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  • Roster Projections Part 1: Pitchers and Catchers

    Happy Pitchers and Catchers Report Day!

    It has been 131 days since the Twins lost a 2-1 decision to the Toronto Blue Jays. Itís been a long offseason, and frankly, rehashing the same offseason transactions and rumors needs to stop. But today down in Ft. Myers, the Twins pitchers and catchers will report and soon after will start officially preparing for the 2013 season. Theyíll throw in the bullpen. Theyíll do a ton of PFPs (Pitcherís Fielding Practice). They will also likely do a lot of running.

    As I did a year ago, weíll be taking a weekly look at the Twins roster and project who will make the Opening Day roster. Today, weíll look at the 43 pitchers and catchers who will be reporting and Iíll post a percent likelihood that the player will be on the Twins Opening Day roster.



    CATCHERS


    Letís start with the guys behind the plate, the guys who will don the tools of ignorance. I often hear the question, ďWhy do the Twins need nine catchers at spring training?Ē Well, when you have 34 pitchers reporting to camp (plus a couple others who will be working out with the team before heading to their WBC teams), you need a lot of catchers for bullpens.

    40 MAN ROSTER


    Joe Mauer (100%), Ryan Doumit (100%), Drew Butera (95%), Chris Herrmann (15%), Josmil Pinto (0.5%)


    Mauer and Doumit will likely split the catching and DH duties for most of the season. The backup catcher will be Butera, at least most of the season. Herrmann debuted with the Twins in mid-September. If he plays well in Rochester, I can see a scenario in which he takes over as the backup catcher before the end of the season. If Mauer or Doumit were to get hurt, Herrmann would likely get the call to the Twins and take that playing time.

    NON-ROSTER INVITES


    Danny Lehmann (0.6%), Eric Fryer (0.4%), Dan Rohlfing (0.3%), Kyle Knudson (0.2%)


    0% would mean that there is absolutely no scenario in which the player will be on the Opening Day roster. These guys could make it. They would just likely need every player ahead of them to get hurt. Iíve long been a big supporter of Danny Lehmann. He has earned the respect of pitchers he has caught since joining the organization in 2007. Rohlfing will be participating in his fourth big league camp. Fryer came over from the Pirates as a minor league free agent. Knudson is a Minnesota native getting his first glimpse of big league camp.

    THE PITCHERS


    Of course, it is no secret that the Twins had one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball in 2012. The bullpen actually did fairly well which is probably more impressive because the starting staff often forced them to pitch a lot of innings. The starting staff was in the bottom three in MLB. The offseason brought the Twins some young power pitchers that likely wonít be with the team for some time. They have a lot of guys coming back from injury as well. They have a lot of question marks and there is little reason to believe that 2013 will be significantly better than 2012. But, spring training is all about hope and optimism. The Twins will need five or six starters to really step up this season and for the bullpen to be consistent and strong.

    The Starters


    40 Man Roster


    Scott Diamond (100%), Kevin Correia (100%), Vance Worley (100%), Mike Pelfrey (98%), Liam Hendriks (85%), Kyle Gibson (75%), Cole De Vries (51%), Trevor May (2.9%), Pedro Hernandez (2.4%), BJ Hermsen (0.8%)


    Correia was signed for two years to be a starter, so he will be in the rotation. Scott Diamond was set to be the Twins Opening Day starter, although recently it was reported that he may not be ready for Opening Day. He had surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow in December. Liam Hendriks had the same surgery in October, and Vance Worley had it in August. Mike Pelfrey may or may not be ready for Opening Day after having Tommy John surgery last April. Kyle Gibson returned from his Tommy John surgery in the second half of last season and pitched well early in the Arizona Fall League. Cole De Vriesí 2012 season ended with broken ribs, but he should be at 100% as spring training begins. Like Worley, May came to the Twins in the Ben Revere deal and will have to improve his control in 2013 to get an opportunity. Hernandez came over in the Francisco Liriano trade after making his big league debut with the White Sox last summer. His season ended with a lat injury. Hermsen was the Twins minor league starting pitcher of the year and pitched very well in New Britain.

    Non-Roster Invites


    Sam Deduno (8.5%), PJ Walters (8.5%), Shairon Martis (1.0%), Alex Meyer (0.5%), Nick Blackburn (0.1%)


    Deduno typically walked too many and didnít strikeout enough, but he actually pitched well for the Twins in 2012. His percentage is as high as it is due to the chance he could be a back of the bullpen type. Likewise, Walters came up to the Twins in May and pitched well until he was hurt. Martis came to the Twins in a mid-season trade and pitched pretty horribly in AA and AAA. He is on The Netherlandsí WBC roster. Alex Meyer came over in the Denard Span trade. He hasnít pitched above A-ball yet, so unless he is amazing, his odds of being on the Opening Day big league roster are very low. Blackburn certainly would not be at 0% if he werenít hurt.

