• Minnesota Twins Roster Projection 3.0

    In two weeks, the Minnesota Twins will start their trek north for the start of the regular season. In the last few days, the Twins have sent several players down to minor league camp. There are still 50 players in camp and half of them will not be on the active roster on Opening Day. Here is this weekís look at my Twins Roster Projection.

    Let us know what you think. There are still a few roster spots up for grabs. Do you think any of the other players are givens? Which question marks do you think will make it? Go on record in the comments and see how your opinions change from week to week.



    The players in Red are players that I believe are givens to make the roster (obviously pending injury). Those in black are potentially up for grabs.


    Catchers: Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit, Drew Butera

    What we know: Of course Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit are givens.

    What we don't know: The big question at this point is whether or not the Twins will carry a third catcher, or if theyíll be able to trust Eduardo Escobar to be the emergency catcher. If they think Escobar can do the job if absolutely needed, Mauer and Doumit can still be in the lineup most every day and Ron Gardenhire can have an offensive (in the good sense of the word) 25th man on the roster. As of today, I still think that Butera is the favorite, but now he is not competing with just other catchers, but heís also competing with all potential bench bats too.

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

    What we know: We know that Justin Morneau, Trevor Plouffe and Jamey Carroll will be on the roster. Those are easy. This week, I did chance Dozier, Florimon and Escobar to givens. As was expected, Florimon is the shortstop and Dozier will be the second baseman. Escobar has also grabbed that second utility spot, and his willingness to be the emergency catcher (as he was with the White Sox a year ago), just solidifies that heíll fill a role on this roster.
    What we donít know: How long will Plouffe be hurt? Who plays at third base if Plouffe needs to go on the Disabled List? I assume it will be Jamey Carroll, although there is a chance that Eduardo Escobar could start there a bit as well. Is there any chance that the Twins could use Mark Sobolewski at the hot corner if Plouffe ends up being out for a while? Iíd say doubtful, but it does have to be asked. Finally, I believe that Chris Colabello is in the race for that 25th spot on the roster, with Drew Butera and Joe Benson.

    Outfielders: Josh Willingham, Aaron Hicks, Chris Parmelee, Darin Mastroianni

    What we know: Josh Willingham will be the left fielder and hit. Chris Parmelee will be the starting right fielder as the season begins. We know that Darin Mastroianni will be on the roster.

    What we donít know: Aaron Hicks was certainly the story of the first three weeks of minor league camp. He hasnít had a hit in a couple of games, so heíll need to show that he is able to handle some struggles in a positive way. Joe Benson really struggled the first three weeks of minor league games. However, he is hitting the ball hard and getting on base the last several games. If he has a strong next week to ten days and Hicks doesnít rebound, this race is still up for grabs. Finally, Mastroianni is not going to sit back and let the other guys take the centerfield job. He missed about a week with his hamstring injury, but he came back and hit again. So, I still believe that Hicks is the current favorite for the starting job, but it is not completely settled yet. Benson could still be competing for the 25th spot on the roster, a bench bat with some pop.

    Starting Pitchers: Kevin Correia, Vance Worley, Scott Diamond, Mike Pelfrey, Liam Hendriks, Cole De Vries (Diamond likely to start season on DL)

    What we know: Kevin Correia, Vance Worley and Mike Pelfrey are all new to the organization, and they are all givens to make the rotation. Scott Diamond would be a starter, but he is yet pitch in a game and likely will begin the season on the disabled list. Kyle Gibson was competing for a job in the rotation, but his struggles got him sent back to Rochester to start the season.

    What we donít know: Two spots in the rotation are open to start the season. Liam Hendriks and Cole de Vries are certainly the leading candidates, and those two havenít changed on this list since last week. Hendriks gave up three homers in his start this week, but he was quite good in the first three. De Vries has been good throughout the spring. However, a couple of pitchers are getting noticed. PJ Walters has pitched very well in spring training, as he did last year until his injury. If he is an option for the rotation, he should get a start or at least get extended. Sam Deduno has pitched very well for the Dominican WBC team. He pitched well against Spain and Thursday night against the USA team. No question that Deduno has stuff, but can he throw enough strikes consistently? Can he get through five innings consistently? Deduno and Walters are not on the 40 man roster which reduces their chance of being on the Opening Day roster, but if they pitch well in Rochester, they will get another opportunity.

    Bullpen: Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Brian Duensing, Casey Fien, Josh Roenicke, Ryan Pressly, Tim Wood, (Anthony Swarzak-DL)

    What we know: Perkins is going to be the closer. Burton and Duensing will be set up men. Swarzak becomes a given for the 25 man roster because he will be on the Disabled List.

