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  • Roster Projections Part 1: Pitchers and Catchers

    Happy Pitchers and Catchers Report Day!

    It has been 131 days since the Twins lost a 2-1 decision to the Toronto Blue Jays. It’s been a long offseason, and frankly, rehashing the same offseason transactions and rumors needs to stop. But today down in Ft. Myers, the Twins pitchers and catchers will report and soon after will start officially preparing for the 2013 season. They’ll throw in the bullpen. They’ll do a ton of PFPs (Pitcher’s Fielding Practice). They will also likely do a lot of running.

    As I did a year ago, we’ll be taking a weekly look at the Twins roster and project who will make the Opening Day roster. Today, we’ll look at the 43 pitchers and catchers who will be reporting and I’ll post a percent likelihood that the player will be on the Twins Opening Day roster.



    CATCHERS


    Let’s start with the guys behind the plate, the guys who will don the tools of ignorance. I often hear the question, “Why do the Twins need nine catchers at spring training?” Well, when you have 34 pitchers reporting to camp (plus a couple others who will be working out with the team before heading to their WBC teams), you need a lot of catchers for bullpens.

    40 MAN ROSTER


    Joe Mauer (100%), Ryan Doumit (100%), Drew Butera (95%), Chris Herrmann (15%), Josmil Pinto (0.5%)


    Mauer and Doumit will likely split the catching and DH duties for most of the season. The backup catcher will be Butera, at least most of the season. Herrmann debuted with the Twins in mid-September. If he plays well in Rochester, I can see a scenario in which he takes over as the backup catcher before the end of the season. If Mauer or Doumit were to get hurt, Herrmann would likely get the call to the Twins and take that playing time.

    NON-ROSTER INVITES


    Danny Lehmann (0.6%), Eric Fryer (0.4%), Dan Rohlfing (0.3%), Kyle Knudson (0.2%)


    0% would mean that there is absolutely no scenario in which the player will be on the Opening Day roster. These guys could make it. They would just likely need every player ahead of them to get hurt. I’ve long been a big supporter of Danny Lehmann. He has earned the respect of pitchers he has caught since joining the organization in 2007. Rohlfing will be participating in his fourth big league camp. Fryer came over from the Pirates as a minor league free agent. Knudson is a Minnesota native getting his first glimpse of big league camp.

    THE PITCHERS


    Of course, it is no secret that the Twins had one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball in 2012. The bullpen actually did fairly well which is probably more impressive because the starting staff often forced them to pitch a lot of innings. The starting staff was in the bottom three in MLB. The offseason brought the Twins some young power pitchers that likely won’t be with the team for some time. They have a lot of guys coming back from injury as well. They have a lot of question marks and there is little reason to believe that 2013 will be significantly better than 2012. But, spring training is all about hope and optimism. The Twins will need five or six starters to really step up this season and for the bullpen to be consistent and strong.

    The Starters


    40 Man Roster


    Scott Diamond (100%), Kevin Correia (100%), Vance Worley (100%), Mike Pelfrey (98%), Liam Hendriks (85%), Kyle Gibson (75%), Cole De Vries (51%), Trevor May (2.9%), Pedro Hernandez (2.4%), BJ Hermsen (0.8%)


    Correia was signed for two years to be a starter, so he will be in the rotation. Scott Diamond was set to be the Twins Opening Day starter, although recently it was reported that he may not be ready for Opening Day. He had surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow in December. Liam Hendriks had the same surgery in October, and Vance Worley had it in August. Mike Pelfrey may or may not be ready for Opening Day after having Tommy John surgery last April. Kyle Gibson returned from his Tommy John surgery in the second half of last season and pitched well early in the Arizona Fall League. Cole De Vries’ 2012 season ended with broken ribs, but he should be at 100% as spring training begins. Like Worley, May came to the Twins in the Ben Revere deal and will have to improve his control in 2013 to get an opportunity. Hernandez came over in the Francisco Liriano trade after making his big league debut with the White Sox last summer. His season ended with a lat injury. Hermsen was the Twins minor league starting pitcher of the year and pitched very well in New Britain.

    Non-Roster Invites


    Sam Deduno (8.5%), PJ Walters (8.5%), Shairon Martis (1.0%), Alex Meyer (0.5%), Nick Blackburn (0.1%)


    Deduno typically walked too many and didn’t strikeout enough, but he actually pitched well for the Twins in 2012. His percentage is as high as it is due to the chance he could be a back of the bullpen type. Likewise, Walters came up to the Twins in May and pitched well until he was hurt. Martis came to the Twins in a mid-season trade and pitched pretty horribly in AA and AAA. He is on The Netherlands’ WBC roster. Alex Meyer came over in the Denard Span trade. He hasn’t pitched above A-ball yet, so unless he is amazing, his odds of being on the Opening Day big league roster are very low. Blackburn certainly would not be at 0% if he weren’t hurt.

