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My Opening Day Lineup

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Opening Day is a few weeks away, and Twins fans still don't have an exact idea of what the lineup will look like when the Twins take the field.

Many people have been discussing their Opening Day roster projections. I wanted to put this on the record so that I could say "I told you so".

Starting Lineup

CF. Aaron Hicks
2B. Brian Dozier
C. Joe Mauer
LF. Josh Willingham
1B. Justin Morneau
DH. Ryan Doumit
3B. Trevor Plouffe
RF. Chris Parmelee
SS. Eduardo Escobar

Opening Day Starting Pitcher
Vance Worley

Mike Pelfrey
Kevin Correia
Cole DeVries

Glen Perkins
Jared Burton
Brian Duensing
Casey Fien
Alex Burnett
Pedro Hernandez
Tim Wood
Josh Roenicke

Darin Mastrioanni
Jamey Carrol
Chris Colabello
Jim Thome

Scott Diamond
Anthony Swarzack

First off, I went under the assumption that the Twins will go with a four man rotation until April 10th when they will need the fifth starter. At that point Diamond may be ready, and if not I would expect Hendricks to get the nod. Starting the season with a four man rotation leaves an extra roster spot. I dedicated the extra spot to the bullpen, where Hernandez, Wood, and Roenicke would all get a bit of a look before waiver and option decisions have to be made. Anthony Swarzack is also likely to be ready after not too long, and he will presumably take one of those bullpen spots in the long relief role.

I see the eventual rotation and bullpen looking like this:



I am optimistic that Gardy can trust Escobar's ability to catch a few innings in case of an emergency situation. If Escobar is on the roster, it is unlikely that Florimon also goes north with the club. That is unless Jamey Carrol is on the outside-looking-in, which seems improbable. I see Escobar getting the starting position and Carrol in the utility role. This leaves an extra spot on the bench for some pinch hitting power.

Yes, I have Jim Thome listed even though he isn't even currently employed by the Twins. I added Thome to the list mostly because of how much I would like to see it happen, and I realise that it's a long shot. Left handed pop and excitement for the fans would be nice, and without Butera on the bench it makes the luxury of a pinch hit homerun threat more feasible. I also put Colabello on the list as a right handed pinch hitting option. It would be such a fun story, and the quality of his recent production might make it much less of a long shot than it seemed coming into camp.

I guess my only other real sleeper pick is Hernandez in the bullpen. Another lefty would be convenient, and I can't think of anybody who has outright won the open spot.

This of course implies that Hicks winning the center field job is not a sleeper pick, which I believe is starting to become consensus among the fans and the coaching staff.

This projection is a combination of what I think we will see, and what I want to see. I would maybe try Mauer batting second and would probably not bring Burnett north, but Gardy seems set on them being where they are.

What do you think of my roster? Anybody care to go on the record with their projection?


  1. Rosterman's Avatar
    You till gotta find room on the 40-man. Do feel one of Wood or Roeincke will be sent packing and/or resigned if no one claims them to a minor league option. If Prssly continues to pitch well, see him opening with the Twins and a decision on him being made when Swarzak is ready -- look forward to the Twins playing Swarzak in the minors as long as they can (three weeks). Collabero and Thome would require 40-man spots, both are the same guy at this point...a bat off the bench. If the Twins need first base backup it is Parmelee and playing Mastro in right. Doubt that the Twins, at this point, will sign Thome. I also hope the youthful Burnett starts the year at AAA.
  2. 10PagesOfClearBlueSky's Avatar

    You make some good points.

    Yes, of course 40 man roster considerations would have to be made. That goes without saying. I would think whoever is on the outs from the Roenicke, Woods, Pressly mix would make room for the addition of Thome and/or Collabello. Clearly, Thome is a long shot, which I stated in my post. I don't think he and Collabello are exactly the same, however. Yes, they are both bats off of the bench, but one hitting left handed and one hitting right handed makes them substantially different in actual game strategy scenarios. In fact, they somewhat protect each other as opposing managers would have to be mindful when choosing to bring in same handed relievers. Who do you see as the Right handed pinch hitting option if Thome was on the 25? And conversley who is the left handed option if they go with Collabello? My point is that none of Carrol/Mastro/Escobar exactly strike fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers. Would having them both be a luxury which is far from likely? Yes.

    Pressly over Hernandez seems reasonable, and I admitted that Hernandez would be a sleeper choice. The left-handed option would be nice, but I agree that if Pressly has been performing better then the best reliever available should get the job regardless of R/L considerations.
    Updated 03-14-2013 at 11:03 PM by 10PagesOfClearBlueSky
  3. Drtwins's Avatar
    I still don't understand why everyone says we don't need a 5th starter until the 10th? We need one on the 7th unless all of them are going to go 1 day short on rest from the 7th through the 10th as the 2nd is the only off day.
    April 1st: SP1
    April 2nd: OFF
    April 3rd: SP2
    April 4th: SP3
    April 5th: SP4
    April 6th: SP1 (on regular rest bc day off on the 2nd)
    April 7th: SP2 (on 3 days rest, 1 day short of regular rest)
    April 8th: SP3 (1 day short rest)
    April 9th: SP4 (1 day short rest)
    April 10th: SP1 (1 day short rest)
  4. 10PagesOfClearBlueSky's Avatar

    You're right. I checked the schedule and it is clear that this April 10 date is incorrect. April 7 will be the first time a fifth starter is "needed". This makes me think it is much more likely the Twins will go with a full five-man rotation right out of the gate, and just give their opening day starter the extra day of rest.

    I would amend my projected rotation to include Deduno, and to make room I would subtract Roenicke from the bullpen.
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