    What we donít know: Pretty much everything else. Alex Burnett has gone from being nearly a sure-thing to his odds being no better than 50% to make the Opening Day roster with a really rough spring training. He has an option remaining, as does Casey Fien. With Fien, the option might be the lone thing that keeps me from calling him a given. After that, the questions only get more difficult. Pressly has been really good all spring training and the odds of the Twins keeping him on the roster are quite high. Josh Roenicke and Tim Wood are both out of options. Roenicke threw a ton of innings last year as a long-man with the Rockies. Especially with Swarzak out to start the season, Roenicke provides value. Wood had one really rough outing, but he has been pretty solid. Walters and Deduno could still be candidates for a long term role if the Twins go in that direction. The other option is Tyler Robertson. He was roughed up in his first couple of spring outings, but he has been very good since. If the Twins decide that a third lefty is necessary, Robertson will be the choice. And, Pedro Hernandez has done a very nice job as a lefty out of the bullpen this spring as well.

    What are your thoughts? What does your roster look like two weeks before the season opener?
    This article was originally published in blog: Minnesota Twins Roster Projection 3.0 started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 86 Comments
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      Seth, you have 11 sure-thing position players right now, so it's safe to say the two remaining spots go to two of the following:

      Hicks
      Butera
      Ramirez
      Boggs
      Colabello
      Clement

      You indicate that Butera and Hicks are the leading candidates, but if *neither of them* which two do you think have the advantage out of the remaining four?
      My sense is Benson and then probably Colabello or Clement.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Santana expressed a desire to leave long before the Ryan offer. As there were only a few teams at that time that would be able to meet Santana's salary demands that limited any leverage Smith had. The less that the Mets had to offer was a reflection of what was in their system at the time. Gomez, Guerra and Humber were top 100 in the minors prospects. Mulvey was not thought of as an throw in type of player. The Twins got less because Smith wouldn't go for the better package that Boston offered, He thought he needed a center fielder and Boston would not give up Ellesbury. How different the Twins would have been with Lowrie and Lester

      Of course if the Twins would have kept Santana, had him sign with the Yankees and drafted the player California did with that pick they would be calling Smith a genius.
      This would be great if Boston actually offered that package. Too bad they didnt.
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      One of Boston's offers was in fact Lester, Lowrie, Justin Masterson and Coco Crisp, but that has nothing to do with the topic of this year's roster, so bringing it back to the discussion.

      Personally, I'm not seeing Florimon adding much to the equation. If it was me, Escobar makes the team as the starting shortstop and emergency catcher, Florimon gets sent down along with Butera, and that opens two bench spots for a couple of decent bats. Butera and Florimon are a phone call away at Rochester in an emergency. Florimon is batting .222 while Escobar is batting .333, and in my opinion Escobar is a more consistent fielder than Florimon who last year had a tendency to make spectactular plays and blow some routine ones.
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      Quote Originally Posted by fairweather View Post
      In my fantasy world the Twins rotation would be Diamond, Worley, Deduno, DeVries, and Hernandez. Those free agent "additions" are going to hurt more than help. Look for another terrible start to the season for the Twins courtesy of the free agent "additions".
      Hmmm...mine might be more like: Verlander, Hernandez, Price, Strasburg, and Halladay.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      My sense is Benson and then probably Colabello or Clement.
      I cannot see Benson! If there is a candidate in question who needs more time playing every day it is undoubtedly him. And aside from drawing a nice amount of walks this spring, his offense has been below average. Put that together with the disaster that was last season, and I can't justify making Joe the 4th OF. Platoon with Parmelee is better, but we know what Gardy would likely think of that.

      Now that Colabello is down to Rochester, I would think that maybe it is going to be Hicks and Ramirez? Ramirez is a RH slugging option off the bench. Clement would be the 4th first basemen and hits from the wrong side of the plate. Maybe by May the Twins will have a 14-11 roster breakdown (one can always hope).

      Also, Ramirez could pinch hit for Parmelee against lefties late. If Mastro pinch runs for Willingham, the late inning OF defense of Mastro-Hicks-and Ramirez is not too shabby.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I think you're right in the sense that Benson shouldn't be a 4th OF quite yet. I'm glad that the Twins stuck with him through that initial struggle, realizing he was so far behind after being hurt all of last season and not being able to play and train throughout the offseason either. He's been much better and likely needs to continue to play most every day.

