• 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. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by SweetOne69 View Post
      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.
      But is Gardy a Maddon? or do we have the same type pitching staff?
      can we win 1 and 2 run games with our pitching and defense?
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      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?
      2 turtle doves and a partrige in a pear tree =)
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      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.
      So your saying ,when a player gets to the park he should check to see if he is playing, where he is playing and where he is batting? And that a set or normal line up doesnt help?
      so we could put 2 middle infielders into a game and they will do as well as 2 that have played together day after day?
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      It's probably too late in this thread for this question to get much notice, especially with all the sniping about "whipping boys" and Gardys lineups last year, but here it goes:

      Could the Twins pick up a proven bat/pinch hitter between now and opening day? It seems a waste to put Wilkin Ramirez on the bench, rather than giving him a chance to play and add polish with Rochester. He's already 27, so maybe he's beyond the prospect phase. All the same, if there's a 2013 version of Clete Thomas lurking out there, I'd like to see the Twins snatch him up and let Ramirez play everyday at AAA. Any ideas of who might be released/available as other teams trim their rosters and head out for opening day?
      Borbon from texas is interesting
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Seth i noticed you pointed out that Clement was drafted as a catcher, but wasnt willingham and morneau also?
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      So your saying ,when a player gets to the park he should check to see if he is playing, where he is playing and where he is batting? And that a set or normal line up doesnt help?
      so we could put 2 middle infielders into a game and they will do as well as 2 that have played together day after day?
      I won't speak for USAFChief, but your point is rather fanciful since it's been well-established that the lineup doesn't fluctuate nearly as much as your scenario pretends.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      I'm sure teams MIGHT like Butera, but he also makes $700,000. You can still get Corky Miller and Eli Whiteside for less than that (or Rene Rivera). That the Twins signed Butera for anything but a major/minor split is beyond me. Really. Explain this. If someone, anyone, will take him away, please do so Terry Ryan. Right now, you can readily replace him with Lehmann, Rohfling, Pinto, Herrmann, or any oof the above catchers if push comes to shove. I mean, Eric Fryer, J.R. Towles....there are repalcements.
    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....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.
      Well I did apologize before the fact in case I had misinterpreted, but let me take the chance to do so again. It really did seem to me in the first post of yours I quoted in this thread that you maybe had a little bit of a subjective slant to your interesting tidbit on the number of lineups other than just stating a bland fact with no opinion tied to it at all. Once again, as before, I apologize since that wasn't the case.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      So your saying ,when a player gets to the park he should check to see if he is playing, where he is playing and where he is batting? And that a set or normal line up doesnt help?
      so we could put 2 middle infielders into a game and they will do as well as 2 that have played together day after day?
      I think all ballplayers should report to the park and check to see if they are in the lineup. That way we don't have two players running out to SS by mistake.
    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....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.
      OH...and by the way, if the issue is rest, then the 18 or 19 number is NOT true. In games 1, 5, 8, and 13 the same players played and at the same positions. Game 13 had Willingham and Morneau flipped in the batting order from the other three. So that's already down to 17.

      Also, Games 4 and 20 had the same players with one exception who was injured (Willingham) being replaced (we have to agree that was a good idea, right?) so it wasn't another lineup being used "for rest." And Games 2 and 9 were identical with the single exception that one player from Game 2 wasn't on the roster anymore and was replaced (again, that seems like a good idea to not just leave that empty spot out in the field and give a free out in the batting order).
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      It would be nice if every player could handle, or wanted to play every game, like they used to back in the day. (Just think of what Gehrig or Ripken would think of all these days off.)
      Comparisons like this sort of drive me crazy. Aside from the players "nowadays" that don't play as much as Ripken and Gehrig, do you know who else didn't play as much as those two? Every single other player over the last hundred and twenty years or so.

      I'd love to see some actual analysis of how many games players played then and now.

      As an anecdotal piece, I recently heard someone doing the same lament of how much tougher guys were in the "good old days" and specifically mentioned how much more often Pierzynski and Mientkiewicz played compared to Mauer and Morneau. Two or five minutes of internetting later showed that from the time they had become regular starters to the end of their time with the Twins (or the present time of the conversation...granted this was before Morneau missed an entire season, essentially) that they had averaged nearly identical numbers of games.

      Anyone have any actual facts on this?
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      Comparisons like this sort of drive me crazy. Aside from the players "nowadays" that don't play as much as Ripken and Gehrig, do you know who else didn't play as much as those two? Every single other player over the last hundred and twenty years or so.

      I'd love to see some actual analysis of how many games players played then and now.

      As an anecdotal piece, I recently heard someone doing the same lament of how much tougher guys were in the "good old days" and specifically mentioned how much more often Pierzynski and Mientkiewicz played compared to Mauer and Morneau. Two or five minutes of internetting later showed that from the time they had become regular starters to the end of their time with the Twins (or the present time of the conversation...granted this was before Morneau missed an entire season, essentially) that they had averaged nearly identical numbers of games.

