On Monday morning, the Minnesota Twins made several very telling roster decisions.The Twins optioned catcher Drew Butera. They also reassigned catcher Dan Rohlfing, infielders Ray Olmedo and Jeff Clement, and outfielder Brandon Boggs. The roster is now at 31. The news is good for outfielder Wilkin Ramirez.
There is really just one more offensive, Opening Day roster spot that is up for grabs. Drew Butera had an option remaining, so he was sent to Rochester. This means that the Twins must be comfortable with Eduardo Escobar as an emergency catcher. More proof of that, the Twins also demoted Jeff Clement, who has not caught much in the last couple of years, but was drafted as a catcher. Dan Rohlfing was not going to make the roster, but he did have a very strong showing. Brandon Boggs was another possibility for the 25th man job.
Earlier this morning, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that a lot of teams really would like Butera, but that the Twins prefer to stash him at Rochester for when needed.
This basically means that Wilkin Ramirez will be the 25th man unless the Twins decide to go with 13 pitchers. Ramirez was once a prize prospect of the Detroit Tigers and has spent big league time with the Tigers and the Braves. He showed terrific power in Rochester last year and had a very strong big league camp. He will be the fifth outfielder, but primarily, he will be a pinch hitter.
The moves really leave just a couple more roster decisions to be made. They are on the pitching side of things. There are 18 pitchers left in camp, but that includes Rafael Perez and Rich Harden, who have only pitched bullpens to this point. Tim Wood will begin on the Disabled List. Samuel Deduno also suffered a groin injury in the WBC championship game.
We know that Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Brian Duensing and Casey Fien are the givens. Rule 5 choice, Ryan Pressly, appears to be a lock as he has had a very good spring training. So, it really comes down to Alex Burnett, Tyler Robertson, Josh Roenicke and PJ Walters for two spots.
Robertson would the the left-handed option, should they go that direction. He does have two options remaining. Alex Burnett really struggled this spring, and he has one option remaining. Josh Roenicke threw 80+ innings for the Rockies a year ago, and he is out of options. PJ Walters could be competing for the fifth starter job (unlikely) as well as a long-relief job, but he is on a minor league contract.
Opening Day is one week away! We're getting close now!