      I like Wilkin Ramirez. Loved when they signed him a year ago. He's still not old and does have power. I like that he's right-handed and could platoon with Parmelee as well as pinch hit.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      The Twins need to keep Benson if they send down Hicks. Ramirez is not a good defender anywhere in the OF. Boggs is a LF option.

      I would send down Hicks for the extra year of control and then flip him with Benson in late April. They would be trading three weeks of his rookie season for all of his 2019 season. Benson would still get plenty of playing time in AAa.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Like I said, you can look at it however you want. In watching pretty much every game last year, at no point did I say, Man, Doumit is a terrible catcher or doesn't frame the ball well.
      You haven't noticed the head duck? Its like a tell. He only does it when he's bluffing, and he never gets the call. He's doing it again right now, catching Worley

    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Back to the rotation. My top 5 predictions are Worely, Hendriks, DeVries Corriea and either Dedunno or Pelfry with the spot Pelfry's to lose as of today. (Diamond starts on DL and Pelfry could start there too to work on mechanis for 20 days)

      Hendriks and DeVries are tied as I see it so whoever is pitching better at the time someone comes back the other goes down.

      Walters may get a shot in the pen. I dont want to see Corriea in the rotation at this point. Too bad i dont get a say in that. Dedunno and Walters are most likely to be sent down because of contract status and be the 7th and 8th starters this year. I think when Pelfry gets his mechanics down probably around the allstar break up until his arm wears out for the season he will be a solid pitcher.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Back to the rotation. My top 5 predictions are Worely, Hendriks, DeVries Corriea and either Dedunno or Pelfry with the spot Pelfry's to lose as of today. (Diamond starts on DL and Pelfry could start there too to work on mechanis for 20 days)

      Hendriks and DeVries are tied as I see it so whoever is pitching better at the time someone comes back the other goes down.

      Walters may get a shot in the pen. I dont want to see Corriea in the rotation at this point. Too bad i dont get a say in that. Also i did not mean to say he wont start this year in my earlier post. just that he isnt pitching up to someone wh deserves a spot. Dedunno and Walters are most likely to be sent down because of contract status and be the 7th and 8th starters this year. I think when Pelfry gets his mechanics down probably around the allstar break up until his arm wears out for the season he will be a solid pitcher.

      With all of the pitchers comming back from injury how much sense would it make to go with a 6 man rotation for a while starting late april though June?
    1. 3up3down's Avatar
      3up3down -
      So you guys still see Hendriks ahead of DeVries,walters & Deduno?why? What do these guys have to do to move ahead of him, all 3 of them have been lights out this spring & all had better showings in the bigs...I Am still not sold on Deduno , just too many pitches & will tax the pen.. I don't think it was a good idea for Hendriks to disagree with Gardy on his pitch selection..maybe that will help them give these other guys a shot at that spot..
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by 3up3down View Post
      So you guys still see Hendriks ahead of DeVries,walters & Deduno?why? What do these guys have to do to move ahead of him, all 3 of them have been lights out this spring & all had better showings in the bigs...I Am still not sold on Deduno , just too many pitches & will tax the pen.. I don't think it was a good idea for Hendriks to disagree with Gardy on his pitch selection..maybe that will help them give these other guys a shot at that spot..
      Personally, I like Hendricks above those other guys because Hendricks is the only one of those guys that I view as a medium to long term MLB pitcher, albeit a back end one, but still.
      And, since its a lost season, I'd just assume give Hendricks 190 innings and see what happens. Its time to find out if he can be a 4 or 5 in this league, and we arent going to know from short stints and/or time at AAA.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      Personally, I like Hendricks above those other guys because Hendricks is the only one of those guys that I view as a medium to long term MLB pitcher, albeit a back end one, but still.
      And, since its a lost season, I'd just assume give Hendricks 190 innings and see what happens. Its time to find out if he can be a 4 or 5 in this league, and we arent going to know from short stints and/or time at AAA.
      I agree. Hendriks is much younger. He has been much better in AA and AAA. He is the only one with upside.

