The Minnesota Twins made eight cuts on Sunday morning and their roster is now at forty players. Some of the moves certainly make some of the opening day roster choices more clear, but there are still several questions that need to be answered.
Here is my third version of a Twins Opening Day roster projection. It is based on the players currently on the roster, though I do expect the Twins to make a trade before opening day gets here.
As a reminder, the players in red are those that I believe are givens to make the roster (obviously, pending no injury). Those in black are those whose spots on the roster are uncertain.
Catchers (2): Kurt Suzuki
, Chris Herrmann
With Eric Fryer sent to minor league camp on Sunday, it means that Chris Herrmann and Josmil Pinto will be competing to back up Kurt Suzuki. They have indicated they want Pinto to be able to play most every day which makes Herrmann a pretty likely opening day roster guy.
Infielders (5): Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe, Pedro Florimon, Eduardo Escobar,
The demotion of Danny Santana certainly indicates the club feels Pedro Florimon will be ready for opening day. The starters remain set, and Eduardo Escobar is a given (in my opinion). I have added Chris Colabello to the opening day roster because of his bat. If you believe the Twins need a big, powerful right-handed bat, then it has to be Chris Colabello.
Outfielders (6): Josh Willingham
, Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Arcia, Alex Presley
, Chris Parmelee, Jason Kubel
Iíve changed things here too, but these are really a tough positions when it comes to predicting who will make it. Willingham is a given. Iíve actually altered my thinking and now think that Aaron Hicks will be the primary centerfielder which makes Alex Presley the backup. Oswaldo Arcia will likely be starting right fielder. I am less and less certain that Jason Kubel is a given at this point than I was a month ago and Parmelee/Colabello could take over DH duties. I still have Kubel on the roster though, for now.
Starting Pitchers (5): Kevin Correia
, Ricky Nolasco
, Phil Hughes
, Mike Pelfrey
, Sam Deduno
No change at the top of the starting pitching ranks. The top four will make it. Itís also becoming more and more clear that Sam Deduno is the favorite for the fifth starting job. Scott Diamond had a solid outing yesterday against the Mets B team, though he also walked three. The Twins were happy with the improvement Vance Worley made in his most recent outing. After a rough, long first inning on Friday, Kyle Gibson settled down. I do have Deduno as a given, though Iím not 100% certain he will be the fifth starter (only like 90%).
Bullpen (7): Glen Perkins
, Jared Burton
, Brian Duensing
, Casey Fien
, Anthony Swarzak
, Caleb Thielbar, Vance Worley
Perkins signed his extension and heís a given. Fien and Swarzak are givens. There are rumblings that the Twins could deal a reliever or two by opening day, though obviously thatís a matter of two teams coming together and finding something that makes sense. I still think Caleb Thielbar is the front runner for the second lefty reliever, but I think the Twins really like Matt Hoffman, and Aaron Thompson as well. I think Vance Worley and Scott Diamond will compete over these final two weeks for one spot. That said, Michael Tonkin has been impressive as well so far in camp. If the Twins could deal maybe Burton and/or Duensing, Tonkin and Hoffman would get a shot.
What are your thoughts? What does your roster look like with two weeks to go?