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  • Tuesday Notes from Hammond: Pelfrey Pranks and Impending Roster Crunch

    The Twins have 29 listed on the roster as of this morning, with four cuts coming. Among those remaining the team has 13 pitchers, 7 infielders, 6 outfielders and 3 catchers. At some point this week four of those guys will be gone.

    The obvious subtraction is the third catcher, Dan Rohlfing, which would leave Kurt Suzuki and Josmil Pinto as the pair of backstops heading to Chicago. The other position player moves may be interesting. Manager Ron Gardenhire has grown increasingly fond of Jason Bartlett and his versatility, giving the veteran every opportunity to secure a job. There are also some rumblings of concern of losing former first-round pick Chris Parmelee, so this may create the scenario of some outfield combination of Willingham, Hicks, Presley and Parmelee/Kubel with Oswaldo Arcia returning to Rochester.

    The Twins made a last second change prior to the game, having Mike Pelfrey -- who was scheduled to start yesterday's minor league game -- move to the major league game today. This will push the previously scheduled starter, Kyle Gibson, back to relief, with Scott Diamond making an appearance as well. Diamond, who is out of options, is on the bubble and may be pitching to impress other teams as well as the Twins (which may be why he is supposed to pitch the middle innings today rather than the end of the game). If there are takers, this would help in reducing the pitching total to 12.

    Speaking of Pelfrey, the Twins clubhouse vibe this morning was pretty loose, considering that final cuts are right around the corner. Part of the reason is that this MLB Fan Cave video was released which showed Gardenhire and Glen Perkins pranking pitcher Mike Pelfrey -- and a vast majority of players were enjoying the video on a phone or tablet prior to the game. Twins PR maven, Dustin Morse, snapped a photo of Pelfrey watching the results of this morning's prank.

    In his pre-game talk with the media, Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said that Jason Kubel will officially be added to the 25-man roster. "I believe he progressed throughout the spring and took better at bats," said Antony. "I still believe he's a professional hitter with something left. We're looking for offense."

    Matt Guerrier, who was released on Monday, has signed a minor league deal with the Rochester Red Wings. The previous deal included a June 1 opt-out clause but the new deal will have an earlier opt-out date that Antony would not specify.

    "I think the out-clause is fine and a reasonable amount of time for us take a look," Antony noted. "If there are several guys ahead of him, there's no sense holding him down there until August or September. If he pitches well, we'll make a decision to bring him up to the big leagues. If not then he can check out his opportunities with another big league club."

    Guerrier will start the year in extended spring training to avoid the cold weather on the rehabbing arm.

    Antony also reiterated that the roster will be finalized by Friday of this week to ensure players have enough time to make necessary travel and living arrangements.

    More to come this afternoon. Remember to follow TwinsDaily on twitter for all updates while Iím down here at camp.

    Comments 30 Comments
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      The Twins ought to remember not to overvalue their players. With any player out of options the question should be "What has the player done recently that would cause someone to claim them?" If you have an answer for that question then ask why isn't that player doing it now.. They could send half of the position players through waivers without a claim.
    1. gocgo's Avatar
      gocgo -
      I agree. Where they are in our organization doesn't mean they would rank anywhere near there in another organization. To me, was anyone going to pick up Kubel? No. Not after his last year and he hasn't torn the cover off the ball in ST. However, we gave him a spot on the team. Parm looks to be the odd man out even though I would take him over Kubel at this point just because of upside. Interestingly enough, Chicago is in the same situation. They are in full rebuilding mode...and yet they resigned Konerko to put butts in the seats while they are forced to send players to the minors who deserve the spot on a rebuilding team.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      Quote Originally Posted by gocgo View Post
      I agree. Where they are in our organization doesn't mean they would rank anywhere near there in another organization. To me, was anyone going to pick up Kubel? No. Not after his last year and he hasn't torn the cover off the ball in ST. However, we gave him a spot on the team. Parm looks to be the odd man out even though I would take him over Kubel at this point just because of upside. Interestingly enough, Chicago is in the same situation. They are in full rebuilding mode...and yet they resigned Konerko to put butts in the seats while they are forced to send players to the minors who deserve the spot on a rebuilding team.
      And yet I would trade Kubel for Konerko in a heartbeat.
    1. gocgo's Avatar
      gocgo -
      Well, Konerko may actually make sense on our team given our lack of offense, need of a DH, and a legitimate backup for Mauer. Kubel won't add anything on offense above Cola or Parm.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      If anyone can even imagine an explanation for counting on Hicks as the Opening Day CF while demoting Arcia I'm dying to hear it, because those two decisions together appear utterly indefensible to me, even for an organization that's made plenty of questionable moves the past few years.
    1. Twins Daily Admin's Avatar
      Twins Daily Admin -
      The argument for keeping Parmelee & Diamond over Arcia & Thielbar is straightforward enough - the organization doesn't want to lose guys who looked like real assets just a year ago. That's defendable. It's thin ice for those two, and I suspect it won't last even as long as April.

