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  • 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 -
      Walters is also not on the 40 man roster, so I think if he comes up, it'd be for more than just a little while until someone comes off the DL.

      And, the reality is that Correia is going to be in the rotation... regardless of spring stats at all.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I saw nothing while watching Doumit catch a ton last year taht told me that he shouldn't be catching. I don't think I'll ever be able to buy stats for framing pitches. I really don't. I think that if he isn't getting those close pitches to be called strikes, some of that has as much to do with inexperienced or wild pitchers that aren't going to get umps calls too.

      Regarding Deduno. He's earned the right to be a starter, but I wouldn't have him ahead of De Vries or Hendriks at this point. The 40 man roster situation is also a factor at this point in the season.
      I think the Twins agree with you. They will probably continue to ignore it. Is that your recommendation?

      If it is an illusion, then how is it possible that over several years and each year Molina does consistently well and Doumit does consistently poorly? Remember that this is supported by a sample of thousands of pitches. Both have played with multiple teams. Inexperienced staffs? How does that explain Jaso's performance with virtually the same staff as Molina? How about Chris Snyder vs. Doumit?

      I would have gone into spring training with a different plan for back up catcher. I am not sure if we should project what the Twins will do or should do. I think they should find a back up at catcher that will be an asset to the young staff. I think Doumit should be in a Jim Thome role. At this Butera is the only option until someone is DFA'd by another team.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
      next is the 25th spot. Butera, Colabello, or Benson in this trifecta i see Benson comming north to continue to push in CF and RF with Parmelee. The Twins will want someone who can come in and play the corner OF spots for defense with pop at the end of games. and pinch hit too. Though good arguements could be made for the other 2 and I would not be disappointed in any of the 3 comming north.
      I would not leave Ramirez out of the equation at this point. Olmedo as well.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Easy for law to say keep hicks down, he is not a fan wanting to be entertained. He is not paying for tickets. It amazes me people are so worried about the pollards money and control, and less worried about the actual entertainment value on the field.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      As much as I'd prefer Deduno to be one of the top 5, he's under contract and not on the 40 man. I'm guessing he's going to spend some time at Rochester and prove that his control has improved before getting added back. It isn't a terrible strategy, as he can prove that at either place, but he might very well be the best starter on the staff.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      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?
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      I know the organizatio has invested heavily in Hicks and Parmelee but neither has unseated Mastroianni for a starting job in my mind. They've all had good springs but Mastro has proven he can play at the MLB level while Parmelee has flopped there and Hicks hasn't even seen AAA.

      Similarly for the middle infield and Carroll. Florimon is the shortstop now, and we're going just ignore the fact that Carroll continues to draw more walks and play comparable defense? Heck I'm a dozier guy and the same could be said about 2B. Its bad enough we'll have to put one of those guys out there everyday, why put them both out there if we don't have to?
    1. fairweather's Avatar
      fairweather -
      "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."--especially because we can expect about as much success out of Correia and Pelfrey as the Twins hot in the past from similar pitchers named Marquis, Ortiz, Ponson ect.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      Deduno has performed great on a massively more competitive stage than ST. That is his spring training, and he has been awesome. DeVries' ST is just that.... ST. Personally, I am not convinced a very mediocre minor league career equates to a stud because of a spring training, and am not fooled. I am amazed how many think Hendricks is so promising. What does it take.... 20 starts in a row without a win? It's like Hendricks gets the Big 10 (higher education.... fuzzy math... not ten teams) treatment for the NCAA tourney. He seems assigned continued promise, regardless of how he perform(ed)s against MLB batters.
    1. fairweather's Avatar
      fairweather -
      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".
    1. fairweather's Avatar
      fairweather -
      If Diamond started the season on the DL I'd go with Walters over Hendriks as the 6th starter in same said fantasy world in which the Twins didn't waste their money on Pelfrey and Correia.
    1. fairweather's Avatar
      fairweather -
      If they had just pooled the moneys spent on Correia and Pelfrey, or as I call them the Corr-frey combo, on one decent starter like McCarthy, Dempster, Jackson, Marcum ect. just think how much more positive the general vibe around the Twins would be.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      If the Twins go with an extra bench bat rather than three catchers, I have a hard time believing they would go with Benson as a "bench bat". He needs to play everyday. So the bench bat battle is between Wilkin Ramirez, Brandon Boggs, Chris Colabello and Jeff Clement. Because of Parmalee's versatility, I would go with one of the outfielders. Boggs is a switch hitter who can play all three outfield spots, so...

