Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Roster Projections Part 1b: Infielders and Outfielders

    On Tuesday, Minnesota Twins pitchers and catchers had to report to Ft. Myers for spring training. Although many infielders and outfielders have already been working out at the Lee County Complex, they officially have to report on Friday and the team will have the first official full squad workout on Saturday. On Tuesday, I posted my first roster projections for the pitchers and catchers, and today, Iíll post my roster projections for the infielders and outfielders

    Each Friday through spring training, Iíll be taking a weekly look at the Twins roster and project who will make the Opening Day roster. After looking at 43 pitchers and catchers who reported Tuesday, today Iíll post a percent likelihood that each infielder and outfielder will be on the Twins Opening Day roster. As we learned on Thursday when the Twins signed Rafael Perez to a minor league contract with a spring training invite, the roster is still subject to change, and I will account for those each week.
    INFIELDERS


    40 MAN ROSTER


    Jamey Carroll (100%), Justin Morneau (100%), Trevor Plouffe (100%), Pedro Florimon (66%), Brian Dozier (62%), Eduardo Escobar (51%), Danny Santana (0.6%)


    Justin Morneau will be at first base, and Trevor Plouffe will be at third base. After that, there are still plenty of question marks remaining. Question marks that may not be answered until the final week of the spring. Jamey Carroll will be on the roster. He could start at shortstop or second base, and he could be a three-position utility player. Pedro Florimon appears to be the favorite to start the season at shortstop. Brian Dozier could be given a very good opportunity to start at second base and told us not to give up on him as a shortstop. Remember that the Twins traditionally have two utility infielders on the roster. Eduardo Escobar can play all three positions very well, and was a utility infielder for the Chicago White Sox in 2012 until he was traded to the Twins for Francisco Liriano. Danny Santana will likely head to New Britain to start the season.

    NON-ROSTER INVITES


    Ray Olmedo (8.0%), Chris Colabello (1.0%), Jeff Clement (0.9%), Deibinson Romero (0.8%), Mark Sobolewski (0.7%), James Beresford (0.4%)


    In 2003, Ray Olmedo got 250 plate appearances as a 22-year-old for the Cincinnati Reds. Over the next three seasons, he had another 138 total plate appearances. He played in 27 games for the 2007 Toronto Blue Jays. He then was in the minor leagues until the White Sox called him up as a 31-year-old for 20 games in August and September (after Escobar was traded). Colabello was one of the best stories in the Twins farm system in 2012, his first year in affiliated ball. He also crushed the ball in Mexico this winter. He likely will go to Rochester, but with left-handed hitting 1B options (Morneau, Parmelee, Mauer), he could find a role as a right-handed part-time player for the Twins. The Twins drafted Clement out of high school, but he went to college and was the #3 overall pick of the Mariners in 2005. He has played in 152 games in the big leagues, for the Mariners and Pirates), including going 3-22 for the Pirates in 2012. Romero returns to Twins big league camp for the first time since he was a 40-man-roster member in 2009 spring training. A year later, he was off the 40 man roster, but he has remained with the only organization he has played for since signing with the team in 2006. Last year in New Britain, he hit .267/.356/.441 with 23 doubles and 19 home runs. Sobolewski was a minor league Rule 5 selection of the Twins in December. The third baseman was a 4th round pick of the Blue Jays in 2008. He hit 20 home runs in 2012 (18 in AA, 2 in AAA) and is known to be very good defensively at the hot corner. James Beresford became a free agent following the 2012 season, but he decided to remain with the only organization heís known since signing with the Twins from Australia. He will again be on the Australian team in the WBC this spring. The middle infielder is a terrific leader and has a great glove.

    THE OUTFIELDERS


    40 Man Roster


    Josh Willingham (100%), Darin Mastroianni (100%), Chris Parmelee (99%) Aaron Hicks (48%), Joe Benson (42%), Oswaldo Arcia (1.2%)


    Josh Willingham had the best season of his career and earned his Silver Slugger Award with career-high 35 home runs and 110 RBI. Right Field has been opened up for Chris Parmelee to take after he dominated AAA and has earned the opportunity. He will have to take the job and make it his as Twins minor league hitter of the year, Oswaldo Arcia, is quickly moving up the system behind him and should make his major league debut sometime in 2013. The biggest question mark of spring training is who will take the centerfield position. Darin Mastroianni will make the team. He will be given a shot to win the starting job after doing a nice job in the 4th outfielder role. Aaron Hicks is the name that most people are talking about. The 23-year-old had a breakout season in 2012 in AA New Britain, showing the immense talent that made him the 14th overall pick in 2008. He will have to take the job in spring, but there is little doubt that he will debut in 2013 with the Twins. The name that is too often forgotten is Joe Benson. One year ago at this time, he came to spring training after making his major league debut the September before. He was as highly-regarded last year as Hicks is this year. He was hurt the entire 2012 season and tried to play through the pain as long as he could. He is blessed with amazing athleticism and talent, and if healthy, he can still be an impact player. One important question is whether Benson would be considered an option as the 4th outfielder, or would they still want the ultra-competitive 25-year-old to continue to play every day.

