Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Twins Roster Projection 2.0

    Two weeks ago, I posted version 1.0 of the Roster Projections. As I sit in the Minneapolis airport, with just over an hour remaining before boarding, I thought version 2.0 would be good. I am excited to spend the next eight days in Ft. Myers and I definitely welcome and encourage people to send me questions or specifically any questions you would like me to ask players.

    Not a lot has changed in the two weeks as far as my projections. There may, in fact, be even more question marks. At this point, I donít think any more players would be classified as a ďgiven.Ē So, check out my new roster projection and thoughts, and then fill the comments with your thoughts.



    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 (2): Kurt Suzuki, Eric Fryer

    To this point, I donít think the catcher situation is any more clear. Suzuki still appears to be the favorite to start, and he will certainly make the Opening Day roster. Josmil Pinto is now playing and appears to be healthy, so heís back in the mix. With him being 25 already and the fact that a catcher is not going to play every day anyway, I could see a scenario in which he makes the team and catches two or three times a week and DHs once or twice as well. He certainly would, or at least could, be a solid bat off of the bench when he doesnít play. At this point, I still think it more likely that Eric Fryer or Chris Herrmann head north as the backup. Herrmann is left-handed and has versatility. Fryer is right-handed and has played a bit of outfield in the minor leagues as well.

    Infielders (5): Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe, Pedro Florimon, Eduardo Escobar,

    No change here. The question seems to be whether or not Florimon will be ready for Opening Day. If heís not, the question becomes what to do at shortstop and at utility infielder. We know that Escobar is out of options and is a given to make the roster. Would the Twins have him start if Florimon isnít ready? If so, would they add Jason Bartlett, Doug Bernier or James Beresford to the 40 man roster for a couple weeks to serve as the utility infielder? I think if we know that itís going to be a week or two that Florimon is out, the Twins would start the season with Danny Santana as their starting shortstop. He would know that no matter what, he would head down to Rochester when Florimon is ready to come off of the DL. He is on the 40 man roster, so that would be cleaner.

    Outfielders (6): Josh Willingham, Alex Presley, Oswaldo Arcia, Darin Mastroianni, Jason Kubel, Chris Parmelee

    Iím not changing my outfield projection at this point. Willingham remains the only given. I would like to think that Arcia is a given, but I just donít know if that is true. I thought Jason Kubel was borderline given, based on him turning down an MLB deal with another team to sign a minor league deal with the Twins. However, as much as spring training numbers donít mean a thing, he has looked lost at the plate to this point. Obviously a lot can change. My sense is that the centerfield decision is not as much of a given as I initially thought. I believe that Presley is the leading candidate, but I think that Aaron Hicks is going to get a real opportunity to win the job again. Presley is a given in that he is out of options and he would slot into the 4th outfielder job is he is not the starter. If Presley is the starter, Mastroianni likely remains the favorite to be the fourth outfielder although Wilkin Ramirez and Jermaine Mitchell are likely to stick in big league camp and be given plenty of opportunity to win a backup role. Chris Colabello would be a guy who would provide a lot of power from the right-side of the plate as you note that this is a left-handed heavy team. Chris Parmelee is out of options and is showing well in the early stages of big league camp. I think heís nearly a given as well, but could he win the starting right field job from Arcia (which would push Arcia back to Rochester)?

    Starting Pitchers (5): Kevin Correia, Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Mike Pelfrey, Vance Worley

    No change at the top of the starting pitching ranks. The top four will be in the rotation to start the season, unless they are not healthy. The fifth starter job is still as much in the air as ever. Worley has been solid. Diamond had a good showing and then struggled on Monday night, though he didnít get any defensive help. Deduno is working out of the bullpen to this point. He could be being eased back and monitored more closely after his shoulder surgery. Kyle Gibson has been good in his appearances. His wife will be having their first child in the next week, but he will continue to make his spring starts. I think heís going to have to be a shut down pitcher to win a job, but I think he can be. Same thing with Alex Meyer, though based on his time missed a year ago, I think the odds are even less for him.

    Bullpen (7): Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Brian Duensing, Casey Fien, Anthony Swarzak, Caleb Thielbar, Sam Deduno

    I believe that, barring injury or trade, the first five remain givens. The question becomes how the guys who are out of options affect the bullpen. As you can see, I now have Sam Deduno taking Ryan Presslyís spot in the bullpen. He could pitch in long relief and Swarzak could be given some more high-leverage situations. I think that Caleb Thielbar will earn, or has earned, a job as well, but since he has two options remaining, he could be squeezed. I think that with all of the left-handers on the 40 man roster (plus Gilmartin and others), Diamond could be a trade candidate if the Twins can find a taker.

