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Nishioka Among Twins Second Roster Cuts

The Twins reduced their spring training roster significantly on Monday morning, and there was even a surprise or two.

The biggest name on the list was Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Many believed that because he has some ability to play shortstop and the had an inside track on the Twins utility job. But he has struggled throughout spring with many of the game's basics, and the Twins optioned him to Rochester.
[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]
Carlos Gutierrez and Rene Tosoni were also optioned to Rochester.

Several non-roster players were assigned to minor league camp. Relievers Jason Bulger, Luis Perdomo, Daryl Thompson, Esmerling Vaszquez and PJ Walters will report across the parking lot. Catchers Chris Herrmann and Dan Rohlfing will start preparing for their minor league seasons in minor league camp. Infielder Aaron Bates and outfielder Wilkin Ramirez were also sent to minor league camp.

Attached Image: Nishioka.jpg Aside from Nishioka, there are not a lot of surprises. Gutierrez has good numbers but still lacks that second pitch that could make him very good. Tosoni really struggled in big league camp, with just one hit in 15 at bats.

Aaron Bates, who blogs for Twins Daily, is a surprise to some degree. The first baseman was 8-20 this spring. He was posting a line of .400/.429/.450 and has had back-to-back multi-hit games.

The spring training roster is now at 45 with 21 pitchers, six catchers, 11 infielders and seven outfielders vying for 25 spots.

Maybe the most interesting thing about the Nishioka demotion is the possible utility infielders remaining in camp. The most intriguing is Brian Dozier who is now hitting over .300 this spring, and hit his first home run yesterday. The Twins won't keep him up to be a backup, but he could potentially win a starting job still. Michael Hollimon has been terrific the first half of spring training, hitting .533 albeit in just 17 plate appearances. Ray Chang, Pedro Florimon, Brian Dinkelman and Sean Burroughs also seem to be in the hunt for an Opening Day roster spot.

Any thoughts on the transactions?


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