      Here's the thing about Bartlett: if he wasn't done, he'd be a great 13th man. When Florimon needs a pinch hitter, Bartlett can come in without requiring another bench bat, and he's also right-handed. Again, I wonder if it will even take four weeks for the Twins to reconsider.

      And Kubel? We'll see. He's a pretty good reason to not lose Parmelee, actually. If he flames out, Parmelee could take over his left-handed bat (maybe alternating with Pinto) or Arcia could bring his right-handed bat to DH.

      Bottom line: some guys they hoped would bounce back haven't. All of these guys could have been cool comeback players, and I can understand wanting to give them a few more weeks, especially when all it does is send some guys down for a few weeks.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Quote Originally Posted by Twins Daily Admin View Post
      The argument for keeping Parmelee & Diamond over Arcia & Thielbar is straightforward enough - the organization doesn't want to lose guys who looked like real assets just a year ago. That's defendable. It's thin ice for those two, and I suspect it won't last even as long as April.

      Here's the thing about Bartlett: if he wasn't done, he'd be a great 13th man. When Florimon needs a pinch hitter, Bartlett can come in without requiring another bench bat, and he's also right-handed. Again, I wonder if it will even take four weeks for the Twins to reconsider.

      And Kubel? We'll see. He's a pretty good reason to not lose Parmelee, actually. If he flames out, Parmelee could take over his left-handed bat (maybe alternating with Pinto) or Arcia could bring his right-handed bat to DH.

      Bottom line: some guys they hoped would bounce back haven't. All of these guys could have been cool comeback players, and I can understand wanting to give them a few more weeks, especially when all it does is send some guys down for a few weeks.
      IMHO, these are tough calls, despite the Jasons' struggles in the spring. The Twins have pulled the trigger keeping Kubel, so there is really only one spot remaining among the position players. Send Bartlett and Colabello down and keep them ready for a vacancy from injury/poor play. On the pitching side, it seems pretty apparent that Diamond has lost out in the fifth starter derby. Gardy seemed to be indicating that the Twins think he's a major league starter (not a good fit for the bullpen) which would indicate DFA or a trade. I like how Diamond goes about his work, I do think he gets the most from his ability and with a big outfield and rangy defenders, he might again have success. It looks to me like that will be with a different team if it happens.
    1. birddog's Avatar
      birddog -
      Twins have to start looking at who will sell some tickets. Arcia definitely will, Hicks will, if not for his defense alone, and Colabello should also if he can replicate his numbers of last year. If they feel a need to keep Parmelee, then Pressley should go down; however, why do we think someone will claim Parmelee? A 1b/OF who doesn't hit should not be considered a valuable commodity, especially when you look at our minor league system which is stacked with younger, more promising versions who will require 40-man roster spots in the near future. Parmelee had one great September, but has done nothing since to justify keeping him.
    1. troyhobbs's Avatar
      troyhobbs -
      Quote Originally Posted by birddog View Post
      Twins have to start looking at who will sell some tickets. Arcia definitely will, Hicks will, if not for his defense alone, and Colabello should also if he can replicate his numbers of last year. If they feel a need to keep Parmelee, then Pressley should go down; however, why do we think someone will claim Parmelee? A 1b/OF who doesn't hit should not be considered a valuable commodity, especially when you look at our minor league system which is stacked with younger, more promising versions who will require 40-man roster spots in the near future. Parmelee had one great September, but has done nothing since to justify keeping him.
      Last year was really the only bad year Parmelee had in the organization. In 2012 he was sent down because he wasn't getting enough playing time and he raked in AAA. Not saying he won't flame out but I'd give hime 1 more shot.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Twins Daily Admin View Post
      The argument for keeping Parmelee & Diamond over Arcia & Thielbar is straightforward enough - the organization doesn't want to lose guys who looked like real assets just a year ago. That's defendable.
      Like Worley, you mean?
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