    The Bullpen


    40 Man Roster


    Glen Perkins (100%), Jared Burton (100%), Brian Duensing (100%), Alex Burnett (90%), Casey Fien (80%), Anthony Swarzak (75%), Josh Roenicke (75%), Tim Wood (75%), Tyler Robertson (49%), Ryan Pressly (35%), Caleb Thielbar (30%), Michael Tonkin (3.0%)


    Perkins will be the closer, and likely a set-up man on the US WBC team. Burton came to the Twins a year ago as a non-roster invite last year and stayed healthy and made himself a reliable late-inning guy. Brian Duensing needs to stay in the bullpen. Heís terrific against left-handers and not-so-much terrific against right-handers. Alex Burnett has been in the bullpen for the Twins the past three seasons. He hasnít struckout many, although late last season he did strikeout more. Casey Fien was also a minor league signee. When he got called up, he threw 95 and was very productive. Can he prove that it wasnít a fluke? Anthony Swarzak is out of options, and his broken ribs should not affect his roster spot. The Twins claimed Roenicke from Colorado where he pitched well last year but like Burnett didnít strike many out. Tim Wood was the International Leagueís top relief pitcher in 2012. The Twins signed him to a minor league deal then added him to the 40 man roster. Tyler Robertson had his ups and downs in his rookie season. If the Twins choose to have a third left-hander in their bullpen, Robertson may have the advantage over Minnesota native Caleb Thielbar who pitched well at three levels in 2012. Ryan Pressly is the teamís Rule 5 pick which means heíll have to be on the Twins roster all of 2013 or offered back to the Red Sox. Michael Tonkin had a terrific season out of the bullpen for Beloit and Ft. Myers last year.

    Non-Roster Invites


    Esmerling Vasquez (8.0%), Luis Perdomo (6.0%), Anthony Slama (5.0%), Rich Harden (4.0%), Deolis Guerra (1.0%), Bryan Augenstein (0.2%), Lester Oliveros (0.0%)


    Vasquez pitched well for the Red Wings last year as a reliever and as a starter and got a chance to start for the Twins late. Luis Perdomo had a very solid year at both AA and AAA, and then struggled late for the Twins. Is there a player that bloggers and blog commenters want to see get an opportunity more than Anthony Slama? Had he not broken his femur on a Miguel Tejada comebacker and missed nearly two months, he likely would have seen plenty of times with the Twins. Some think Harden should start. I personally think that Harden should pitch out of the bullpen and see if he canít stay healthy for the full year. His opt-out isnít until the end of July, so the Twins would be wise to work him in slowly considering his missed all of the 2012 season. Deolis Guerra is now out of options, and when the Twins placed him on waivers in November, he cleared. Hopefully he can be healthy and pitch well in Rochester and get another chance. Augenstein was a minor league free agent who signed with the Twins this offseason. He pitched briefly for the Diamondbacks in 2009 and for the Cardinals in 2011. Lester Oliveros had Tommy John surgery in September and may be on a similar recovery plan as Gibson was last year.

    ROSTER PROJECTION #1 (2/12/13):


    Catchers: Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit, Drew Butera


    Starting Pitchers: Scott Diamond, Kevin Correia, Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey, Liam Hendriks, Kyle Gibson (Diamond and/or Pelfrey likely starting season on DL)


    Relief Pitchers: Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Brian Duensing, Alex Burnett, Casey Fien, Josh Roenicke, Tim Wood (Anthony Swarzak possibly on the DL?)


    What are your thoughts or projections on the Twins Opening Day roster as Pitchers and Catchers report?
    This article was originally published in blog: Roster Projections Part 1: Pitchers and Catchers started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 37 Comments
    1. tjsyam921's Avatar
      tjsyam921 -
      I personally don't see Gibson making the opening day roster. Partly to limit his innings and partly to save on major league service time.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      I would love to se Gibson here, think it would take two starting pitcher injuries to make it happen. List looked reasonable, but think Twins will carry a third lefty and Swarzak will not be here(also hopefully Burnett). Expect Twins will give Pressly every chance to make it (50%), also Wood and Ronikie. Also hope Butera will not make it(50%) and Twins carry an extra outfielder.
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      The Opening Day Starter for Your 2013 Minnesota Twins:

      Kevin Correia.
    1. Chance's Avatar
      Chance -
      I like what you have besides I would switch Pressly for Gibson. He could mostly pitch in the pen as a long reliever and maybe make a spot start or 2 until a starter returns from the DL (I assume someone will be on it for the first couple weeks). This would let him try to cement his role with the twins and also not push Gibson to soon into the rotation. After the DL'ed pitcher returns he could take Roenickes spot in the pen (if everyone is doing about the same and Pressly has done enough to stick around.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
      The Opening Day Starter for Your 2013 Minnesota Twins:

      Kevin Correia.
      That's not funny, don't do that.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by tjsyam921 View Post
      I personally don't see Gibson making the opening day roster. Partly to limit his innings and partly to save on major league service time.
      I think that would make the most sense. I think it all depends on Diamond and Pelfrey being ready.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
      The Opening Day Starter for Your 2013 Minnesota Twins:

