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  • Minnesota Twins Roster Projection 3.0

    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, Chris Colabello

    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?
    Comments 82 Comments
    1. bdoom5's Avatar
      bdoom5 -
      If Alex Presley is the opening day cf I wont watch. There is no upside. Hicks has way more upside. Hicks struggled last year but Presley isn't a solid hitter. And Hicks plays way better in cf. Can you guys believe Bartletts spring batting avg. is the same as mine? Its time to end the experiment.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      I've always liked Jason Kubel but right now his niche is the same as Parmelee's, and Parms wins that battle.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      The Twins might be able to swing a trade for a reliever that has some established success in the majors, but I don't see a whole lot of trading. If they get anything at all of value for Diamond or Worley, I'll be shocked. Everyone knows they are out of options, so no one will offer anything for them... I'll add to it that their performance hasn't exactly made trading either of them easier.
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Quote Originally Posted by bdoom5 View Post
      If Alex Presley is the opening day cf I wont watch. There is no upside. Hicks has way more upside. Hicks struggled last year but Presley isn't a solid hitter. And Hicks plays way better in cf. Can you guys believe Bartletts spring batting avg. is the same as mine? Its time to end the experiment.
      Just listening to a game now and then, and reading some of the box scores, I'd say Bartlett is out-hitting Kubel, despite the difference in batting average. I could be wrong. Sounds like Bartlett made some good contact yesterday and stole a base today, which will help his cause. Looks like Bartlett is also starting to see time at 2B/RF.

      I know Gardy has plans for Kubel to DH and be a bat off the bench this year too (don't have link).
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      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.
      Yeah. The was I see it, as far as position players go, subtract Kubel, add Pinto (as a 50-50 starter with Suzuki) and this is the roster, with the DH being a rotation between Parmelee/Colabello/Herrmann/Arcia/Willingham, Herrmann having a utility role and giving Gardy his beloved third catcher.

      Not sure how pitching will play out. I expect trades. I also might not be surprised if Matty Guerrier makes the team. He pitched well in his first outing the other day. Still need another week or so to play out there.
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      I too think there's a trade to be made yet. I could see even Burton going and Tonkin taking that spot. I'll be really surprised if some pitching isn't dealt. I see Colabello, Kubel and Parmelee fighting for 2 spots with Colabello and Parm winning, as both can play 1st base.

      I'm right on with you, Seth, for the rest of the roster.
    1. bdoom5's Avatar
      bdoom5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hosken Bombo Disco View Post
      Just listening to a game now and then, and reading some of the box scores, I'd say Bartlett is out-hitting Kubel, despite the difference in batting average. I could be wrong. Sounds like Bartlett made some good contact yesterday and stole a base today, which will help his cause. Looks like Bartlett is also starting to see time at 2B/RF.

      I know Gardy has plans for Kubel to DH and be a bat off the bench this year too (don't have link).
      Bartletts Batting avg. is .ooo, that's not acceptable.
    1. VATwinsFan's Avatar
      VATwinsFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Old Twins Cap View Post
      Give up on Kubel, nostalgia for the past does not do anything for a MLB roster. Worley and Diamond, who would even want either of them? We have got a ton of Diamond-like lefties sitting around the minors. What's the concern about letting him go?

      But, pitching will not be the biggest problem for the Twins this year. It's the offense. They will have trouble scoring runs and are caught between not being a running team and not being a power team. They must keep Colabello, hope Willingham hits and then get some of the little guys to have good years by getting on base. Like last year, if either Parmelee or Plouffe ever came around and realized his potential, they would be a decent squad. As it stands, they will battle for last place in the Central yet again.
      Agreed -- I am afraid we are in for a painfully large number of 3-2, 2-1, and 1-0 losses. While the pitching appears to be more than adequate right now the line up brings tears to my eyes.
      Colabello has to be on the bench.

    1. Deduno Abides's Avatar
      Deduno Abides -
      Some random thoughts:

      Catcher: Suzuki is signed to a one-year deal, which means that the intention is that he is here only to help with the transition to Pinto for 2015. However, it would be great to see Pinto on the team right out of the gate. This is based not on his strong September in the majors, but instead on his strong year throughout 2013 in AA and AAA. I'd like to see him start the year in the majors, with Suzuki playing the role of Henry Blanco or Junior Ortiz. The biggest issue I see with Pinto is health. He was injured last year, last fall and now, again, during spring training. I guess there could be a need to make sure he can stay off the DL for an extended duration before declaring him the full-time major league starter. Either way, Herrmann is not a bad back-up. If he can catch decently and manage to obtain at least a .650 OPS, he'd be middle-of-the-pack in league context and WAY OVER the Butera line.

      Infield: makes sense. Good to see Colabello's continued efforts to improve possibly bear fruit.

