Tuesday Notes from Hammond: Pelfrey Pranks and Impending Roster Crunch
The Twins have 29 listed on the roster as of this morning, with four cuts coming. Among those remaining the team has 13 pitchers, 7 infielders, 6 outfielders and 3 catchers. At some point this week four of those guys will be gone.
The obvious subtraction is the third catcher, Dan Rohlfing, which would leave Kurt Suzuki and Josmil Pinto as the pair of backstops heading to Chicago. The other position player moves may be interesting. Manager Ron Gardenhire has grown increasingly fond of Jason Bartlett and his versatility, giving the veteran every opportunity to secure a job. There are also some rumblings of concern of losing former first-round pick Chris Parmelee, so this may create the scenario of some outfield combination of Willingham, Hicks, Presley and Parmelee/Kubel with Oswaldo Arcia returning to Rochester.
The Twins made a last second change prior to the game, having Mike Pelfrey -- who was scheduled to start yesterday's minor league game -- move to the major league game today. This will push the previously scheduled starter, Kyle Gibson, back to relief, with Scott Diamond making an appearance as well. Diamond, who is out of options, is on the bubble and may be pitching to impress other teams as well as the Twins (which may be why he is supposed to pitch the middle innings today rather than the end of the game). If there are takers, this would help in reducing the pitching total to 12.
Speaking of Pelfrey, the Twins clubhouse vibe this morning was pretty loose, considering that final cuts are right around the corner. Part of the reason is that this MLB Fan Cave video was released which showed Gardenhire and Glen Perkins pranking pitcher Mike Pelfrey -- and a vast majority of players were enjoying the video on a phone or tablet prior to the game. Twins PR maven, Dustin Morse, snapped a photo of Pelfrey watching the results of this morning's prank.
In his pre-game talk with the media, Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said that Jason Kubel will officially be added to the 25-man roster. "I believe he progressed throughout the spring and took better at bats," said Antony. "I still believe he's a professional hitter with something left. We're looking for offense."
Matt Guerrier, who was released on Monday, has signed a minor league deal with the Rochester Red Wings. The previous deal included a June 1 opt-out clause but the new deal will have an earlier opt-out date that Antony would not specify.
"I think the out-clause is fine and a reasonable amount of time for us take a look," Antony noted. "If there are several guys ahead of him, there's no sense holding him down there until August or September. If he pitches well, we'll make a decision to bring him up to the big leagues. If not then he can check out his opportunities with another big league club."
Guerrier will start the year in extended spring training to avoid the cold weather on the rehabbing arm.
Antony also reiterated that the roster will be finalized by Friday of this week to ensure players have enough time to make necessary travel and living arrangements.
More to come this afternoon. Remember to follow TwinsDaily on twitter for all updates while I’m down here at camp.