      Kevin Correia.
      Assuming Diamond isn't going to be ready, I would also say that this makes the most sense.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I think that would make the most sense. I think it all depends on Diamond and Pelfrey being ready.
      Before Diamond came up as a question mark, I thought Gibson's chance of starting the season in the rotation was close to zero. Now with Diamond's health up in the air, I think it's closer to 50/50.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      You are being too low on Harden I think. Only 4% chance to go north with the twins? I see it closer to 60% at this point. If he is healthy he will start with the Twins and pitch his way off the team. They've kept much worse pitchers on the roster until finally releasing them. I see them letting him try to start and with the smallest hint of breaking down they move him to the pen (or when Gibson is ready).
    1. mcrow's Avatar
      mcrow -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      You are being too low on Harden I think. Only 4% chance to go north with the twins? I see it closer to 60% at this point. If he is healthy he will start with the Twins and pitch his way off the team. They've kept much worse pitchers on the roster until finally releasing them. I see them letting him try to start and with the smallest hint of breaking down they move him to the pen (or when Gibson is ready).
      If Harden is healthy and pitching anything like he used to he will be on the roster, a couple of big "ifs" though.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      You are being too low on Harden I think. Only 4% chance to go north with the twins? I see it closer to 60% at this point. If he is healthy he will start with the Twins and pitch his way off the team. They've kept much worse pitchers on the roster until finally releasing them. I see them letting him try to start and with the smallest hint of breaking down they move him to the pen (or when Gibson is ready).
      After missing all of last season, we have absolutely no idea of where he is at right now. If he pitches really well this spring, his percentage will increase as we go along. I just think that he's got a lot to overcome. Lots of bullpen guys who are out of options, questions about his durability to start. I hope he can be healthy and get back to what he once had the potential to become. I just don't know that it happens right out of spring training.
    1. LewFordLives's Avatar
      LewFordLives -
      I think DeVries will get the nod before Gibson. Gibson has not proven he's back to 100 percent following his surgery and he's never had a prolonged successful stint at AAA.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
      The Opening Day Starter for Your 2013 Minnesota Twins:

      Kevin Correia.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by LewFordLives View Post
      I think DeVries will get the nod before Gibson. Gibson has not proven he's back to 100 percent following his surgery and he's never had a prolonged successful stint at AAA.
      I don't necessarily disagree. I think De Vries will be given a legitimate shot.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Assuming Diamond or Pelfrey on the DL--I go with Deduno over Gibson for 5th starter--saving service time and innings.

      I hope the Twins only carry two catchers and keep an extra IF so no Butera.

      No way Harden makes this roster--he has done nothing the last 2 years.
    1. Nate Haseman's Avatar
      Nate Haseman -
      I think Sam Deduno has the stuff to be successful at this level. Hopefully with last year's time with the big club under his belt, he feels a little more confident and can hit some spots and miss some bats this year. I would love to see what Gibson can do in the majors this year but, aside from a Christopher Lloyd in Angels in the Outfield intervention, I think bringing him up this year would be a waste of his service time.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nate Haseman View Post
      I think Sam Deduno has the stuff to be successful at this level. Hopefully with last year's time with the big club under his belt, he feels a little more confident and can hit some spots and miss some bats this year. I would love to see what Gibson can do in the majors this year but, aside from a Christopher Lloyd in Angels in the Outfield intervention, I think bringing him up this year would be a waste of his service time.
      I'm with you... I think Deduno is going to be a wild wild card at some point this year.

      Statistically... I have very little reason to be optimistic about Deduno... But... I've seen him pitch... His stuff is electric... And that gives me optimism...

      Just some consistent mechanics and his control can improve and if that happens... Well... that's an IF... but... IF he does... he could cause problems for our opponents with that stuff of his.

      I'm not going to scratch Deduno off my list until the Twins do. He could be one of those guys that we don't plan on but end up being part of the plans.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Excellent Seth. As always I feel a little smarter after reading your articles.

      I agree that Hendriks is more likely to come north than Gibson. Have to get him out there and find out if his minor league track record is going to transfer to MLB. Last year certainly wasn’t kind to him.

      I also agree that Deduno, while a bit of a wild card, sometimes goes out there and really confuses the hitters. Sadly, he sometimes confuses his catcher, too.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Quote Originally Posted by am. View Post
      the opening day starter for your 2013 minnesota twins:

      Kevin correia.
      Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
      that's not funny, don't do that.
      lol
    1. Physics Guy's Avatar
      Physics Guy -
      Starters: Diamond, Worley, Correia Pelfrey, Hendriks (DeVries if Diamond needs a fill-in for a couple of weeks)
      Relievers: Perkins, Burton, Duensing, Fien, Roenicke, Pressly, DeVries (LR, spot starter)

      Burnett was at least a +WAR guy last year, but just barely. Swarzak wasn't even close. I'd like to see what some of the other guys can do and make them earn their way back. Let's not keep a Jeff Gray-type performer on the roster as long as we did last year.

      As for Gibson, I say start him in AAA giving him 60-70 pitches a start and hopefully have him ramped up by mid-May, early June. They have an abundance of starters in AAA, have one of them be Gibson's scheduled relief. Gibson pitches first 4-5, followed by Vazquez or Swarzak. Or better yet, have him spend April in warm Ft.Myers and then send him to AAA.
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