      Outfield: right now, only two players are likely for 2015, and two are possible. For Arcia, the upside goal has to be that he turns into a 30 HR masher, hopefully by 2015. 2014 should be all about whatever is best to position him for that future. For Hicks, with apologies to Satchel Paige, he better not look (go) back, because someone's (Buxton) gaining on him. If Hicks doesn't make it in 2014, he'll probably have at most until the end of May 2015 to be the Twins' centerfielder. He needs to show what he's got. If he plays OK, he can either move to left next year or be traded to another team in need of a good centerfielder. If he shows a good glove but only an adequate bat, a trade may be more likely, because left field may be saved for a run producer, either by free agency, or someone else coming up from the minors - Rosario? Vargas? Walker?? If Colabello and/or Parmalee show a healthy bat this year, they may also be candidates to be at least left field placeholders in 2015.

      The two question marks are Presley - will he be a good fourth outfielder in 2015? - and Parmalee - will he hit enough for the Twins to establish himself as a major leaguer or will he need to go somewhere else for free in hopes of becoming the next Garrett Jones?

      Not relevant to the 2015 plans are Willingham, unless he can be traded this summer for a prospect (thanks for a great 2013 and for being a likable player); and Kubel, who I would argue will likely not be relevant to 2014 plans, either. Look, we all liked Jason Kubel when he played here, but he's been injured repeatedly in his career, he's in the rapid decline phase of his career, and he really had only a good first half his first year in Arizona, when he was new to the league and playing in a hitter's park. If his .216/.293/.317 in 2013 was due to injury, what accounts for his 2012 second-half split of .201/.275/.470? Convert that performance from Chase Field (where his 2012 OPS was one hundred fifty points higher than his away OPS) to Target Field and . . . (shudder).

      Starters: do you remember that last year Vance Worley was the opening day starter? Do you remember that one of the biggest worries last spring training was Cole Devries' injury? Do you realize that 60 starts last year were by Worley, Diamond, Albers, Walter, Devries, Pedro Hernandez, and Liam Hendriks, all of whom would, at best, be the 13th pitcher on this year's staff? This year's staff is way better. Of course, TR didn't exactly go out and get in-their-prime versions of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, but we might now at least have . . . what? . . . a decent starting rotation? A shot at competence? This is the biggest source of hope that 2014 will be better than 2013. Also, if any of the five listed by Seth - I would hope for the same five - falters, then we will have pitchers in AAA, who, while perhaps unproven, have a good chance to perform at least as well as the starters of the sundry sixty from 2013. This includes Meyer, Gibson, May, and possibly Darnell.

      Relievers: not a bad list. A few trade candidates, including Burton, Fien and Duensing, but trades would be more likely in June or July than during spring training, when teams may think a middle reliever is what they need for the playoff chase. There is depth behind this list, including Guerrier, Pressly, May (I think he's better fixed long-term for relieving - Latroy Hawkins, anybody?), Tonkin, Ibarra (they must see something in this guy), Hoffman, and the several lefties that the team has collected. Even Gibson should be considered a relief candidate, if the starting rotation performs adequately; there should be no reason for him to spend the year in Rochester, unless there's an injury or trade by mid-June, he should be in the majors in some role, unless he proves not worthy. Many of these pitchers could plug in after a trade of the veterans with little loss of performance. In fact, some of these pitchers may actually have more upside than Burton, Fien or Duensing, at lower cost.

      By they way, when do we start counting the salary that will come off the books before 2015 so we can start guessing which free agents could be good fits?

    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      So, how do people see the situation where likely two of Colabello, Kubel and Parmelee make the roster?

      Colabello's 'won' spring training. He has two options remaining, but is the lone right-handed bat with some power.
      Parmelee's been good as well, and he's out of options.
      Kubel is on a minor league deal, but can he opt out? Would he? He's still young and has a track record with a lot of success.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      It may be painfull, but this is a sort out year. Find out which of the Twins young players that are ready have a future here. That is why I am hoping there is no room for either Kubel or Bartlett. Parmelee, Florimon, Escobar, Plouffe, Hicks and Arcia all need to play and see which ones can grow and which ones will need to be pushed or replaced next year.
    1. ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
      ChiTownTwinsFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      So, how do people see the situation where likely two of Colabello, Kubel and Parmelee make the roster?

