• Roster Becomes Clearer With More Transactions

    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!
    This article was originally published in blog: Roster Becomes Clearer With More Transactions started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 100 Comments
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Blackjack View Post
      So who is going to be the new whipping boy for the blogging community? For awhile it was Punto, then Butera, now who?? My guess is Florimon...
      He's certainly next on my list.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rosterman View Post
      I would go with Thielbar taken off the 40-man. When Swarzak and Diamond comes back, who goes down?
      My votes would be Hendriks and Burnett, right now. But that might change in the next couple of weeks.
    1. sorney's Avatar
      sorney -
      Quote Originally Posted by Blackjack View Post
      So who is going to be the new whipping boy for the blogging community? For awhile it was Punto, then Butera, now who?? My guess is Florimon...

      Slama. It's gotta be him. When is he ever going to produce in the minors so he gets a shot with the big club?!?!?!

      Kidding aside, I would envision there isn't a whipping boy because there is just going to be too many candidates for sucktitude. Punto was a weak link on a good team, so he was an easy target, Butera was historically bad; another easy target. With this team, there could be multiple players to fit the bill....
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Ramirez, Deduno, Walters all present the same problem. Which other bad guy who's actually on the 40 that we're overrating because so many are so bad that we're scared to lose him can we take off the 40?

      I'd say Burnett is the most likely candidate. At least with Thielbar, you have no real proof he's bad at the MLB level. Roenicke probably doesn't get much rope. Knowing the Twins, though, they'll decide Ryan Pressly has to go back to Boston so as not to hurt anyone's feelings.
    1. Teflon's Avatar
      Teflon -
      Glad to see somebody saw the light as to the questionable value of carrying a third catcher to counter the situation that might occur in ONE GAME should either Doumit or Mauer have to leave.

      Encouraged by this display of roster logic, can I now suppose that the Twins will also start putting injured players on the injured-reserve list promptly instead of leaving them on the active roster as "day-to-day" and THEN putting them on the injured reserve list?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Just a few thoughts from the comments above:

      1.) Butera was optioned. Doesn't mean he's gone. He was optioned at this exact time a year ago and was up again in late April. The Twins (and many other organizations) value his glove as a backup catcher.

      2.) The guys that were added to the 40 man roster in November could not be taken off the 40 man roster for a period of time, but that time is up. I think it was somewhere around the start of spring training. That puts many in consideration.

      3.) Hernandez isn't going to be taken off the 40 man roster (or I would be surprised if he was). He is young. He is left-handed. He has options. He had a strong spring and a good track record.

      4.) Herrmann is not going to get DFAd. I really, really like Rohlfing and I believe in his improvements. But take a quick look at their stats the last couple of years at New Britain (and half of that time Rohlfing was in Ft. Myers) and see if they would really do that.

      5.) I'll never understand the whipping-boy concept of "fans," but clearly it will be Florimon. Fair or not, some fans just think it's good to have one of those.

      6.) Cmat- Guerra was DFAd right before the Rule 5 draft (like the last days they could)
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      The whipping boy needs to be someone on the bench who gets more playing time than he deserves. Punto and Butera fit the bill. This year, it's either Escobar or Mastroianni. Let's say Gardy platoons Mastro and Parmelee, the Twins play against several lefties in a row, he's in a slump and Parmelee is hitting well. He would be a candidate for whipping boy.
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Quote Originally Posted by matthew0211 View Post
      If they want to keep 13 pitchers (there ought to be some kind of law against that!) then they keep Robertson and Burnett, put Wood on the DL, and Walters stays off the major league roster - easy-peasy, no 40-man roster moves needed.

      But if they want to keep Wilkin, they have to move someone off the 40-man. Hernandez makes the most sense to me; as a soft-tossing AAAA type, he would seem to be the least likely to be claimed. He'd get outrighted to AAA after he clears waivers and stay in the organization.

      Also, don't the call-ups from last November have to stay on the 40-man for a certain amount of time? Herrmann, Theilbar, Hermsen, Pinto, etc. all fall into that category. But even so, I'd expose Hernandez to waivers and try to outright him to AAA. Sure, he had a good spring, but then again Walters looked good in the bullpen before his start yesterday, too.
      I really don't think it's going to be Hernandez since he had an excellent spring and he is a lefty starter.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      5.) I'll never understand the whipping-boy concept of "fans," but clearly it will be Florimon. Fair or not, some fans just think it's good to have one of those.
      I agree that the whipping boy concept is a bit childish, though to be fair, I think most fans know better than to take out their frustrations on the players themselves. Florimon, Correia, Butera, Punto; all have taken criticism but I think most of it is correctly laid at the feet at the GM who misguidedly signs them and/or the manager who continues to play them when they likely shouldn't.

      Of course if you make the case that Ryan is the whipping boy, well guilty as charged and no clemency requested. He has control over his decisions where as the players have little control over their physical limitations (which still are superior to everyone of us.)
    1. ericchri's Avatar
      ericchri -
      I thought the whipping boy was already Joe Mauer. Sure seemed like it the last couple years, at least in reading comments in various places...

      Is Walters a possibility for the bullpen? It doesn't seem like that's how they've viewed him in general, but somebody somewhere had him listed as making the roster in the bullpen. Wish I could remember where I saw that. I would assume he'd get Swarzak's job to start with if so. How long is Swarzak expected to be out?
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      The whipping boy needs to be someone on the bench who gets more playing time than he deserves. Punto and Butera fit the bill. This year, it's either Escobar or Mastroianni. Let's say Gardy platoons Mastro and Parmelee, the Twins play against several lefties in a row, he's in a slump and Parmelee is hitting well. He would be a candidate for whipping boy.
      "The whipping boy needs to be someone on the bench who gets more playing time than he deserves." Clearly it should be Florimon, not Mastroianni who is having an excellent spring, not Escobar who is a utility guy. Escobar is young, he can play multiple position including catching and hits better than Florimon. Escobar is also having a better spring than Florimon.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      ...

      Of course if you make the case that Ryan is the whipping boy, well guilty as charged and no clemency requested. He has control over his decisions where as the players have little control over their physical limitations (which still are superior to everyone of us.)
      And superior to what nearly every one of us ever were.
      A good thing to keep in mind when being critical of the players.

      Some of them are in over their heads, but they are all trying their hardest and performing better than we would.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      I agree that the whipping boy concept is a bit childish, though to be fair, I think most fans know better than to take out their frustrations on the players themselves. Florimon, Correia, Butera, Punto; all have taken criticism but I think most of it is correctly laid at the feet at the GM who misguidedly signs them and/or the manager who continues to play them when they likely shouldn't.
      I guess I'm not going to try to pretend I'm smarter at baseball stuff than Gardy or Terry Ryan. Guys need backups. Backups need playing time to be somewhat fresh when they are called upon.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      About Hicks being named starting CF:

      "The guy has earned it," general manager Terry Ryan said. "I find it almost humorous that guys are talking service time and starting the clock. The guy has earned it."

      Ryan said the Twins have never held a player back for service-time reasons since he took over as general manager in 1994. He said it wouldn't be fair to the player or his teammates if they deserved a roster spot.

      "Can you imagine if we sent somebody out who did what the kid did?" Ryan said. "And I had to look at [Josh] Willingham, [Justin] Morneau, [Glen] Perkins, [Joe] Mauer and those guys who are trying to win, and I'm going to stop that guy? I just don't believe in that."
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I guess I'm not going to try to pretend I'm smarter at baseball stuff than Gardy or Terry Ryan. Guys need backups. Backups need playing time to be somewhat fresh when they are called upon.
      Do we need 18, 19 different lineups in the first 20 games of the season? That's what happened last year.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN View Post
      And superior to what nearly every one of us ever were.
      A good thing to keep in mind when being critical of the players.

      Some of them are in over their heads, but they are all trying their hardest and performing better than we would.
      So I guess you are never critical of anyone in any job that you've never had?
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      About Hicks being named starting CF:

      "The guy has earned it," general manager Terry Ryan said. "I find it almost humorous that guys are talking service time and starting the clock. The guy has earned it."

      Ryan said the Twins have never held a player back for service-time reasons since he took over as general manager in 1994. He said it wouldn't be fair to the player or his teammates if they deserved a roster spot.

      "Can you imagine if we sent somebody out who did what the kid did?" Ryan said. "And I had to look at [Josh] Willingham, [Justin] Morneau, [Glen] Perkins, [Joe] Mauer and those guys who are trying to win, and I'm going to stop that guy? I just don't believe in that."
      The only exception is Bartlett. We're still not sure if service time was the reason for the otherwise inexplicable move. Some say it was because Gardy didn't like him. Some say it was because Kelly didn't like him. Who knows? They sure didn't take advantage of the service time they gained by holding him back.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      I think Butera will be DFAed. Other than Theilbar, I think all of the guys on the 40-man roster have a chance to contribute this year. Outrighting Roenicke could leave room for Walters or Ramirez, but not both.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      It's not really the whipping boy's fault most of the time. We have often blamed Gardy for using his backups more than is warranted. In the case of Punto, he kept making a utility guy into an everyday guy. It never worked. Though I still contend that if he had ever payed much attention to fundamentals, it might have worked. He could have been a speedier, switch hitting Jamey Carroll if he had learned to bunt, shortened his swing, picked up his coaches on the bases and gotten in front of the ball more often. Part of my using him as a whipping boy is I always hoped he would play better, with his tools.

      Butera's more on the GM at the time than the manager. I often wonder how good the Twins would have been in 2011 with Hardy at short and Ramos behind the plate. Butera was put into the everyday job, where he was way overexposed.

      There really aren't any whipping boys on this team. If Florimon fails, Escobar will step in. I'm one of the few people here who doesn't think that's particularly likely. I like Florimon's range, and his bat is not as bad as most people think. But if it happens, I'll be the first to praise Escobar. He does everything well, and he pays attention to the fundamentals.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by Teflon View Post
      Glad to see somebody saw the light as to the questionable value of carrying a third catcher to counter the situation that might occur in ONE GAME should either Doumit or Mauer have to leave.
      IF, at the end of the season, you're able to say the same thing, I'll be surprised.
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