a far cry from the rising star we'd seen in both the minors and a small sample size of in the majors.

Thankfully this spring he's started to turn a corner back toward being the pitcher he was at the start of the decade. Alcalá has been extremely solid, posting a 2.57 ERA in seven innings of work with seven strikeouts and a 1.000 WHIP. More than that, his fastball has been consistently clocking around 96 to 97 mph, which is very encouraging.

Heading into the season Alcalá has the highest strikeout percentage of his career (67 percent) and could very well compete for the eighth reliever role on the 26-man roster. That's really the only roster spot up for grabs as the season approaches, and the fact that Alcalá is as close