    The Bullpen


    40 Man Roster


    Glen Perkins (100%), Jared Burton (100%), Brian Duensing (100%), Alex Burnett (90%), Casey Fien (80%), Anthony Swarzak (75%), Josh Roenicke (75%), Tim Wood (75%), Tyler Robertson (49%), Ryan Pressly (35%), Caleb Thielbar (30%), Michael Tonkin (3.0%)


    Perkins will be the closer, and likely a set-up man on the US WBC team. Burton came to the Twins a year ago as a non-roster invite last year and stayed healthy and made himself a reliable late-inning guy. Brian Duensing needs to stay in the bullpen. He’s terrific against left-handers and not-so-much terrific against right-handers. Alex Burnett has been in the bullpen for the Twins the past three seasons. He hasn’t struckout many, although late last season he did strikeout more. Casey Fien was also a minor league signee. When he got called up, he threw 95 and was very productive. Can he prove that it wasn’t a fluke? Anthony Swarzak is out of options, and his broken ribs should not affect his roster spot. The Twins claimed Roenicke from Colorado where he pitched well last year but like Burnett didn’t strike many out. Tim Wood was the International League’s top relief pitcher in 2012. The Twins signed him to a minor league deal then added him to the 40 man roster. Tyler Robertson had his ups and downs in his rookie season. If the Twins choose to have a third left-hander in their bullpen, Robertson may have the advantage over Minnesota native Caleb Thielbar who pitched well at three levels in 2012. Ryan Pressly is the team’s Rule 5 pick which means he’ll have to be on the Twins roster all of 2013 or offered back to the Red Sox. Michael Tonkin had a terrific season out of the bullpen for Beloit and Ft. Myers last year.

    Non-Roster Invites


    Esmerling Vasquez (8.0%), Luis Perdomo (6.0%), Anthony Slama (5.0%), Rich Harden (4.0%), Deolis Guerra (1.0%), Bryan Augenstein (0.2%), Lester Oliveros (0.0%)


    Vasquez pitched well for the Red Wings last year as a reliever and as a starter and got a chance to start for the Twins late. Luis Perdomo had a very solid year at both AA and AAA, and then struggled late for the Twins. Is there a player that bloggers and blog commenters want to see get an opportunity more than Anthony Slama? Had he not broken his femur on a Miguel Tejada comebacker and missed nearly two months, he likely would have seen plenty of times with the Twins. Some think Harden should start. I personally think that Harden should pitch out of the bullpen and see if he can’t stay healthy for the full year. His opt-out isn’t until the end of July, so the Twins would be wise to work him in slowly considering his missed all of the 2012 season. Deolis Guerra is now out of options, and when the Twins placed him on waivers in November, he cleared. Hopefully he can be healthy and pitch well in Rochester and get another chance. Augenstein was a minor league free agent who signed with the Twins this offseason. He pitched briefly for the Diamondbacks in 2009 and for the Cardinals in 2011. Lester Oliveros had Tommy John surgery in September and may be on a similar recovery plan as Gibson was last year.

    ROSTER PROJECTION #1 (2/12/13):


    Catchers: Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit, Drew Butera


    Starting Pitchers: Scott Diamond, Kevin Correia, Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey, Liam Hendriks, Kyle Gibson (Diamond and/or Pelfrey likely starting season on DL)


    Relief Pitchers: Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Brian Duensing, Alex Burnett, Casey Fien, Josh Roenicke, Tim Wood (Anthony Swarzak possibly on the DL?)


    What are your thoughts or projections on the Twins Opening Day roster as Pitchers and Catchers report?
    This article was originally published in blog: Roster Projections Part 1: Pitchers and Catchers started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 37 Comments
    1. Physics Guy's Avatar
      Physics Guy -
      Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
      The Opening Day Starter for Your 2013 Minnesota Twins:

      Kevin Correia.
      If Diamond doesn't start opening day, it had better be Worley. I think heads will explode across TD if it is Correia.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      If you are considering injuries or the possibility of injuries, nobody should really be at 100%, right? Actually might be kind of interesting to see your health forecast here -- Correia would certainly be the top starter then, probably at the max percentage for pitchers (whatever that would be - 98%?).

      Echoing some of the other comments: Gibson is way too high (dude's never pitched in MLB and has barely pitched since surgery) and Deduno is probably a bit too low (he should be notably ahead of Walters and Vasquez).

      In the bullpen, Burnett really should be 100% (even though many of us are not fans), and Swarzak's probably close to 100% if not for the injury. Tim Wood is too high (I don't think he's guaranteed anything), as are Pressly (always bet against the Rule 5 pick!) and Thielbar (although Seth seems to be a fan).

