With the start of the Triple-A season about 2 weeks away, the roster for the Rochester Red Wings is starting to take shape. The teams parent club, the Minnesota Twins, begin their season on March 29th. The process of trimming the Twins roster down to 40/25, generally determines what the Red Wings will look like this season.
Red Wings broadcaster, and all around great guy Josh Whetzel, has some updates from Fort Myers, FL – and here’s a preview of some of the names heading north to the ROC.
- Pitcher Tyler Duffey has been optioned to Rochester – Duffey was a Twin for all of 2017, but is no stranger to Frontier Field, having spent part of the 2014 – 2016 seasons with the Wings. In 3 seasons at the major league level, Duffey went 16 – 16 with a 5.29 ERA, making 36 starts and 92 appearances overall. Last year, he pitched exclusively out of the pen, making 56 appearances and going 2 – 3 with a 4.94 ERA, and he saved his 1st game of his career. Advanced stats, such as FIP, showed him pitching better than his ERA indicated, with a 3.72 FIP.
- Reliever Alan Busenitz was also optioned to Rochester – Busenitz had a great 2017 for the Red Wings, and the Twins. For the Wings, Alan was 3 – 0 with a 1.78 ERA with 2 saves – then in 28 relief appearances for the Twinkies, posted a 1.99 ERA.
“It’s a little disappointing but I get it,” Busenitz said. “They said just keep doing what I’m doing and keep improving. It’s not a matter of if but when. That’s all you can do: Keep working on the change-up, keep the curveball in the zone.”
- Outfielder Jake Cave optioned to Rochester – Cave was recently acquired from the Yankees, where he was a victim of a very crowded outfield (the names Stanton and Judge come to mind). While Cave wasn’t able to crack the Twins outfield either, he should provide some power for Rochester. Last season between Double-A Trenton and AAA Scranton he hit .305 with 20 HR’s in 406 AB’s.
- Catchers Bobby Wilson and Willians Astudillo and 1B Brock Stassi sent to minor league camp – If these 3 players remain in the Twins organization, it’s safe to say they will end up with the Wings. We mentioned Wilson and Stassi before – in the case of Astudillo, he is a 26 year old catcher from Venezuela, who spent last year at Triple-A Reno for the Diamondbacks, and hit a PCL-friendly .342 in 120 at-bats. Originally in the Phillies system, Astudillo also spent time with Atlanta’s AA-team in Mississippi in 2016. He’s shown over the course of 8 minor league seasons, an ability to hit, with a .311 career minor league average. He’s also versatile, having appeared at 1B, 2B, 3B and in the Outfield in his career. And he pitched. Once for Reno last year. 2 scoreless innings. And he got the win. He may be my new favorite Red Wing.