      Look at Viola's first two seasons and 56 starts at a similar age. He was the worst pitcher in baseball. Look at Radke. Santana's first two seasons from the pen were terrible. The only way to find out if Hendriks is to put him out there every fifth day and be patient in the investment.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Does your arm hurt when these guys "pitch too many pitches". Deduno would only "tax the pen" (which is why they are there in the first place) by religiously adhering to the philosophy of "manage by pitch count". That might be OK for a pitcher in his early 20's that the team has plans to keep him long-term--but for a guy who is in his late 20's and who is rojected to be a place-holder for a year or two, it isn't. Part of what is hurting the franchise is rigid adherence to philosophy and style rather than end result. It seems that winning isn't sufficient if winning wasn't done "the right way". If Deduno requires 120 pitches to go six innings of three or less, so be it. Gardehire's (and also Ryan's) arm will be just fine the next day.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      I just got back from Ft. Myers and I would like to remind all here of a couple of things: 1) While it is fun to speculate, the reality is that the roster will look considerably different by midseason and that everybody who is being considered will most likely have the chance to establish themselves at some time this year. 2) This season IMHO, is about players like Plouffe, Parmelee and Dozier (among position players) solidifying their role as big-league starters. I am betting on all three to thrive, but odds are one or more will fail and become failed prospects. On the pitching side, it is disappointing that Gibson was sent out early, but he will be the first call-up if he is effective at Rochester and it is a near-certainty that everybody in Rochester and New Britain who pitches well will get their chance with the Twins. FWIW, I think Hendriks and De Vries both start in the rotation as Diamond is brought along slowly, Walters makes the club as sixth starter/long man and Pressley gets a spot. My prediction is that Sweet Drew makes the club as the 25th man, despite little need for a third catcher.
    1. NoCryingInBaseball's Avatar
      NoCryingInBaseball -
      I am in total agreement with Stringer bell that this year is about the development of the three position players solidifying their roles as big leaguers, with Parmelee possibly moving to 1st come trade deadline time. This isn’t the year of solidifying the starting rotation, too many young prospects need more time in the minors. I am hoping that one or two of the Hendriks, De Vries, Walters & Deduno group work their way to a part of the rotation by mid-season, maybe forcing management to move Correia to the bullpen.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      The Twins need to keep Benson if they send down Hicks. Ramirez is not a good defender anywhere in the OF. Boggs is a LF option.

      I would send down Hicks for the extra year of control and then flip him with Benson in late April. They would be trading three weeks of his rookie season for all of his 2019 season. Benson would still get plenty of playing time in AAa.
      I agree that they need an everyday center fielder, and Maestro is not it. But he's a better fit for this team than Benson. When they lost Span, they lost their lead-off hitter. Replacing him with a patient hitter is vital. Benson is not that type of hitter.

      But I question sending Hicks down in the first place. He's the best replacement for Span--he's more patient, has better range, a better arm, more power and is a better base stealer than Span. He's certainly better than Maestro and Benson at those skills. The Twins continue to put up the facade of a competition, but this was all-but won when he played outstanding defense against the Red Sox.

      Everybody on this board seems to think that the Twins place a high priority on controlling service time. There is little evidence of this in the last 10 years. They sign the guys they want to keep to long-term deals before arbitration. Also, Terry Ryan has said he doesn't care. He was asked point blank by Bernadino and he said "Why would you even think that?" "Because fans are saying it." "Well, they're wrong." It makes no sense to entertain something that has been proven wrong by both Ryan's words and actions.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      People sure didn't like the Francisco Liriano trade at the time, but it's pretty clear that it was yet another great trade by Terry Ryan. Liriano continued his struggles with the White Sox and then left and went to the National League. In Escobar, the Twins have a utility player for the next five or six years, and possibly a long, lefty reliever for the next 6-7 years... pretty nice.
      I think we're getting a little ahead of ourselves. Escobar has hardly played for the Twins at the MLB level and Hernandez has yet to do so. I'm not saying Escobar won't be a Twin for five or six years but this is already his last option year. If his bat doesn't develop, five or six years is a long time to waste a roster spot without exposing him to waivers, especially if he ends up getting competition from the likes of Rosario, Dozier and Santana going forward.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I think you're right in the sense that Benson shouldn't be a 4th OF quite yet. I'm glad that the Twins stuck with him through that initial struggle, realizing he was so far behind after being hurt all of last season and not being able to play and train throughout the offseason either. He's been much better and likely needs to continue to play most every day.

      I like Wilkin Ramirez. Loved when they signed him a year ago. He's still not old and does have power. I like that he's right-handed and could platoon with Parmelee as well as pinch hit.

      Seth, when is Benson a 4th OFer, though? If he's not great this year, can they have him on the roster next year as a 4th (likely faster, better arm, more power than Maestro)? I guess I'm asking, much like trying to keep a SP a SP instead of making him a good RP, when do you say "benson is really a 4th OFer)?
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