Twins roster and schedule
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Minnesota Twins roster and schedule for 2020 season

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The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. Next up: The Minnesota Twins roster and schedule:

TWINS ROSTER (projected) 

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Twins roster to begin the season:

Catchers

Mitch Garver
Alex Avila
Willians Astudillo

Infielders:

Miguel Sanó
Luis Arraez
Jorge Polanco
Josh Donaldson
Ehire Adrianza

Outfielders

Eddie Rosario
Byron Buxton
Max Kepler
Jake Cave
Marwin Gonzalez
Nelson Cruz

Starters

Jose Berríos
Jake Odorizzi
Kenta Maeda
Rich Hill
Homer Bailey

Relievers

Taylor Rogers
Trevor May
Sergio Romo
Tyler Duffey
Zack Littell
Tyler Clippard
Matt Wisler
Cody Stashak
Randy Dobnak
Devin Smeltzer
Lewis Thorpe


BREAKDOWN:

The Twins hit 307 home runs last season and then they went out and got Josh Donaldson. So, yeah. This offense is gonna thump again. Especially if, as many suspect, the ball will remain juiced this year as it was last year. Some people actually suspect it’ll be more juiced, with MLB looking for a way to draw as much interest as possible given the late start and everything else. Oh, getting Donaldson also upgrades the Twins defensively at third and allows Miguel Sanó to move to first base. Where he’ll likely be until Nelson Cruz retires at which point he’ll likely be a DH. After a scare earlier this week it looks like Byron Buxton will be ready to go for the opener.

The rotation is deeper this year than it was last year, with Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, and Homer Bailey being added to the fod in the offseason. Jhoulys Chacín is around for depth. Michael Pineda will be available for the stretch run and postseason after he finishes serving his drug suspension which was imposed late last season. Randy Dobnak and Devin Smeltzer are guys who could start as well if need be. Tyler Clippard is new in the bullpen. He’ll join a good but not spectacular group.

Any way you slice it, the Twins look to be, once again, the class of the otherwise weak AL Central.

TWINS SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

Twins home stands will be July 28-August 4 (Cardinals, Indians, Pirates), August 14-20 (Royals, Brewers), August 31-September 7 (White Sox, Tigers), September 11-13 (Indians), September 22-27 (Tigers, Reds).

The entire Twins roster and schedule can be seen here.

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”