    Non-Roster Invites


    Brandon Boggs (17%), Clete Thomas (14%), Wilkin Ramirez (7.0%), Brian Dinkelman (1.9%)


    If Mastroianni starts the season as a starter, and the Twins decide that they want Hicks and Benson to play every day in Rochester, Brandon Boggs and Clete Thomas will compete for the 4th outfield spot on the roster. We saw Thomas last year when he had one impressive game before becoming unable to make contact. Once he went down to Rochester, he was OK, and he certainly could be a 4th outfielder because heís good defensively and we know heís better than he showed with the Twins in 2012. Boggs was the 4th round pick of the Rangers in 2004 out of Georgia Tech. As a 25-year-old in 2008, he played in 101 games for the Rangers. He played in just 13 games for the Rangers over the next two seasons and 16 games for the Brewers in 2011. Last year in AAA Indianapolis, he hit .259/.359/.408 with 24 doubles, five triples and nine home runs. In 481 plate appearances, he walked 62 times, but he also struckout 120 times. But again, weíre just talking about a 4th outfield spot for a month or two. Ramirez came to Twins camp a year ago, but unfortunately, he was hurt in camp. After rehabbing, he hit .276/.316/.451 with 18 doubles and 15 home runs in 98 games in Rochester. He played 15 games (13 PAs) for Detroit as a 23-year-old in 2009 and 20 games (30 PAs) for the Atlanta Braves in 2011. What hurts his chances of making the Twins roster as a fourth outfielder is that he is really a corner outfielder with limited centerfield time in his career. Brian Dinkelman was the Twins 8th round pick in 2006 out of NAIA McKendree University. He debuted and played in 23 games as a 27-year-old in 2011. He hit .301 in his 73 big league at bats. In 2012, he missed a lot of time with injury.

    ROSTER PROJECTION #1 (2/15/13):


    Infielders (6): Justin Morneau, Trevor Plouffe, Jamey Carroll, Pedro Florimon, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar


    Outfielders (4): Josh Willingham, Chris Parmelee, Darin Mastroianni, Joe Benson


    Catchers (3): Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit, Drew Butera


    Starting Pitchers (5): Scott Diamond, Kevin Correia, Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey, Liam Hendriks, Kyle Gibson (Diamond and/or Pelfrey likely starting season on DL)


    Relief Pitchers (7): 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? Make your 25-man-roster projections and we'll check back on Opening Day to see who got the most right.
    This article was originally published in blog: Roster Projections Part 1b: Infielders and Outfielders started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 46 Comments
    1. mlhouse's Avatar
      mlhouse -
      Infielders (6): Justin Morneau, Trevor Plouffe, Jamey Carroll, Pedro Florimon, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar

      Parmalee, Mauer, and Doumit can all play 1B behind Morneau. Carroll, Esocbar and Dozier can all play utility IF.

      Outfielders (4): Josh Willingham, Chris Parmelee, Aaron Hicks, Joe Benson

      There is no reason to wait on Aaron Hicks. And, likewise Joe Benson who will be 25 years old before the season starts. Give Benson a shot as the 4th OF at the major league level. If Benson falters, then recall
      Mastroianni.

      Catchers (2): Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit

      No reason to have Butera on the roster at all. Mauer can get significant rest from catching with Doumit behind the plate either with a scheduled day off or playing 1B. This allows the team to carry an extra IF.

      Starting Pitchers (5): Scott Diamond, Kevin Correia, Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey(IR), Liam Hendriks, Kyle Gibson

      Even on an innings restriction Gibson must be in the rotation. When Pelfrey comes back from DL, Hendriks is odd man out.

      Relief Pitchers (8): Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Brian Duensing, Alex Burnett, Casey Fien, Josh Roenicke, Tyler Robertson, Cole DeVries
    1. Rick Blaine's Avatar
      Rick Blaine -
      I think Seth's roster projections are probably pretty close. There may be a few cast substitutions among the "subs." They will keep Hicks at Rochester through April. Come June or July we will probably see an outfield of Benson-Hicks-Arcia as Willingham and Morneau are traded at the deadline.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I think that the ST questions as far as the 25-man roster goes, and as far as Ryan & Gardy and Andy go, are for:

      2 spots on the IF (Carroll has one locked, which means that Dozier, Florimon, Escobar, or less likely someone else will get them).
      1 spot on the OF. Mastro will be up unless he really bombs and Benson and Hicks has a great Spring. These 2 will fight for that one spot.
      1 bench spot occupied likely by the IF or the OF (unless his name is Hicks) who loses the above. Colabello might have something different to say about that.


