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  • "Opening Day is One Week Away" Roster Projections

    It's hard to believe, but after a long 2011 season and a very long offseason, Opening Day is just one week away for the Twins and the rest of baseball (except the A's and Mariners, I guess.). I have been doing these weekly roster projections for for weeks, and it's a lot of fun. As much as we like to think our roster projections a month out look pretty solid, it's impossible to know. No one could have predicted that Chris Parmelee would perform so well. And who knew with the bullpen.

    Think about this. I posted a roster projection last Friday, and by Sunday, the Twins helped clarify things and my projection was already outdated. With one week to go, a few more spots on the roster have appeared to be solidified, but there are still question marks. Obviously injury concerns with Scott Baker and Kyle Waldrop have affected things, and we continue to keep the family of Jason Marquis in our thoughts as they remain with their daughter who was in a bicycle accident just over a week ago.

    There are still roster moves to be made. Some have really impressed this spring, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out. As a side note, the full-season minor league seasons actually start the day before the major league opener. Keep tuned to Twins Daily. When we get any official information on the major league and then the minor league rosters, this will be a great place to find that information and discuss it.

    (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. Discuss my selections and be sure to post your roster projections in the Comments as well.)

    Catchers: Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit

    I have had JR Towles as the third catcher, and I have had Drew Butera retaining his spot. This week, I am going to project that the Twins will go with just two catchers. I don't know how comfortable Ron Gardenhire will be with that arrangement, and frankly, despite the fact that I don't like the idea of a third catcher, I do like the idea of Ryan Doumit getting a lot of at bats, and without a third catcher, I don't think that he will get as many.

    Infielders: Justin Morneau, Alexi Casilla, Danny Valencia, Jamey Carroll, Luke Hughes, Chris Parmelee, Sean Burroughs

    Clearly the stories here have been Justin Morneau playing solely first base over the past 2-3 weeks and the play of Chris Parmelee. I'm not convinced that Parmelee is really ready or that it is best for his development to be on the big league roster. Thats a major reason, although not the only one, that I don't necessarily think that it is best for the Twins to have him in the big leagues. I made the argument earlier in the week that Luke Hughes could start at 2B with Casilla being a utility player. I don't think that would happen, but I would like to see Hughes get some time. Carroll has started hitting a little bit of late, but there are no concerns with him. The final bench spot does appear to be between Dinkelman, Burroughs, Butera and JR Towles. Dinkelman has had a very good camp and could be making the Twins brass consider him as a viable LH Pinch hitter option. Dinkelman or Burroughs would need to be added to the 40 man roster. Although Gardenhire did say a couple of weeks ago that Brian Dozier would start the season in Rochester (which is good), he remains in camp and continues to impress.

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

    No change, in terms of who will likely be in the outfield, but plenty of change in the alignment. On Sunday, Gardenhire announced that Josh Willingham was moving back to Left Field and (no surprise) Denard Span will start in center field. He also said that Ben Revere will be the 4th outfielder. That means that Right Field will be manned by Trevor Plouffe, Ryan Doumit and Chris Parmelee, as well as by Revere.

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

    The top three spots appear set, and Baker and Marquis are the other two starters. However, it is still unclear whether Baker will need to start the season on the Disabled List or whether Marquis could be put on the bereavement list to start the season. In my opinion, at least one of those scenarios are pretty likely to happen, and that's why I have added Liam Hendriks to the starting rotation. I can't quite put him in red because it's possible Baker and Marquis will be ready for opening day. Although Baker and Marquis are both on the roster (and should be red), I put them in green to note that is where the question mark in the rotation lies.

    Bullpen: Matt Capps, Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak, Jared Burton, Matt Maloney, Jeff Gray,Kyle Waldrop,

    It's fairly clear that the Twins have set six spots in their bullpen at this point with Burton and Maloney grabbing hold of two more spots. Kyle Waldrop was certainly the favorite for that last spot and may be in red now if not for some inflammation in his elbow. He will likely begin the season on the DL. So, the final roster spot is up for grabs between Jeff Gray, Alex Burnett and Casey Fien. At this point, it come down to what makes sense. Burnett has been there the past two years, but he has really struggled in camp (and the last two seasons). Fien has pitched just fine, but he hasn't been put into early situations in the game, against big league hitters, so although his numbers look terrific and he's pitched well, it just doesn't seem that he's likely (although he is still there). Gray was a name that I mentioned last week as a guy not to forget. He didn't get many opportunities in "A" games the first couple of weeks of camp, but he's on the 40 man roster and he's out of options, so I hoped he would at least get a shot. He's pitched a couple of times and done pretty well. He's had quite a bit of (unimpressive) big league time, but I think he's the guy who gets that spot out of spring training.

