Butera, Waldrop, Holliman Out, Burroughs Likely In for Opening Day Roster Spot
(Editors note: Updated at 10:30 with additional information from Joe Christensen's blog.)
The Twins announced via Twitter this morning that they had optioned backup catcher to Rochester, reassigned utility infielder Mike Hollimon and placed relief pitcher Kyle Waldrop on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26th. Furthermore, Butera told Star-Tribune beat reporter Joe Christensen that the Twins told him they were only taking two catchers north, leading Joe to believe that Sean Burroughs has won the last spot on the Twins bench.
Butera has served as the primary backup catcher for the Twins the last two years, relying on stellar defensive skills, but struggling offensively to a historical degree. His demotion means that JR Towles, a minor league free agent who came to the Twins from Houston, is the lone remaining option who could be added as a 3rd catcher. However, it appears now the Twins are at least leaning toward carrying only Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit as catchers.
If so (and provided Alexi Casilla's knee is ready in time), it appears that Sean Burroughs would win the last spot on the Twins roster. Burroughs was a top prospect with the Padres who fell out of the major league, struggled with substance abuse issues and returned to the majors last year with the Diamondbacks. He is a left-handed hitting 3rd baseman who would likely primarily be used as a pinch-hitting option. He was signed as a minor league free agent, so he would need to be added to the 40-man roster, but that doesn't appear to be a serious limitation.
Hollimon was also a minor league free agent with little chance to come north with the team, but a tremendous spring performance kept him in the running for a utility infielder spot until this last weekend. Waldrop was in the race to make the Twins bullpen but has been out several days with elbow discomfort.