      Anyone have any actual facts on this?
      Uh, the point of my post wasnt to yearn for the days of yesteryear.
      I don't know if, as a whole, players played a higher % of the teams games than they do now.
      My point was that there WERE players who played every single game then. Gehrig and Ripken were easy examples for me, because they had such long streaks, but there were many other players who played all of their teams games for a season, even if just for a few years.
      Now, nobody does that.
      Those ARE facts, even if they cannot conclude that players as a whole played more, there used to be star players who played every single game in a given season. Now there are none.
      Besides, my point wasnt to show how tough or heroic players were then compared to today, my point was to show that Gardy isnt the only manager who gives days off, and that it's not necessarily his preference or even his decision in every case.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      Me thinks his nose is growing
      Have you seen this kid? He's the best prospect the Twins have had since Mauer. Morneau and Kubel were good prospects, but they do not play a premium position. He's better than Span or Revere by a long shot. At this stage in his career, he's better than Hunter was at the same age.

      He's made some plays this spring that I doubt Hunter would have made. Today he caught a liner in the gap that shocked everyone, including Riemhold, who was playing half way between second and third after hitting a double. After making the catch, Hicks easily nailed him at second for a double play.

      As far as his hitting, it's been amazing to watch. When he's hot, he pulls the ball hard. When he's slumping, he just takes the ball the other way. He's been slumping the last week or so. In that time, he's had a 4-4 day and two 3-5 days without an 0-fer. His approach is just amazing for a player his age.

      I know it's spring training, but he's actually playing better now than earlier in camp, now that he doesn't have to worry about making the team. He's relaxed and doing his thing, against mostly major league competition at this point.

      Has he earned it? If any player in the last 10 years has earned it, Hicks has. Will this last into the season? Probably not at this level. No one expects him to have a 1.000 OPS. But I would bet he has a better year than Span did last year.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      My point was that there WERE players who played every single game then....
      Now, nobody does that.
      Those ARE facts, ... there used to be star players who played every single game in a given season. Now there are none.
      Four players played 162 games in 2012. Ten more played 160+.

      Only one in 2011 and 2009, but six and eleven, respectively, played 160+.

      Two in 2010 played them all with another ten playing 160+.

      And our own Justin Morneau played 163 (!) in 2008 along with four others who played 162 and six more who played 160+.

      Prince Fielder has missed one game in the last four seasons combined.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      Four players played 162 games in 2012. Ten more played 160+.

      Only one in 2011 and 2009, but six and eleven, respectively, played 160+.

      Two in 2010 played them all with another ten playing 160+.

      And our own Justin Morneau played 163 (!) in 2008 along with four others who played 162 and six more who played 160+.

      Prince Fielder has missed one game in the last four seasons combined.
      Okay, almost nobody does that now.

      Back then almost every team had one or two guys who played every day.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      Okay, almost nobody does that now.

      Back then almost every team had one or two guys who played every day.
      Back when? I grabbed a few random years... '88 2 played them all and three more played 160+. '83 2 and 8. '74 4 and 6. '67 4 and 4. '61 4 and 2.

      Before that they only played 154 game schedules and it obviously was more common, but certainly not as large as the number of teams times two.

      Anyone know why several guys played more than one game more than the full schedule? For instance, Cesar Tovar played 164 in '67 and Wiki says the Twins had two ties that year? What? (Not to hijack the thread even further...)
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      Back when? I grabbed a few random years... '88 2 played them all and three more played 160+. '83 2 and 8. '74 4 and 6. '67 4 and 4. '61 4 and 2.

      Before that they only played 154 game schedules and it obviously was more common, but certainly not as large as the number of teams times two.

      Anyone know why several guys played more than one game more than the full schedule? For instance, Cesar Tovar played 164 in '67 and Wiki says the Twins had two ties that year? What? (Not to hijack the thread even further...)
      Back then, a tie game was replayed, and did not count in the standings. It did however count towards individual statistics.
      Ron Santo and Billy Williams also played in 164 games, in 1965, because of this same rule.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      Back then, a tie game was replayed, and did not count in the standings. It did however count towards individual statistics.
      Ron Santo and Billy Williams also played in 164 games, in 1965, because of this same rule.
      But how/why were there tie games in the first place? Also...so if they got one of these tie games and then replayed it only for individual statistics purposes...did the original game still count also (it must have for the Games Played stat, at least)? Or did the original game stats get wiped away? Or...? And how is this something I missed for so long?
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      But how/why were there tie games in the first place? Also...so if they got one of these tie games and then replayed it only for individual statistics purposes...did the original game still count also (it must have for the Games Played stat, at least)? Or did the original game stats get wiped away? Or...? And how is this something I missed for so long?
      Ties were caused primarily by rain delays, I believe.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      But how/why were there tie games in the first place? Also...so if they got one of these tie games and then replayed it only for individual statistics purposes...did the original game still count also (it must have for the Games Played stat, at least)? Or did the original game stats get wiped away? Or...? And how is this something I missed for so long?
      All individual stats counted, none of the team stats counted.
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