The Twins on Wednesday added five minor leaguers to their 40-man roster, highlighted by righthander Jhoan Duran, one of their top starting pitching prospects and someone who has an outside chance to contribute during the 2020 season.
Duran was 5-12 between Class A Fort Myers and Class AA Pensacola last season, but other numbers tell the story. He struck out 136 batters in 115 innings while giving up just seven home runs in 23 appearances. He struck out 14 batters during a six-inning outing against Class A Dayton on May 26. He also struck out 11 and walked one during eight scoreless innings on Aug. 23 against Class AA Jackson.
Duran was dealt to the Twins by the Diamondbacks, along with outfielders Felix De La Trinidad and Gabriel Maciel, in exchange for infielder Eduardo Escobar before the 2018 trade deadline.
Duran is listed at 6 feet, 5 inches tall and 230 pounds. He hit 102 miles an hour on the radar gun before his season debut for Fort Myers and occasionally reached triple digits during the season. He also throws a breaking ball that’s part sinker, part splitter.
Righthanders Dakota Chalmers, infielder Travis Blankenhorn and outfielders Gilberto Celestino and Luke Raley were also added to the 40-man roster.
Wednesday was the deadline for teams to finalize their 40-man rosters. Any eligible player not protected by Wednesday can be selected in the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place on Dec. 12 during the winter meetings.
One player who is eligible to be placed on the 40-man roster but wasn’t is shortstop Wander Javier, whom the Twins signed in 2015 for $4 million. Javier began the season as one of the Twins top prospects but was returning from a torn labrum in his left shoulder cost him the entire 2018 season. In 80 games for Class A Cedar Rapids, Javier batted .177 with 11 home runs and 37 RBI.
Any player selected in the Rule 5 draft has to remain on the major league roster for the entire season or be offered back to his original club. So it’s unlikely that a club would be willing to carry Javier on its roster coming off an age-20 season during which he batted less than .200.
The Twins, who are looking to add starting pitching for 2020, now have 37 players on their 40-man roster. They have room to add other players through free agency and trades and can select someone in the Rule 5 Draft if they choose.