      3 rotation spots after Worley and Correia, which will be determined by health. If he can play (word is that he will miss 2 weeks but it is too early,) Diamond has one. Pelfrey is threw 50-60 pitches in a 'pen yesterday, so I think he has another. Gibson? Harden? Hendriks? one of last years' AAAA? Who knows.

      All 4 pen spots after Perkins, Burton and Duensing. When healthy Swarzak will have one of them. A whole slew of candidates for those. I think that Swarzak's spot will be taken by one who will lose the last starting spot, unless that is Gibson. Hard to tell who will win the rest.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Pitch to contact. If you're going to employ a staff that tries to induce outs via poor contact, then behind the pitcher you're going to need fielders with fast feet, great gloves and strong arms. Given that, it wouldn't surprise me to see both Benson and Hicks start the year in the outfield, with Willingham and Parmelee taking turns at DH.

      It also introduces an interesting aspect to the race for third catcher. Chris Hermann can play both C and OF, which makes me wonder how good a hitter he'd have to be to supplant Drew Butera. And if he does, then where does that leave Mastrioanni? With the athletic Joe Benson in the mix, I'm not sure the Twins still need the current 4th outfielder.

      It's intriguing how a single factor - Joe Benson's hitting in spring training - could affect the overall makeup of the Twins starting roster.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by jimbo92107 View Post
      It also introduces an interesting aspect to the race for third catcher. Chris Hermann can play both C and OF, which makes me wonder how good a hitter he'd have to be to supplant Drew Butera. .
      This ST, if he hits 1.000, he will not supplant Drew. Next ST, when the people who are running the Twins will, hopefully, be different, things will change.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      The Twins won a lot of game with Delmon and Cuddy on the corner OF posts. I don't think Willingham/Parmelee is much worse in covering ground. However, Delmon/Cuddy was a pair of strong arms that Willingham and Parm will not match.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Of Seth's picks in the bullpen, I think Burnett will end up in Rochester. He has an option left, and while he was okay last year overall, he faded as the season went on and his peripherals weren't very good.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
      Of Seth's picks in the bullpen, I think Burnett will end up in Rochester. He has an option left, and while he was okay last year overall, he faded as the season went on and his peripherals weren't very good.
      He doesn't strike many out and for awhile, he had as many walks as strikeouts. But, the last 4-6 weeks, he figured out how to strike guys out. I don't think that they'd send him down, but you make a great point in that he does have an option left whereas Wood, Roenicke, Swarzak and some of the others are out of options and Pressly would have to be offered back. So, that is the one thing that could get Burnett sent down.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by mlhouse View Post
      Infielders (6): Justin Morneau, Trevor Plouffe, Jamey Carroll, Pedro Florimon, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar

      Parmalee, Mauer, and Doumit can all play 1B behind Morneau. Carroll, Esocbar and Dozier can all play utility IF.

      Outfielders (4): Josh Willingham, Chris Parmelee, Aaron Hicks, Joe Benson

      There is no reason to wait on Aaron Hicks.


      Service time and not ready yet, so that's at least two reasons...

    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Service time and not ready yet, so that's at least two reasons...

      [/B][/B]
      I would agree that he's not ready if we had a viable veteran we could slot in until he is. I said the same thing in 2004 with Mauer. But there were no options then either. Mastroiani has started a total of seven games in center field in his career. He's a utility/fourth outfielder who hasn't started for long stretches at any one position in the last few years, not even in the minors. Joe Benson is behind Hicks in development, particularly strike zone judgement, especially after last year, in which he played sparingly and not well. He needs time to get his swing back before he is even a legit candidate. At that point, he'll be competition for Mastroiani more than Hicks, as Benson can play all three outfield positions and Hicks is a pure center fielder.

