La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Minor league purge continues down the road

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Twins Farm System, Twins prospects Updated: March 27, 2012 - 12:25 PM

When you bring 67 players to major league camp, that means as many as 42 could be cut. And the cut players have to go somewhere. And there has to be room for them.

So the Twins have been releasing minor leaguers over the last several days.

I mentioned some a few days ago, and the pink slips were flying this morning.

Here's the list:  

LHP Matt Bashore
SS Chris Cates
INF Steve Pearce
OF Dustin Martin
RHP Ben Tootle
OF Tyler Koelling
RHP Jason Bulger
3B Roy Larson
RHP Deinys Suarez
 
A couple thoughts on some of the released:
 
Bashore: Ugh. He was a supplemental round pick (46th overall) in 2009 out of the Univ. of Indiana, and the Twins had high hopes for him. He pitched two innings that year at Elizabethton, then missed the entire 2010 season because of Tommy John surgery. It was his SECOND TJ surgery, the other coming in high school. He never was the same, and I believe he battled some shoulder problems too.
 
Cates: He was what is called, `an organizational guy.' Not really expected to reach the majors but able to fill out a roster. But, with the Twins drafting three shortstops in the early rounds last year, spots were getting scarce.
 
Martin: Came over from the Mets with Drew Butera in the Luis Castillo trade: Great body but couldn't take the next step.
 
Tootle: Ugh, again. The Twins get knocked for not producing power arms but they tried with this guy, who hit 100 miles an hour in the Cape Cod League before the 2009 draft, 98 consistently. The Twins selected him in the third round that year. Unfortunately, he needed rotator cuff surgery in 2010 and pitched just 54.1 innings for the Twins since being drafted. Watched him throw last week. Hit 90-91 on the gun. Too bad.
 
Bulger: Was in the major league camp and just looked awful. Gave up a grand slam to Lars Anderson. When Joe Benson made that terrific catch at Boston earlier in spring, it was on a pitch thrown by Bulger. I remember him being better than that with the Angels. Then again, I also remember Jason Kubel's grand slam off of him,
 
Larson: Was the third baseman at E-Town when Miguel Sano wasn't playing there. Also played some first base. Hit .202 in 28 games at E-Town. The only reason I'm mentioning him is because I know his father, who went to E-Town last season to see his son, watched Sano play and said, ``when Sano makes solid contact, flames come shooting out of the baseball.'' Roy Larson, from Eagan, played at St. Thomas. The Twins have been known to take chances on local guys before. In fact, I just looked in the media guide and discovered that the scout who signed him was....Terry Ryan.
 
Suarez: The Cuban defector, 28, was signed in May last year but was so-so at New Britain and Rochester. I recently ran a chart of where prospects would play at this season. I gave myself an over/under of 2.5 of the number of players I would have wrong by the time all the decisions were made. I had Suarez at New Britain and he's not even in the organization. I had Alex Wimmers at Fort Myers and now he might end up at New Britain. If you took the over you're looking pretty good right now. Ugh.
 
 
 
 
 
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