• Manship, Benson Optioned; More Roster Moves

    On Monday, the Twins reassigned RHP Brendan Wise to minor league camp. Tuesday morning, the Twins optioned OF Joe Benson and RHP Jeff Manship. They also reassigned INF Pedro Florimon and C Rene Rivera.

    None of the moves are completely surprising, and yet it further cements some of the roster spots that remain up for grabs.

    Benson had a terrific showing in big league camp. His defense shone as he made it clear that he is the organization's top all-around defensive centerfielder. His aggressiveness and hustle are a mainstay, and that's why it was so surprising yesterday when he popped a single to right and only got to 1B. Offensively, it was a struggle early in camp to make contact, but that improved as more games were played. Look for Benson to play a lot of centerfield in Rochester and be ready to help the Twins when needed.

    Manship also had a very solid camp. He was very good in all but one outing this spring. The right-hander has improved his slider, making it a big strikeout pitch, and will likely work out of the bullpen in Rochester because that would be his future role with the Twins. It was believed that Manship, Alex Burnett, Kyle Waldrop, Jeff Gray and Casey Fien were 'battling' for the one remaining bullpen spot (behind Capps, Perkins, Swarzak, Duensing, Burton and Maloney).

    Florimon had a nice camp in that he showed his defensive prowess. He didn't hit much, but did have some extra base pop in AA last year in the Orioles organization. He was battling for a utility infield spot with Michael Hollimon and Sean Burroughs.

    Rene Rivera played as well (or better) than other backup catcher candidates JR Towles and Drew Butera, but he is the first one sent to minor league camp. It is still uncertain if Manager Ron Gardenhire will choose to carry three catchers on his roster or not.

    With Scott Baker's struggles and the Jason Marquis personal matter, Liam Hendriks remains on the roster in case the team needs someone to make some early season starts.

    The team is now at 34 players in big league camp with another nine needing to come off of the roster before the season starts on April 6.
    This article was originally published in blog: Manship, Benson Optioned; More Roster Moves started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Manship another bullpen domino falling; Butera another step closer to staying.
      Unless they go elsewhere, I believe they'll use Casilla as the backup SS, and Hughes as an emergency SS.
    1. Gernzy's Avatar
      Gernzy -
      I'm alittle suprised Manship already got sent down. He had a decent chance at making the team. That last spot should come down to Waldrop and Gray.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I cannot say surprised, but certainly disappointed at the Rivera move. Much better spring overall than Butera in all facets of the game. Just hope that the new way of thinking, just means 2 catchers make the team and not a third.
    1. LimestoneBaggy's Avatar
      LimestoneBaggy -
      and with this news, the Twins have one less player who resembles cast members from Dawson's Creek......and I'll join Thrylos wish list of a team with only two catchers.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Thanks for jumping on this Seth.

      Well, I was wrong about Manship. I really thought he was going to grab that last spot. I think it's a mistake, but if they keep him in the bullpen in Rochester, I'm hopeful he'll rectify that mistake later this season.
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Friend of mine sent me this:


      Dustin Morse tweet: Notable Minor League releases by #Twins today: LHP Matt Bashore, SS Chris Cates, INF Steve Pearce, OF Dustin Martin, RHP Ben Tootle
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      I wonder if Manship was actually sent down to get stretched out again. He was a long time starter in the system, and the Twins are suddenly lacking rotation depth.
    1. luckylager's Avatar
      luckylager -
      Towles is catching today - hope he shows some bat!
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Pedro Florimon looked interesting yesterday. The slo-mo of his swing showed very good form, but his timing is a little off. Florimon is such an athletic infielder... If Bruno can show this guy how to hit, they'd have themselves a steal. Of course, "how to hit" is merely the toughest single thing in all of sports. Good luck, Pedro!
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      I wonder if Manship was actually sent down to get stretched out again. He was a long time starter in the system, and the Twins are suddenly lacking rotation depth.
      That's an interesting thought.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
      Friend of mine sent me this:


      Dustin Morse tweet: Notable Minor League releases by #Twins today: LHP Matt Bashore, SS Chris Cates, INF Steve Pearce, OF Dustin Martin, RHP Ben Tootle
      Am I wrong, or are some of these names a little surprising? I know they have Mastoianni, but I'm surprised Martin was released. And wasn't Pearce highly thought of? We're remarked how Rochester was looking awfully crowded this year. It looks like some folks are falling victim to that.

      Best of luck guys. I hope your career continues elsewhere.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      I'm disappointed if Bashore is actually gone as well. He had a lot of promise before having TJ surgery. He only got a handfull of appearances in his return last year, I wouldn't think it would have been a big enough sample size to make any judgements. He must have looked like he wasn't progressing this spring.

      When the Twins got Dustin Martin and Drew Butera for Luis Castillo, I would not have imagined that Butera would have lasted longer with the club than the athletic outfielder. Martin's power improved and K's decreased last year, but he is getting a little long in the tooth to be considered relevant with the sudden logjam in the outfield these days.
    1. strumdatjag's Avatar
      strumdatjag -
      The Twins in the future will have a faster, defensively good outfield (Josh Willingham will be a liablity defensively out in that big left field this year). Joe Benson is waiting in the wings (and Aaron Hicks later) to speed things up out there, moving Denard Span to Right. Ben Revere can hopefully improve his throwing to put himself in the competition for a starting position. I'm more worried about our pitching longterm than I am am about the outfield.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Well, I was wrong about Manship. I really thought he was going to grab that last spot. I think it's a mistake, but if they keep him in the bullpen in Rochester, I'm hopeful he'll rectify that mistake later this season.
      Why are we so convinced Manship deserved a spot? Based on 8 2/3 unexceptional spring innings? He's had no success in the majors and has much to prove before he could be looked at as a 7th/8th inning guy in an MLB bullpen. The Twins have their quota of long relievers filled between Swarzak and Maloney.
    1. Twins Fan From Afar's Avatar
      Twins Fan From Afar -
      I will say that you at least had to root for Chris Cates. The guy literally had no shot to make the majors, but he went out there and kept trying. I enjoyed watching him in New Britain. Best of luck to him.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Just as an FYI - Darin Mastroianni is listed as a 2B on the minor league Work Groups. I don't know what that means once Dozier, Florimon and Nishioka are all down in Rochester.
    1. Yoshii's Avatar
      Yoshii -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Why are we so convinced Manship deserved a spot? Based on 8 2/3 unexceptional spring innings? He's had no success in the majors and has much to prove before he could be looked at as a 7th/8th inning guy in an MLB bullpen. The Twins have their quota of long relievers filled between Swarzak and Maloney.
      +1. Manship has had enough time to try and prove him self in the big leagues. Not surprised at all.
    1. jtrinaldi's Avatar
      jtrinaldi -
      so this means that Rhodes is likely to be playing 1st base in Beloit till Kennys suspension is over....
    1. Billy Bremner's Avatar
      Billy Bremner -
      Good to see a lively discussion about the Twins' low-level roster moves, rather than picking over the scraps (Revere, Plouffe, Jason "Ramon Ortiz" Marquis) on their 2012 roster.
    1. Andrew Bryz-Gornia's Avatar
      Andrew Bryz-Gornia -
      Quote Originally Posted by Billy Bremner View Post
      Good to see a lively discussion about the Twins' low-level roster moves, rather than picking over the scraps (Revere, Plouffe, Jason "Ramon Ortiz" Marquis) on their 2012 roster.
      That will come when the respective cuts happen.
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