    What are your thoughts? What does your roster look like?
    Comments 141 Comments
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Goodness, managers and coaches are required to make decisions without certainty. They give evreybody 1000 ABs (or whatever number Gardenhire was qouted at) and then conclude: "you're right, he can't hit".
    1. Oxtung's Avatar
      Oxtung -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      The Twins said that Polanco will play full time SS this season. His contact and eye are better than almost all Twins' infielders (save Rosario, maybe.) This is the guy who could be the Twins next great SS, if his fielding holds up. He has made tremendous strides at fielding and it mostly is a range issue at this point.
      Who was the first? [Bolding my addition]
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      Goodness, managers and coaches are required to make decisions without certainty. They give evreybody 1000 ABs (or whatever number Gardenhire was qouted at) and then conclude: "you're right, he can't hit".
      That is for guys that project. Colabello is 30 and has never projected. He's been among the best hitters in his league two years in a row, which earned him a big-league shot, but I doubt he would get close to 1000 PAs to prove himself.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
      Who was the first? [Bolding my addition]
      Zoilo.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Today's Line-up:

      Hicks CF
      Dozier 2B
      Mauer 1B
      Willingham LF
      Arcia RF
      Plouffe 3B
      Kubel DH
      Suzuki C
      Santana SS

      Media pundits all seem to agree that this is close to the opening day line-up:

      Mike Berardino ‏@MikeBerardino 1h Pretty much the Opening Day lineup today, with possible exception of CF and SS .

      Rhett Bollinger ‏@RhettBollinger 1h Today's #MNTwins lineup could closely resemble Opening Day's

      LaVelle E. Neal III
      ‏@LaVelleNeal
      1 This could be one player short of the Opening Day lineup


      I would guess that LEN3 is thinking Florimon instead of Santana.

      CF still seems wide-open to me -- no one has put their best foot forward yet.

      But what has Kubel done to "earn" that spot? Seems to me that we need to see a lot more from him over the next two weeks before he should be penciled in.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      Today's Line-up:

      Hicks CF
      Dozier 2B
      Mauer 1B
      Willingham LF
      Arcia RF
      Plouffe 3B
      Kubel DH
      Suzuki C
      Santana SS

      Media pundits all seem to agree that this is close to the opening day line-up:

      Mike Berardino ‏@MikeBerardino 1h Pretty much the Opening Day lineup today, with possible exception of CF and SS .

      Rhett Bollinger ‏@RhettBollinger 1h Today's #MNTwins lineup could closely resemble Opening Day's

      LaVelle E. Neal III
      ‏@LaVelleNeal
      1 This could be one player short of the Opening Day lineup


      I would guess that LEN3 is thinking Florimon instead of Santana.

      CF still seems wide-open to me -- no one has put their best foot forward yet.

      But what has Kubel done to "earn" that spot? Seems to me that we need to see a lot more from him over the next two weeks before he should be penciled in
      .
      When in doubt, as long as Gardy is manager (with the final say), go with the veteran.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      Today's Line-up:

      Hicks CF
      Dozier 2B
      Mauer 1B
      Willingham LF
      Arcia RF
      Plouffe 3B
      Kubel DH
      Suzuki C
      Santana SS

      Media pundits all seem to agree that this is close to the opening day line-up:

      Mike Berardino ‏@MikeBerardino 1h Pretty much the Opening Day lineup today, with possible exception of CF and SS .

      Rhett Bollinger ‏@RhettBollinger 1h Today's #MNTwins lineup could closely resemble Opening Day's

      LaVelle E. Neal III
      ‏@LaVelleNeal
      1 This could be one player short of the Opening Day lineup


      I would guess that LEN3 is thinking Florimon instead of Santana.

      CF still seems wide-open to me -- no one has put their best foot forward yet.

      But what has Kubel done to "earn" that spot? Seems to me that we need to see a lot more from him over the next two weeks before he should be penciled in.
      Hicks is the front runner. He's just been hurt. But a couple of weeks like the last two games and it won't be a question.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      Today's Line-up:

      Hicks CF
      Dozier 2B
      Mauer 1B
      Willingham LF
      Arcia RF
      Plouffe 3B
      Kubel DH
      Suzuki C
      Santana SS

      Media pundits all seem to agree that this is close to the opening day line-up:

      Mike Berardino ‏@MikeBerardino 1h Pretty much the Opening Day lineup today, with possible exception of CF and SS .