      I hope Butera at 95% is too high, but you're probably right, unless the Twins come to some interesting arrangement with Mauer, Doumit, and Herrmann.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by DAM DC Twins Fans View Post
      I hope the Twins only carry two catchers and keep an extra IF so no Butera.
      If I did the math right, 95% x 15% means there is about a 14% chance the Twins will carry four.

      / I know, I know, 95% + 15% = 110% meaning about a 10% chance of some injury.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      If Gibson's innings will be limited, why waste them in AAA? Why not make him the long man and bring him into the rotation when he's up to 50 innings or do?

      Also, why do we need three catchers again? Butera didn't start the season with the Twins last year. Here's hoping they don't waste a roster spot on him again, at least not on the opening day roster.
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      If Gibson's innings will be limited, why waste them in AAA? Why not make him the long man and bring him into the rotation when he's up to 50 innings or do?
      Because if he's going to be a starter long-term, keeping him on a starter's routine is more important.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      If Gibson's innings will be limited, why waste them in AAA? Why not make him the long man and bring him into the rotation when he's up to 50 innings or do?

      Also, why do we need three catchers again? Butera didn't start the season with the Twins last year. Here's hoping they don't waste a roster spot on him again, at least not on the opening day roster.
      Certainly extended spring training is an option for Gibson to limit his pitches, isn't it?
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Certainly extended spring training is an option for Gibson to limit his pitches, isn't it?
      I'm not positive about this, but I believe that players on extended ST accrue major league service time (similar to players on rehab assignments). If they were going to do that they may as well just send him to Rochester and get the extra year of control.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      If I did the math right, 95% x 15% means there is about a 14% chance the Twins will carry four.
      Don't bother with this... the cumulative percentages say the Twins will bring 17.8 pitchers/catchers north on the 25-man active roster. I would sure hope it's closer to 15.

      The article is great, there's actual names projected at the bottom, and we all get the point of the percentages, but I do wish Seth would take just a few extra minutes to have the math add up right.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Then have Gibson start and have a designated reliever in the majors. If the reliever gets tired, call up the next guy from AAA....you know, use AAA for flexibility, like other teams do.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Then have Gibson start and have a designated reliever in the majors. If the reliever gets tired, call up the next guy from AAA....you know, use AAA for flexibility, like other teams do.
      You've also got a third-string catcher with a live arm who'd love to get into games...
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Brunett and Swarzak are the guys on the bubble. If Pressly shows stuff, he could make Swarzak expendable. Brunett still has options. Use them, Twins. I would rather see Roeincke or Wood be a palcesetter in 2013 and give us another season of Burnett, otherwise, consider him gone when he enters arbitration year 2 anyways. I do wish we had anyone but Butera as the third catcher/bench bat. It is a weakness the Twins don't need.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrodaddyG View Post
      Because if he's going to be a starter long-term, keeping him on a starter's routine is more important.
      Then he hits the 130 inning peak and is shut down in August, using up most of his inning in AAA and not progressing like he needs to. Think of Santana as a model fo a guy who transitioned from the bullpen to the rotation. It's not that difficult.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by mcrow View Post
      If Harden is healthy and pitching anything like he used to he will be on the roster, a couple of big "ifs" though.
      It wasn't rotator cuff surgery, so I think there's a better than 4% chance. I'd say it's as good as any of the other non-roster invitees.
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Then he hits the 130 inning peak and is shut down in August, using up most of his inning in AAA and not progressing like he needs to. Think of Santana as a model fo a guy who transitioned from the bullpen to the rotation. It's not that difficult.
      Bullpen routine is completely different from starter routine. He's coming off of a major injury. The best thing that can happen to him this year is that he gets locked in his routine and gets his strength built back up with an eye towards the long term. Having him spend a chunk of the year not knowing if he's throwing that day, the next day, or whenever isn't useful in his buildup towards starting.

      Santana pitched out of the pen initially as a way to hide him on the roster. Then he spent the better part of the next two years relieving as well. That was his routine, and then he worked over to starting. Minus a few rehab outings, Gibson has been starting exclusively his whole career, and should remain on his starter's routine. Period. His 130, 150, or however many innings he throws this year aren't make or break for the Twins' 2013 fortunes, but keeping him healthy and progressing towards a full workload next year and beyond is certainly going to be a much bigger factor in their successes in those seasons.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      If Ron decides to keep Drew , our bench could posibly be Butrea,Escobar,Clete Thomas and Florimon.....another murders row in the making? And why, because of maybe 2-3 at bats over the entire season?
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
      The article is great, there's actual names projected at the bottom, and we all get the point of the percentages, but I do wish Seth would take just a few extra minutes to have the math add up right.
      Seth, I was wrong and apologize. I think you're including the possibility that a few guys are brought north on the DL (Pelfrey, Diamond, Swarzak, etc) and your numbers are just fine. It would be weird/confusing to show the probability for those guys at far less than what you think it will be to account for the possibility they get DL'ed.
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      Any thought on Perez's chances of making the opening day roster?
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