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  • Projected Twins Roster

    If you follow the tremendous work of 1500 ESPN's Phil Mackey, you know that every Sunday, he posts an updated 25 man roster projection. Phil is in Ft. Myers and talking to players, coaches and front office personnel, so he may have some insider information. But, I think that we can all do our own roster projections because until we get to April and the team has to announce their 25 man roster, anything can happen. I hope to post my projection updates each Friday and hope that you will leave your projections in the comments and discuss.

    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:
    Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit, JR Towles

    Although Towles isn't exactly an exciting prospect like he was 5 years ago, he likely is an improvement over Drew Butera. If the team insists on three catchers, I now believe Towles tops Butera.

    Infielders:
    Justin Morneau, Alexi Casilla, Danny Valencia, Jamey Carroll, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Luke Hughes

    It certainly doesn't sound like the Twins really want to keep Nishioka around. I personally think that in terms of a pure utility infielder, Ray Chang would be the right choice. I think Luke Hughes is on the bench for power, if he is not placed on the disabled list.

    Outfielders:
    Ben Revere, Denard Span, Josh Willingham, Trevor Plouffe

    As much talk as there has been about Plouffe taking over in LF with Revere as the 4th outfielder, Plouffe will have to improve tremendously with the glove for that to happen consistently.

    Starting Pitchers:
    Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Jason Marquis

    No changes, no surprises here, although Terry Doyle and Liam Hendriks have looked good in their couple of outings early in spring.

    Bullpen:
    Matt Capps, Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak, Jared Burton, Jeff Manship, Terry Doyle

    The first four appear set. Burton was the non-roster invite who garnered the most attention coming in to camp, and he's been good so far. Too many people have forgotten about Jeff Manship as a bullpen option, and he's been good. If Terry Doyle continues to pitch well, the Twins will certainly want to keep their Rule 5 investment. It is early, and we know guys like Kyle Waldrop, Alex Burnett, Lester Oliveros, Jeff Gray, Esmerling Vasquez, Matt Maloney and others will try to make an impression. I admit as well that I am intrigued by Brendan Wise as well. Those last three names are certainly debatable and subject to change over the next three or four weeks.

    What are your thoughts? What does your roster look like?

    This article was originally published in blog: Projected Twins Roster started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. ossieO's Avatar
      ossieO -
      I'm also intrigued by Towles, but I think Butera is too well liked by Gardy and Pavano to be cut. Also, is Butera out of options? I thought he was, but Mackey says no.

      The Twins need to find a utility infielder on the waiver wire at the end of spring training.

      The bullpen....I have no idea.
    1. 2wins87's Avatar
      2wins87 -
      I think Doyle is a given, I don't see the Twins just letting him head back to Chicago after using a rule 5 pick on him.

      Also I like the way Matt Maloney has pitched in his very small sample size so far. Maybe the Twins keep him on instead of Burton if they want another left handed arm in the bullpen?

      Can't really argue with your choices though.
    1. go4phan's Avatar
      go4phan -
      I think Doyle is a lock to make the bullpen and I'm calling it now...Gutierrez impresses enough to make the final spot.
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Giving up on Burnett I see, Seth... I'm really curious as to why Anthony Slama was not invited to big-league camp, he came on at the end of last year after his injury and did well in Mexico this winter. Everyone kind of forgot about Manship when he went on the DL last year, but he definitely is in the mix again. I'm not that sold on Doyle being kept on the MLB roster just because he was a rule V pick (Twins made trade last year to keep Diamond at AAA to start), but he might earn it if he keeps pitching well. Also not yet sold on Burton being a better option than some others.
    1. ltwedt's Avatar
      ltwedt -
      I have stated my case against Butera and in favor of Towles, so I'm good there.

      I hope, but give no chance for, the Twins realizing the error of Nishi, and doing their best to cut their losses with him. Disappointing to see them make the trip North with the sameo-sameo- starting rotation. There's a saying - If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got! Fitting for my expectations from that corp of pitchers.

      Isn't there a way to package some of their relievers (read here Swarzak, Manship, Duensing, or a combination of them), and get a good one? 'Course, there needs to be a good available, and I'm lost for that answer - they have already missed that boat!
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I think that unless Hughes bombs he is a lock and there will be 2 open spots on the bench. Two of Towles, Butera, Rivera, Mastroianni, Burroughs, Bates, Nishioka, Florimon, Dozier, Tosoni will get those spots, but it is too early to tell...

      As far as the 3 bullpen spots go (and I agree with your locks) one will probably be Doyle's to lose. I see Burton, Maloney, Wise, Oliveros, Perdomo, Burnett, Waldrop, Vasquez, Gray, Gutierrez and probably a couple more fighting for those. I think the only ones that can be counted out are Bulger, Guerra and Hendriks (for different reasons). Unless either Blackburn or Marquis pitch their way to the pen, which will open a competition between Doyle, Hendricks and Swarzak for the last rotation spot.
    1. Fanatic Jack's Avatar
      Fanatic Jack -
      Seth,

      What about Carlos Gutierrez?? I have to believe he has a legitimate chance of making the team out of spring training if he pitches well. I also think he should replace Alex Burnett who has has every opportunity in the majors and disappointed.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Ossie - Butera has two options remaining. He hasn't been optioned since 2009.