      Rhett Bollinger ‏@RhettBollinger 1h Today's #MNTwins lineup could closely resemble Opening Day's

      LaVelle E. Neal III
      ‏@LaVelleNeal
      1 This could be one player short of the Opening Day lineup


      I would guess that LEN3 is thinking Florimon instead of Santana.

      CF still seems wide-open to me -- no one has put their best foot forward yet.

      But what has Kubel done to "earn" that spot? Seems to me that we need to see a lot more from him over the next two weeks before he should be penciled in.
      Don't forget:

      Seth Stohs@SethTweets 11h
      Close to regular lineup. pic.twitter.com/rEnVWdgrB6


      And, I would agree that the only difference is likely Florimon for Santana.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Don't forget:

      Seth Stohs@SethTweets 11h
      Close to regular lineup. pic.twitter.com/rEnVWdgrB6


      And, I would agree that the only difference is likely Florimon for Hicks
      Florimon is gonna open up in CF? Now that IS a scoop, Seth!
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Presley hasn't done anything to distinguish himself this spring. I have said that Hicks should start in Rochester, but no one else has staked a claim on center field.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      I saw Florimon today. He was with the minor leaguers. I think he may have taken BP with them, but he left just as I arrived. After watching Santana today and Bartlett yesterday, I look forward to Florimon's return.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
      I saw Florimon today. He was with the minor leaguers. I think he may have taken BP with them, but he left just as I arrived. After watching Santana today and Bartlett yesterday, I look forward to Florimon's return.
      Florimon update via Berardino this afternoon:

      Gardy on Florimon: "Moving great. No issues." Should play 3 innings Friday on minor league side. "Next few days he'll be back w/us."
    1. DocBauer's Avatar
      DocBauer -
      Floriman is the SS until such a time as the Twins either make a move outside the organization, or until Santana or Goodrum are ML ready. And to be fair, both of those young men have the most talent we've had at the position in many years. Probably since Guzman. And based on his defense, and ability to it above the Mendoza line, plus run a little, and a probable progression forward with the bat after a year's experience, (even if small) he has more than proved and earned that spot.

      SS is and always has been a defense first position. I don't know if the era of offensive SS's in MLB was an aberration or the result of stimulants or steroids, but there seemingly has been a form of adjustment across the board to defensive players who can hopefully contribute sme with the bat. Which is the way SS has largely been the case in regard to the position for most of the history of MLB.

      CF is wide open, true. But Hicks is clearly the best option at the position not only for defense but offensive potential. And while he has had a small injury setback, he's healthy and playing again, as well as having the best overall ST amongst the candidates. My belief, and hope, is that he learned a lot from his struggles last season to build on. The early results, and work with Carew this off season are encouraging thus far. Gardenhire himself has spoken recently about the need for Hicks to step forward for the club this year.

      He has also spoken well of Pinto, who is hitting well, and spoken of taking him north to produce and learn on the ML level this year. Gardy wants to win, of course, but he as spoken well openly of many young players. I believe he recognizes the abilities and team future involving our young players, and I don't believe he's "stuck" in the same veteran player mode he has sometimes shown in the past. I think the writing is very clear on the wall after the past three seasons.

      To this pont, the rotation is clearly set with Deduno as the 5th starter with Worley and Diamond gone, and Gibson in AAA until injury or trade of Correia. The pen is also almost set with a few battles: Hoffman vs Thielbar, Gurrier vs Tonkin vs Pressly.

      Out of options, Escobar thus far is the utility Inf. Nobody else has done enough to step forward to take the spot away.

      Willingham can still play a little LF here and there, but there is nobody who believes he is a quality LF defensively any longer. And I think it is very possible the Twins might keep him for the entire year if productive. I find the thought of him playing LF daily to prove his trade value rather humorous. Scouts, GM's, managers and coaches already know what he brings. NOBODY is going to watch him and say, " oh look, the Twins have him in LF every day, he must be better than we thought." Let him play there on a semi basis, but the time is right for him to be a mostly full time DH, and Molitor can help him ease in to that role.

      Arcia has RF, unless the final lineup pushes him to LF for various reasons. LF can be a successful mishmash of Willngham on occasion, Presley, Mastro, Parmelee with non starters in the DH role, Willingham primarily, with Colabello a RH possibility. He's having a good spring, has proven himself n the minors, can back up Mauer a first along with Parmalee, and shouldn't be discounted simply due to his production in limited AB's the last part of last season. There is an adjustment period and learning curve for most players in their first exposure. (Dont go to sleep n Romero as a RH option)

      l love me some Jason Kubel, always have, but one HR and a whole series of bad AB's so far this ST does not make me feel comfortable with him in our lineup. Now, to be fair, there is still time for him to find his timing, prove he has life left, and make the roster as a productive DH/PH/part time OF. Just haven't seen anything encouraging as of yet.