      As always, this will be about who is most ready to take the job and play every day. Hicks is most ready to take the everyday job, imho, sspecially with the need for a lead-off guy. Mastroiani is a bottom-of-the-order hitter. Benson is a guy you slot in seventh or so, where his power can do more damage and his limited OBP skills won't hurt so much. They might try to send Hicks down because of service time, but they will not even get into May before they realize the error in their ways and call him up. When Willingham and Morneau are 1-2 in the league in solo homers, the player with the best OBP potential will get the job for good.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      They might try to send Hicks down because of service time, but they will not even get into May before they realize the error in their ways and call him up.
      They don't even need to get into May to get that additional year of control, so I guess there shouldn't be too much to complain about.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      He doesn't strike many out and for awhile, he had as many walks as strikeouts. But, the last 4-6 weeks, he figured out how to strike guys out. I don't think that they'd send him down, but you make a great point in that he does have an option left whereas Wood, Roenicke, Swarzak and some of the others are out of options and Pressly would have to be offered back. So, that is the one thing that could get Burnett sent down.
      Unless he's hurt, I can't imagine Burnett not being on the Opening Day roster. I think this is an organizational blind spot.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Unless he's hurt, I can't imagine Burnett not being on the Opening Day roster. I think this is an organizational blind spot.
      Maybe, but he also put up a pretty strong ERA, so no matter how, he actually got the job done most of last season.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
      They don't even need to get into May to get that additional year of control, so I guess there shouldn't be too much to complain about.
      I was under the impression it was early June to be on the safe side (85 days prior to September). If he happens to be in a class with relatively few rookies, he could land on the Super Two list if he's called up in early May.

      A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 22 percent (increased from 17 percent in previous agreements) in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      I was under the impression it was early June to be on the safe side (85 days prior to September). If he happens to be in a class with relatively few rookies, he could land on the Super Two list if he's called up in early May.
      Super-2 status has nothing to do with years of control, it's strictly a way to provide additional players access to arbitration as a reward spending a large amount of time in the majors, but not enough to be a full season.

      Two weeks in AAA is all that it takes for the team to gain a 7th year.

      Edit: It actually takes three weeks, not two.


      A Mauer-like player that comes up on day 1, and never goes down, would have 3 seasons at minimum, and 3 arbitration seasons.

      Year 1: minimum
      Year 2: minimum
      Year 3: minimum
      Year 4: arbitration
      Year 5: arbitration
      Year 6: arbitration

      A player that spends a couple of weeks (three) in the minors would end up with this...

      Year 1: minimum (just short of one full year of service)
      Year 2: minimum (just short of two years service)
      Year 3: minimum (just short of three years service, qualifies for super-2 arb)
      Year 4: arbitration
      Year 5: arbitration
      Year 6: arbitration
      Year 7: arbitration


      There are roughly 184 days in a ML season, it takes 172 days to acquire one year of service. Once 172 days are accrued in any one season the counting stops. As long as a player accrues fewer than those 172 days in any of their first 6 seasons, they require a 7th season to push them over the free agency threshold.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
      As long as a player accrues fewer than those 172 days in any of their first 6 seasons, they require a 7th season to push them over the free agency threshold.
      I realize everyone on this site has already chalked up 2013 to a "lost cause" but am I reading this correctly, that the Twins could start Hicks in 2018 in AAA for 2 weeks instead of doing it this year, and achieve the same effect that way?

      That is of course assuming the 2017 CBA doesn't change things.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      I realize everyone on this site has already chalked up 2013 to a "lost cause" but am I reading this correctly, that the Twins could start Hicks in 2018 in AAA for 2 weeks instead of doing it this year, and achieve the same effect that way?
      Yes. Or two weeks in the middle of 2014, or two weeks at the end of 2015, etc, so long as those two weeks occur within the same season.

      The only potential wrinkle in the hypothetical 2018 scenario is that once 5 years of service are accrued a player earns the right to refuse demotion, even if they have options remaining. Hicks could theoretically refuse demotion in 2018 as he would have 5 full seasons at that point. (I am not 100% certain on the part about options, that's how I currently understand it)

      That's almost exactly what the Brewers ended up doing with Hardy. They demoted him to AAA shortly before he had a chance to accrue his 5th year of service (thus no refusal) and pushing his free agency back an additional season.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      5 years? Hell, that solves it. if he's the best CF or leadoff man out of ST then there's no reason not to bring him north.

      Unless you really really want to win super 2 status I guess.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      But if you bring him north, and he plays well from day one, you'll have a hard time ever justifying a trip back to AAA. I think it would be highly frowned upon demoting a 4+ year player strictly for service time reasons.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      At least wait till the season is, mathematically, a lost cause. Punting from Day 1 to get that pesky 7th year, when they guy is your best CF and leadoff option, is laughably premature.

      And, in the unlikely event that the TWins are any good this year, then they can wait till he sprains an ankle or goes 3-40. Send him down for 2 weeks to find his stroke or to rehab.

      I just can't stand any of this big planning. Nothing ever goes to plan.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.