      Colabello's 'won' spring training. He has two options remaining, but is the lone right-handed bat with some power.
      Parmelee's been good as well, and he's out of options.
      Kubel is on a minor league deal, but can he opt out? Would he? He's still young and has a track record with a lot of success.
      If it were me, Kubel would be the odd man out. I'm not sure what 'promises' were made or implied, if any for sure, but he just hasn't done enough to justify bringing him north.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      My projections for the roster have changed. I had Mastro and Fryer on the team and neither made it. Unless the Twins pick up an outfielder capable of playing center, Hicks has again won the job in spring training. Colabello is perhaps the only guy who has played his way onto the team, and I am quite skeptical of him having success when the games count. Kubel, Bartlett and Presley seem to have blown opportunities here. I have Presley as the fourth OF and the Jason's off the team. Parmelee seems to be a redundant piece, probably getting some starts against RH pitching, but having no real role. Do the Twins want the versatile LH batting Herrmann or do they go with Pinto? I'm going with Herrmann, even though I want Pinto.

      On the pitching side, there are many settled jobs--the first four in the rotation and Swarzak and the back of the bullpen are set. I think Deduno has earned a trip north. The easiest answer would be to make Deduno the fifth starter and stash Diamond and Worley in the 'pen at the expense of Tonkin, Thielbar and Pressly. I think Gibson is the key. I think he pushes Deduno to the bullpen and Diamond to DFAland.

      Here's my new Roster 3.0--Pitchers (12) Nolasco, Correia, Hughes, Pelfry, Gibson, Deduno, Swarzak, Worley, Fien, Duensing, Burton, Perkins. Catchers (2) Suzuki, Herrmann. Infield (6) Maher, Dozier, Florimon, Plouffe, Escobar, Colabello. Outfield (5) Willingham, Hicks, Arcia, Presley, Parmelee.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Damon auto correct! It should be MAUER and JASONS
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      I've always liked Jason Kubel but right now his niche is the same as Parmelee's, and Parms wins that battle.
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      So, how do people see the situation where likely two of Colabello, Kubel and Parmelee make the roster?

      Colabello's 'won' spring training. He has two options remaining, but is the lone right-handed bat with some power.
      Parmelee's been good as well, and he's out of options.
      Kubel is on a minor league deal, but can he opt out? Would he? He's still young and has a track record with a lot of success.
      I think it's a reasonable scenario, barring a trade that brings back a bench bat. Colabello is probably the odd man out because I suspect Gardy would prefer the known quantity, veteran presence of Kubel and TR won't want to lose Parmelee for nothing (I doubt he would get through waivers) while he still has a chance to be a productive MLB player (although his window is closing fast). The options may be what decide this one, not what might be the best fit for the roster this season. But it's possible Gardy could insist to TR that he give him a RH bat.
    1. slash129's Avatar
      slash129 -
      I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in Bloomington. My wife had asked me to run the tiller over an area where she wanted to garden. The Twins had already lost the first two games of the series to the Yankees (which I'm pretty sure put them at double-digit consecutive losses to the Bombers), so I figured I could cut in and out of the game "on break" to till and watch the game. The Twins were down late in the game, so my concentration definitely swung more to getting the tilling done. Luckily, my chronically drunk neighbor had a decent-sized TV in the gazebo of the house he rented that I could see looking over the hedge. He also provided some relatively entertaining slurred play-by-play, so I knew when to peer over and catch what was going on. Most of you already know what happened, but I'll continue. The Twins got the bases loaded and Rivera came in to save it. My neighbor was sounding more and more like a sailor with each pitch. Then I hear "C'mon Kubel you #$#$%!!, It's Lefty on Righty!!! Just as I'm peering over, this happens:

      http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...=.jsp&c_id=min

      .... And that is how I'd like to remember Jason Kubel

      I see some logos here and there about getting 400 PAs for Eduardo Escobar. I'd like to see the same for Parmelee this season. He can play right field, DH and spell Mauer 2-3 times a month at 1B. If he doesn't prove himself this year with a reasonable look, then I think the Twins can say they game him a fair shot. I look at Garret Jones, then stretch a bit and look at Big Papi, and then stretch even more to a different org and look at Chris Davis and think patience and a decent shot at regular playing time could pay off.

      Kubel doesn't do much for me in the now. DH? Pinch-Hit? Pair with Willingham to cover the least amount of ground in the corners in MLB? It can be fun to think about one of your favorite bands getting back together until the singer steps up to the mic. Then you wish you would just have kept reliving the memory of seeing them in '92.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      There's no way that Colabello, Kubel, and Parmelee all make the roster (especially if it results in 26 players).

      Right now Kubel would be the odd man out. I know there's a rumored "gentleman's agreement" between the Twins and Kubel, but I wouldn't be very happy if Parmelee was let go so that they could bring Kubel north.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      I'm with the general consensus. What good is a competition if the results aren't honored? I wouldn't be surprised to see Kubel start the year at Rochester to resurrect his swing, while Parmelee stays with the big club. Make Kubel beat him out. If he can't, let him opt out.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Kubel should be willing to play in Rochester as he can be assured that any injury to a position player and he is likely the guy brought up. He and Guerrier are competition for the younger guys. Younger guys win.
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