      This leaves Hicks, hopefully/likely, Arcia and Willingham filling 3 of the final 6 spots on the roster. You have to figure Mastro or Presley takes up one remaining spot either as a 4th OF, or even primary LF starter. Could both make it? Absolutely. They could platoon in LF, or be a starter and backup OF. But then we have Parmelee, Colabello and possibly Kubel for one spot. So you have 3 open spots and 5 guys fighting for those spots. That's the real battle that's left to decide.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      You're right as always. The Twins have never had a great shortstop, third baseman, left fielder or right fielder. 'Cause, you know, you have to be a hall of famer to be great.
      Easy does it.

      I don't care to define "great" in his thread, but if Polanco has Zoilo's career, I'll be ecstatic. I think we all will.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      DocBauer--I mostly agree with your comments about SS. Not in total agreement about your roster analysis. Here goes: Despite a "blah" ST, Presley has a spot. The battle is between Hicks and Mastro. If Hicks prevails, Presley slides to 4th OF and Mastro goes to Rochester. Two of three of Kubel, Colabello, and Parmelee will make the club. The loser of this grouping would compete for last man with Wilken Ramirez, Herrmann, Bartlett and a 13th pitcher. The Twins have to decide what is best for Pinto. If staying in the majors is the answer, he and Suzuki are the catchers. If going to Rochester is the answer, then Herrmann and Fryer compete to be Suzuki's backup. I don't think either Pressly or Thielbar make the club because two out-of-options pitchers will be pushed to the bullpen. Gibson could win the fifth starter derby, which would force Deduno to the 'pen and Worley or Diamond to DFA.
    1. Dman's Avatar
      Dman -
      Quote Originally Posted by oldguy10 View Post
      stringer bell - tearing up the minor leagues is not a plus now nor has it ever been. Some players simply cannot hit MLB pitching and it appears Colabello is on a long list as one of them.
      Lots of guys don't hit MLB pitching well when they first come up. Hunter wasn't great when he came up, It took Cuddyer a while to get there as well and David Ortiz they finally gave up on him and you know the story there. There are likely hundreds if not thousands of similar examples. That is why teams typically give guys X number of at bats before deciding they cannot do it. I don't think Collabello is there yet.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
      Who was the first? [Bolding my addition]
      Zoilo Versalles
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      Florimon update via Berardino this afternoon:

      Gardy on Florimon: "Moving great. No issues." Should play 3 innings Friday on minor league side. "Next few days he'll be back w/us."
      I mentioned it in detail here too, but I saw Florimon take exclusive batting practice from Miguel Sulbaran (who also is not allowed to play, because he showed up really overweight and the Twins want him to lose weight and condition himself to start) and it was a sad sight. He faced around 30 pitches or so, he made contact on only 2 and neither left the cage. One hit the top and another the back. I doubt that he is going to be ready. He has major timing issues and it is expected. At this point, his bat is like Bartlett's and that against A-level instead of AAAA level competition that Bartlett is facing. I think that the possibility of the Twins to start with Santana or Escobar as their opening day SS is pretty big. I have not seen Florimon field yet, maybe in an hour or so
    1. Chance's Avatar
      Chance -
      I can't believe how fast people are willing to give up and declare Collabello a career minor leaguer. He hasn't even had consistent playing time in the majors. In his first stint he showed good power and the ability to hit the ball the other way. I couldn't believe there was talks of selling him to Korea so soon. He showed potential last season. Yes he is older than a typical rookie, but if you can get 3-4 years of solid contributions at a low dollar amount why not try?
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Chance View Post
      I can't believe how fast people are willing to give up and declare Collabello a career minor leaguer. He hasn't even had consistent playing time in the majors. In his first stint he showed good power and the ability to hit the ball the other way. I couldn't believe there was talks of selling him to Korea so soon. He showed potential last season. Yes he is older than a typical rookie, but if you can get 3-4 years of solid contributions at a low dollar amount why not try?
      I was down on Colabello because I saw things in his swing that made him susceptible to pitchers who could exploit his weaknesses--the majority of major leaguers. But I've seen stuff this spring related to his offseason adjustments that are encouraging. So I hope they give him a shot.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.