      Steve - Absolutely NOT giving up on Alex Burnett. I still believe he'll be an 8th inning guy in baseball. I just completely believe in the process through the minor leagues, and he never got that. I really believe that the best thing for him and his career is to start the season and get 2-3 months in AAA. I think the same thing about Lester Oliveros.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Maloney and Gray are essentially in the same boat as Doyle - they need to make the team or the Twins may lose them. With Maloney being left-handed, I think that's enough to put him on the roster.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      I would like to see a catcher with morpossible punch than Butera, especially if he has options. I would also like to see a bigger bat than Tishi...who should play everyday and is first call if you need a 2B/SS due to injury. It will be interesting to see how Morneau ends up, and if Parmalee or Burroughs would be a ncie bat to have off the bench. The Twins do have one open spot on the 40-man. The bullpen is a crapshoot. Doyle will probably stay because he can long-relief and mop-up in the least...let Manship and such start at Rochester (waiting to see the 10-15 pitchers that will be cut and when so they can maybe get other jobs).
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I agree with Thrylos (which seems to be happening more and more lately). John, why worry about losing Maloney and Gray? These aren't young guys with super, duper upsides. The best relievers should come North.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I agree with Thrylos (which seems to be happening more and more lately). John, why worry about losing Maloney and Gray? These aren't young guys with super, duper upsides. The best relievers should come North.
      and if those two are amongthe best relievers? They have a 40 man spot, and I'd say that there are some 40 man guys (like these two) who could be expendible if needed. No need to rush Gutierrez,Burnett,Oliveros,etc if they have things they can work on when you've got guys like this who can be removed from the 40 any time.
    1. Clare Chen's Avatar
      Clare Chen -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Ossie - Butera has two options remaining. He hasn't been optioned since 2009.

      Steve - Absolutely NOT giving up on Alex Burnett. I still believe he'll be an 8th inning guy in baseball. I just completely believe in the process through the minor leagues, and he never got that. I really believe that the best thing for him and his career is to start the season and get 2-3 months in AAA. I think the same thing about Lester Oliveros.
      Do you know why the Twins promoted Burnett to the major league team in each of the last two years despite the fact that he's barely pitched more than 50 innings in AA? I mean, his stats were great there, but he's only had about 20 innings at AAA, too. Or would they have put him there if one of Crain or Guerrier had been retained?
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Clare Chen View Post
      Do you know why the Twins promoted Burnett to the major league team in each of the last two years despite the fact that he's barely pitched more than 50 innings in AA? I mean, his stats were great there, but he's only had about 20 innings at AAA, too. Or would they have put him there if one of Crain or Guerrier had been retained?
      Actually Burnett was slated to pitch the whole last season at AAA. Manship went North with the club after ST. After Manship got hurt, a week into the season, Burnett got called up and stayed because of all the other injuries.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Clare Chen View Post
      Do you know why the Twins promoted Burnett to the major league team in each of the last two years despite the fact that he's barely pitched more than 50 innings in AA? I mean, his stats were great there, but he's only had about 20 innings at AAA, too. Or would they have put him there if one of Crain or Guerrier had been retained?
      Clay Condrey had to go on the DL at the last minute two years ago so Burnett went to Anaheim to start the season with the Twins. He was going to be sent down about a week later but someone else got hurt. He actually pitched alright the first half of that year, but has struggled since.
    1. Clare Chen's Avatar
      Clare Chen -
      Ah, that makes sense. I was thinking of other relievers' injuries as a possibility too. Thanks for the replies, this answers a lot.
    1. bkucko's Avatar
      bkucko -
      I wonder if Marquis will be a failed experiment as Ramon Ortiz and Sean Bergman were. Picked him up relatively cheap, give him a shot, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's not on the team in July. Unfortunately, not a lot of options in the high minors, however if Hendriks does well in AAA and Doyle shoes some flashes in the pen as a long reliever, one of them could supplant Marquis in the rotation without much loss. Don't think there's much value in Marquis, so it would be just a loss, I would rather see Hendriks get the experience than give it to Marquis, especially if this team is going nowhere in 2012.
    1. destes's Avatar
      destes -
      i am betting that Doyle will be an inning eater and keep the team in the hunt almost every time he hits the mound
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I'm much more worried about Blackburn than about Marquis, and you're right, at that time, Doyle and/or Hendriks could be ready.
    1. Fanatic Jack's Avatar
      Fanatic Jack -
      Alex Burnett is a straight up BUM...What in the world would make anyone think he will be good...Why because he is 23 and pitched well at AA. Slama has much more promise than him and is not even on the 40-man roster. Burnett has 3 pitches with no movement and that just does not cut it in the pros. The Twins traded for a Burnett clone in Lester Oliveros and he is terrible too. Straight ball right down the middle of the plate. For all those people who have crowned Maloney and Doyle (2 more bums), who exactly have they pitched against. Waldrop and Gutierrez have a chance to good but will never get a chance.
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