Buxton Driving to Chicago for Opening Day; Twins’ 30-Man Roster Released
The Minnesota Twins have released their 30-man roster, ahead of Friday’s Opening Day matchup against the Chicago White Sox. There are definitely some nice little surprises to unpack. That includes some younger prospects and the return of center fielder Byron Buxton.
BUXTON ON HIS WAY TO CHICAGO
Dan Hayes of The Athletic is reporting that Byron Buxton will join the team in Chicago, after missing the last week of “Summer Camp” due to a strained left foot. The Gold Glover is driving himself down from the Twin Cities, to meet up with the team before Friday’s game.
This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. Buxton was seen practicing throughout the week but the training staff held him in Minnesota, to make sure he was taking it easy. That makes sense, considering he’s made of glass.
Byron Buxton is listed on the #MNTwins Opening Day roster. He's driving from the Twin Cities today to join the team in Chicago.— danhayesmlb (@DanHayesMLB) July 23, 2020
Byron Buxton had a full day of work in St. Paul today, running and taking live swings. Sounds like it went well. The #MNTwins could very well have him here in time for the weekend series vs. #WhiteSox. They only have 32 players in town, are allowed 33.— danhayesmlb (@DanHayesMLB) July 23, 2020
30-MAN ROSTER RELEASED
Outside of Byron Buxton, the Twins shocked quite a few with the rest of their Opening Day 30-man roster. While most could have guessed the starting lineups with ease, it was the potential addition of prospects and minor leaguers that was a bit murkier.
The most shocking addition was corner outfielder Aaron Whitefield. He got some playing time during the intrasquad scrimmages, and must have impressed Baldelli & Co.. On the other side of that conversation, people (including myself) thought the team would bring up infielder, Travis Blankenhorn, and maybe even Trevor Larnach or Brent Rooker for the outfield.
Outfielder/pinch runner Aaron Whitefield also is listed on the #MNTwins Opening Day roster. He gets the nod over Travis Blankenhorn for the final spot. With Jake Odorizzi on the IL, Lewis Thorpe, Randy Dobnak and Devin Smeltzer all made it. Twins go 15 pitchers, 15 players.— danhayesmlb (@DanHayesMLB) July 23, 2020
Although they showcased their potential in camp, the Twins likely believed it best to keep their best prospects back in St. Paul, practicing. Otherwise, they’re likely sitting on the bench, seeing minimal playing time. It would be great to see those top prospects make the jump this year. But that would likely mean a slew of injuries that leads to their call-ups. So, wish carefully.
TAXI SQUAD DEPTH
As for additional depth, catcher Willans Astudillo (COVID-19) and starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (back stiffness) are starting the season on the 10-day injured list. The team went with their best minor league options at long-relief and catcher, calling upon relievers Jorge Alcala and Caleb Thielbar (who we also saw pitch against the Cubs Wednesday night), plus journeyman catcher, Tomas Telis.
Jake Odorizzi could be back in time for Cleveland series, which starts July 30. Believe players can be backdated 3 days from start of season.— danhayesmlb (@DanHayesMLB) July 23, 2020
Overall, there’s not a lot of shock value from this release, which is a good thing. It highlights the current stability and depth the Minnesota Twins have on their roster. It’s never completely out of the question that we see some of the prospects who missed the cut, anyway. Who knows what this 60-game sprint of a season will bring. Buckle up.
Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan