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  • 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. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Whipping boys are all nonsense anyways. 3rd catchers ,all 3rd backup belong in AAA. This is not 4 lines of a hockey team.With all the best players making the team, will the team be any better? The Twins have a long ways to go, with injuries and call ups there teams look pretty weak even for the long term.
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Quote Originally Posted by matthew0211 View Post
      They can't put Guerra on the 60-day DL, he's not on the 40-man roster. I think Pedro Hernandez would be a good bet to be outrighted to make room for Ramirez.
      Would he be outrighted for having an ERA of 0 in Spring? Would he be outrighted for being a lefty starter? Hell no.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      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.
      Just because someone is critical of TR or Gardy does not mean that person is pretending to know more about baseball then them.
      Look at it this way: You go out to a restaurant, and order the most expensive steak on the menu, medium rare.
      The steak is delivered to your table, and its burned to a crisp, and as dry as an old boot. Are you going to question it, or just say, "well, I certainly don't know more about cooking than the chef does, so if he says this is medium rare, then I guess it is!"
      Even people who are good at their jobs make mistakes, and sometimes they make mistakes that are obvious to even the lay person.

      I think just about everyone in here understands that guys need backups and that backups are occasionally going to play. But I also don't think that not having the foresight to have a plan B in place, which causes Nick Punto and Drew Butera to EVER get every day AB's is questionable at the least, and borders on incompetence.

      And one thing that I do, and will question is the following:
      In general I give TR a pass for the SP issues last year. A reasonable person could not have predicted all 3 of Liriano, Pavano, and Baker being useless, for all intents and purposes.
      But I think TR has done a very questionable job of addressing that issue this year. I keep hearing about how at a minimum our starting pitching couldnt possibly be as bad as last year, and I've even seen some people say that it will be vastly improved.
      Well, I'm not seeing that. To me, quantity does NOT equal quality, and I dont really see anything in the short term that is better than last year.

      Correai: I won't even pile on, its a horse that's been beaten, buried, dug up, beaten again, and set on fire. It is what it is.

      Pelfrey: I don't think he's ready. Things could get ugly if he's allowed to start the season. I have even heard rumblings of him starting opening day (not that it really matters who starts which day, really), so apparently they are not even considering DL'ing him to give him time to get healthy. I'll go ahead and assume that there is a pretty good chance they are seeing something that is not being seen publicly, but I'm still not optimistic about it.

      Worley: I'll be honest, I knew of him, but hadnt seen him pitch much. I looked at his numbers and thought this could be a solid middle rotation guy for us. A small sample size over ST is certainly nothing to draw conclusions from, but at the same time, he's shown us nothing to to get excited about, and plenty to be nervous about. I'm hopeful its just a matter of him building up strength in his elbow, and that this isnt just his normal stuff.

      The prospects: Gibson looked really bad, and not ready in ST. I know Gardy and TR are saying optimistic things publicly, but the whispers I have heard are that they are no longer counting on much of him at the MLB level this year.
      Seth, have you discussed this with your sources, and if so, what is the mood regarding him?
      Meyer and May, I'm excited to have some good young arms in the system, and these 2 seem fairly close to MLB ready. But, I think the max that we will see from one or the other is a few innings in Sept.

      The rest: Deduno, Walters, Hendricks, De Vries, etc. : Nothing in here that we didnt have last year.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Regarding the earlier active roster question--it is about paying major league money and granting service time to more people. I remember that there used to be more players alotted at the beginning of the season as well as in September. The 24-man rosters of the 80s was a MLB collusion of all the teams. All teams were permitted to have 25 guys on the roster, but all "chose" to have 24, including, I believe, the Twins' first World Championship.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Mr. Brooks--After a couple of less-than-stellar outings, Pelfrey went 5 today allowing one run on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts. I suspect we'll see that kind of rollercoaster with Pelfrey, at least the first half of the season. As for Worley and Correia, they were both passable middle-of-the-rotation guys in the NL, with Worley being young enough to maybe get better. Spring training hasn't inspired anyone about them, but it is spring training, and they were assured spots in the rotation long ago. I think Gibson will be back fairly soon and put up okay numbers for a rookie, setting the stage to be much better in 2014. Hendriks has a chance, but he has to put ahead in the count and get hitters to go after his pitch, rather than grooving balls to avoid walking guys. I don't think Deduno, De Vrieze, and Walters will ever be more than partial season fill-ins
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      The manger sees and knows alot more than we do. Minor injuries and players needing a day off. I say if a player is good enough to to be on your bench then he is good enough to play.
      If the GM can't afford to sign a few FA then he can't improve his team.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
      Mr. Brooks--After a couple of less-than-stellar outings, Pelfrey went 5 today allowing one run on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts. I suspect we'll see that kind of rollercoaster with Pelfrey, at least the first half of the season. As for Worley and Correia, they were both passable middle-of-the-rotation guys in the NL, with Worley being young enough to maybe get better. Spring training hasn't inspired anyone about them, but it is spring training, and they were assured spots in the rotation long ago. I think Gibson will be back fairly soon and put up okay numbers for a rookie, setting the stage to be much better in 2014. Hendriks has a chance, but he has to put ahead in the count and get hitters to go after his pitch, rather than grooving balls to avoid walking guys. I don't think Deduno, De Vrieze, and Walters will ever be more than partial season fill-ins
      If the lineup posted on the Strib site this morning is the same lineup he actually faced, then those numbers don't mean a whole lot.

      1. Daniel Descalso, SS
      2. Shane Robinson, CF
      3. Matt Carpenter, 2B
      4. Matt Adams, 1B
      5. Oscar Tavares, RF
      6. Ty Wigginton, 3B
      7. Adron Chambers, LF
      8. Tony Cruz, C
      9. Shelby Miller, RHP

      I see probably one guy who will be in the opening day lineup (whichever of Deslasco/Carpenter win the 2B job), and they even chose not to use a DH, while the Twins did!
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by Top Gun View Post
      The manger sees and knows alot more than we do. Minor injuries and players needing a day off. I say if a player is good enough to to be on your bench then he is good enough to play.
      If the GM can't afford to sign a few FA then he can't improve his team.
      1) Nobody is talking about bench guys playing on starters day's off. That is completely different than guys like Butera getting every day AB's for extended periods of time. I even made sure to specifically point that out in my post.

      2) The team is $30 million under budget. I don't see $$ as being any kind of acceptable excuse for not improving the team.
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Do we need 18, 19 different lineups in the first 20 games of the season? That's what happened last year.
      While I wish they could go with 1 lineup on a regular basis, but as I was watching the game on Saturday against the Rays, they mentioned that Maddon used 150 different lineups last year.
    1. matthew0211's Avatar
      matthew0211 -
      Would he be outrighted for having an ERA of 0 in Spring? Would he be outrighted for being a lefty starter? Hell no.
      You can't keep everyone, you have to take risks and make choices. I'm not saying it's the only right move. If a roster move needs to be made, I'm saying he looks like someone who would be a candidate to be waived and hopefully outrighted without being claimed. Left-handed or no, he's certainly not on the level of Gibson, Meyer, May, Berrios, etc.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by ericchri View Post
      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...
      Yeah. If I remember correctly, Bill James was referencing another star catcher, Mike Piazza, when noting that it's a pretty sure sign of a bad franchise when it blames its best players for the team not succeeding. To that I would add 'sign of a bad fan base'.

      Like a previous poster said, frustration with the play of the Puntos and Buteras of the world tends to ultimately be directed at the GM, while complaints about Mauer tend to be, well, directed at Mauer. Too passive at the plate, can't stay healthy, costs too much, not an outspoken leader, etc.

      If forced to choose between the two dead horse whippings of a potential Hall of Famer or a guy who can't hit his Newfoundland's weight let alone his own, I'm trending toward the latter.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Do we need 18, 19 different lineups in the first 20 games of the season? That's what happened last year.
      I've seen you make various forms of this comment a few times as some sort of attempted indictment of Gardenhire. I don't understand why for two reasons. For one, I would think that almost any good manager tries to get a little playing time for his bench guys, and even one replacement is going to make for another scratch mark in the "different lineup" column. And more importantly, if you actually look at the lineups used, the point you seem to be trying to make isn't even accurate. Forgive me if I'm wrong in the assumption that you think the lineup wasn't stable enough.

      Looking at those first 20 games you mention...

      The first three spots in the batting order changed...never.

      Four and five were near locks except Willingham and Morneau switched after nine games.

      Doumit hit 6th every time he started with two exceptions where he moved up when Morneau or Willingham got a day off.

      Valencia hit 7th every time he started with three exceptions where someone ahead of him got a day off.

      Casilla hit 9th every time he started.

      From a fielding perspective, Span and Carroll both started at the same position 20 of 20 games. LF, 2B, and 3B were all very much locked up by Willingham, Casilla and Valencia who got three days off (one at DH and the final two games when he was hurt), four days off, and three days off, respectively. Catcher and 1B were used in a pretty predictable rotation for Mauer/Doumit and Parmelee. Right field...well, we know what was going on there.

      So...in the lineup, three spots had ZERO fluctuation, six were very steady outside of days off, and the 8th spot was used to handle the leftover role player in some sense. In the field, five spots were completely or quite stable, two were a very predictable rotation, and one was a revolving door of personnel.

      Where's the problem with what Gardenhire did here?
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      I've seen you make various forms of this comment a few times as some sort of attempted indictment of Gardenhire. I don't understand why for two reasons. For one, I would think that almost any good manager tries to get a little playing time for his bench guys, and even one replacement is going to make for another scratch mark in the "different lineup" column. And more importantly, if you actually look at the lineups used, the point you seem to be trying to make isn't even accurate. Forgive me if I'm wrong in the assumption that you think the lineup wasn't stable enough.

      Looking at those first 20 games you mention...

      The first three spots in the batting order changed...never.

      Four and five were near locks except Willingham and Morneau switched after nine games.

      Doumit hit 6th every time he started with two exceptions where he moved up when Morneau or Willingham got a day off.

      Valencia hit 7th every time he started with three exceptions where someone ahead of him got a day off.

      Casilla hit 9th every time he started.

      From a fielding perspective, Span and Carroll both started at the same position 20 of 20 games. LF, 2B, and 3B were all very much locked up by Willingham, Casilla and Valencia who got three days off (one at DH and the final two games when he was hurt), four days off, and three days off, respectively. Catcher and 1B were used in a pretty predictable rotation for Mauer/Doumit and Parmelee. Right field...well, we know what was going on there.

      So...in the lineup, three spots had ZERO fluctuation, six were very steady outside of days off, and the 8th spot was used to handle the leftover role player in some sense. In the field, five spots were completely or quite stable, two were a very predictable rotation, and one was a revolving door of personnel.

      Where's the problem with what Gardenhire did here?
      The question was need versus choice...simple question is, did he NEED to do it? Cause the argument seemed to be playing backups as much as we do is due to starters needing rest or backups needing to get some time in...but this is at the beginning of the season....so he does it even when it very likely isn't needed, but because he wants to. Where's the need for the starters to rest?

      And the point I made is accurate...in the first 20 games there were 18, 19 different lineups (and that's just when I stopped looking for it last year...at the beginning of last season I said, 'I wonder how many different lineup we'll have to start the season'). No matter how you break it down where you show stability on some spots, that's how it went. You want to read into what I'm saying, all I'm saying is...18, 19 different lineups.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      The question was need versus choice...simple question is, did he NEED to do it? Cause the argument seemed to be playing backups as much as we do is due to starters needing rest or backups needing to get some time in...but this is at the beginning of the season. Where's the need for the starters to rest?
      OK, I'll re-ask my question again... Where was someone getting "too much rest?"

      Catcher: I think we can agree that neither Mauer nor Doumit should have caught all 20 games. They were the only two to catch. The rotation was pretty predictable.

      1B: Parmelee when Mauer was catching, Mauer when Mauer was not catching. Morneau on a very rare occasion when Mauer was DH'ing. A very predictable rotation to go with the catcher rotation.

      2B: Casilla played 16 of the 20 games. Was getting Hughes two games of 20 and Plouffe two of 20 to keep them from rotting on the bench really out of line?

      3B: Valencia 17 of 20 giving a bench guy (Burroughs) exactly three starts in 20 games. Too much?

      SS: Carroll EVERY SINGLE GAME. A late-30's MI started every single game at SS and we're saying they rested people too often?

      LF: Willingham every game with one exception at DH until he was hurt. Should they have made him go out there for those last two games of the 20 to keep from using different lineups?

      CF: Span. Every time.

      RF: And as mentioned, there really wasn't a starting RF on the team so there is where most of your "different lineups" come from. One spot where there was no real starter anyway.

      So I'll ask again: Where's the problem here that it's been often brought up as an indictment of Gardenhire as a manager?
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      I'm sorry, but respectfully, I can't really be any clearer on what I'm saying.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      I'm with CDog here. There are things to question about Gardy, but "not having a set lineup" isn't one of them. No team in the majors does. The season is 6 months long. Players get hurt, get traded, have hot streaks and cold streaks, get sent to the minors, need personal time, etc etc etc. A "set lineup" isn't feasible, nor is there any given advantage to it if you COULD do it.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      A "set lineup" isn't feasible, nor is there any given advantage to it if you COULD do it.
      You don't think a more regular lineup helps a team gel more both offensively and defensively? Just a question, cause I would have to think it would.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      You don't think a more regular lineup helps a team gel more both offensively and defensively? Just a question, cause I would have to think it would.
      In general, no I don't, anymore than a regularly scheduled off day prevents them from "gelling." I'm certainly not in favor of resting starters for no reason, but I doubt any major league manager does that.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      I'm with CDog here. There are things to question about Gardy, but "not having a set lineup" isn't one of them. No team in the majors does. The season is 6 months long. Players get hurt, get traded, have hot streaks and cold streaks, get sent to the minors, need personal time, etc etc etc. A "set lineup" isn't feasible, nor is there any given advantage to it if you COULD do it.
      The frustration is misplaced in this case. The 2012 roster construction that took place in the offseason, ST and early regular season (or lack thereof), included envisioning Willingham in RF, Revere in LF, Doumit playing OF and C (and not DH), Morneau at full-time DH, Parmelee at 1B, Carroll as full-time UTIL IF, Dozier at SS, Valencia at 3B, Plouffe as platoon RF/SuperUtil...

      In short, a mess that can be layed at the feet of the FO, not Gardy.
    1. Aaron Cross's Avatar
      Aaron Cross -
      If Burnett and Robertson still have options, use them. They've been terrible and don't deserve to make the team. Go with Roenicke and Walters.
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