      The only problem with that is 40-man roster issues. Say they take Boggs, DeVries, Deduno and Walters north. If so, they would need four new roster spots. I think they could DFA Woods and Butera because of their price tags. But I can't find other DFA candidates (unless you count Roenicke and Pinto). They might be forced by roster constraints to keep guys like Hendriks and Robertson rather than Deduno and Walters.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      How long before a guy does not need to play everyday, and he is a bench guy?
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrodaddyG View Post
      Because Ryan basically insulted Santana with his extension offer on his way out the door, leaving Smith with essentially no chance of re-signing him, forcing him to make a deal. Pierzynski was dealt because of Mauer's presence, but could have easily been kept as a backup C/DH at the time.


      SF gave up a good package because AJ was a useful player entering his prime at a position that's starved for offense. It wasn't like they were getting sure-thing prospects in return, but they panned out better than prospects generally do.

      The Mets ended up giving up less in their deal because they knew the Twins' hand was forced, and all of baseball knew Santana had one foot out the door the second he turned down Ryan's "competitive" 5/$100M offer. The prospects they got in return ended up being essentially useless during their Twins tenure, but making a deal was something Smith had to do given the circumstances.
      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.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      The only problem with that is 40-man roster issues...
      I think that the Twins can open 5-6 spots on their 40-man roster tomorrow if they wanted to:

      Alex Burnett
      Casey Fien
      Ryan Pressly
      Tyler Robertson
      Josh Roenicke
      Caleb Thielbar
      Tim Wood

      Pick the 4-5 who do not make it to the MLB roster

      and

      Drew Butera

      that's 5-6
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Also, just checked and DeVries is on the 40-man. Deduno, Walters, Ramirez and Boggs are not. Only two of those are likely to make the team, though.

      Fien has an option. Robertson would get claimed. Not sure about the others, but probably not.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      I think that the Twins can open 5-6 spots on their 40-man roster tomorrow if they wanted to:

      Alex Burnett
      Casey Fien
      Ryan Pressly
      Tyler Robertson
      Josh Roenicke
      Caleb Thielbar
      Tim Wood

      Pick the 4-5 who do not make it to the MLB roster

      and

      Drew Butera

      that's 5-6
      you forgot Correia and the loser of Floriman and Escobar battle
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      I think the Twins agree with you. They will probably continue to ignore it. Is that your recommendation?

      If it is an illusion, then how is it possible that over several years and each year Molina does consistently well and Doumit does consistently poorly? Remember that this is supported by a sample of thousands of pitches. Both have played with multiple teams. Inexperienced staffs? How does that explain Jaso's performance with virtually the same staff as Molina? How about Chris Snyder vs. Doumit?

      I would have gone into spring training with a different plan for back up catcher. I am not sure if we should project what the Twins will do or should do. I think they should find a back up at catcher that will be an asset to the young staff. I think Doumit should be in a Jim Thome role. At this Butera is the only option until someone is DFA'd by another team.
      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.

      As far as whether we should look at what the Twins will do or what they should do, I'm not smart enough or arrogant enough to think that my method of thinking is more right than theirs. They aren't even arrogant enough to claim that every decision they make is the right one.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Correia is going to start in the opening series. Period. Florimon is about 90% the starter at short. Escobar will make the team as a second utility guy.
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