    What are your thoughts? Discuss what your roster looks like? The season is getting close, and I'm getting excited! I hope everyone else is too!

    This article was originally published in blog: "Opening Day is One Week Away" Roster Projections started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 32 Comments
    1. MileHighTwinsFan's Avatar
      MileHighTwinsFan -
      I'm also guessing that with only two catchers and the announcement about Morneau DHing that Mauer is not going to see much time as a DH, but I wonder about Doumit. Do we expect that he is the starting right fielder and the back up to Mauer or will he be a more traditional backup catcher - with Plouffe in right?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      The curse of "Seth's Projected Roster." Last week, I moved Manship into the mix with Waldrop for the final spots in the bullpen. Manship got hit hard that afternoon... Waldrop came down with an elbow problem... This week, I put Jeff Gray on the list for the first time, and he's getting hit pretty hard... Might mean Alex Burnett afterall... or Casey Fien?
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Seth posted above that he's surprised at who is being held back for extended spring? It's not a good sign when Seth thinks they are moving guys slower than he expected....
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by MileHighTwinsFan View Post
      So is it pretty much the case that Revere will be a late inning defensive replacement for Willingham, pinch runner, and backup to Span? Looks like they don't need or want him in right at all.
      I think that's the signal we're reading, and is appropriate use for a young three-tool player.
    1. peterb18's Avatar
      peterb18 -
      I saw the game today in Dunedin and Parmalee looked really good at the plate. Hit a solid single and a long home run over the right center wall. Definitely ready for the next step. The swing was very powerful. When we arrived at the park, Gardy was signing autographs and taking pictures with the fans along the 3rd base line. I have criticized Grady in the past--but he was sure good with the fans.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Seth posted above that he's surprised at who is being held back for extended spring? It's not a good sign when Seth thinks they are moving guys slower than he expected....
      I think that the biggest surprises there might be Hudson Boyd and Travis Harrison staying for EST
    1. cy1time's Avatar
      cy1time -
      Am I the only one here that thinks that Parmalee needs some ABs at AAA? I agree that he had a great September and has had a decent spring, but his minor league career he's a.266/.355/.436 hitter. I don't see how he's going to fare very well playing everyday with that track record. I hope that I'm wrong.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Seth, by TON of players please tell me that you aren't talking about Sano and/or Rosario, a fear I've had since last fall.
    1. jtrinaldi's Avatar
      jtrinaldi -
      Quote Originally Posted by jnygaard View Post
      Seth, by TON of players please tell me that you aren't talking about Sano and/or Rosario, a fear I've had since last fall.
      Sano and Rosario will be in Beloit. I have been told by a few peope high up that Sano and Rosario will be starting the year in Beloit, the players that are likely questionable to stay back are all the college pitchers that the Twins drafted last year, combined with all the pitchers that were in Beloit for half the year are likely to cause problems for the organization. Atherton,Acther,O Rourke,Tonkin,Carter,Shibuya,Williams,Boer,Gruver, Johnson,Kimes,Summers
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by jnygaard View Post
      Seth, by TON of players please tell me that you aren't talking about Sano and/or Rosario, a fear I've had since last fall.
      Yeah, no worries about those guys! ha!
    1. mnfireman's Avatar
      mnfireman -
      Granted he tore it up there, but another big bodied 1B type only played A ball for the Twins - Kent Hrbek. If Parmalee successfully jumps from AA to the bigs and puts up 10 years of Hrbie type numbers, I don't think anyone will care that he missed AAA.
    1. raindog's Avatar
      raindog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hater View Post
      Unfortunately for Waldrop, he had done enough this spring -- and over his last two years in the minor leagues -- to earn a spot on the 25-man roster heading into the season opener - thats the quote I see from Phil Mackey. It's not referenced where he got that assumption. Even though Alex Burnett has sucked all i've heard is they want him for the 7th spot even before Waldrop got hurt. Waldrop stats from 2010/2011 back it up? AAA ball 2011 79IP 84H! Only 43Ks! Laughable! AND despite being a ground ball pitcher he gave up 7 jacks in AAA ball. But he has earned it... NOPE!
      What the heck is wrong with you?
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