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A look at alternative 24th and 25th man roster possibilities

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The Twins roster right now seems fairly set outside of 1-2 bullpen spots and one bench spot. But with Luke Hughes perhaps not being fully ready at the beginning of the season, it is possible that two spots will be available. Many think that Nishioka has the inside track for one of those spots, but he also cannot right now be trusted to play second base, so having a backup shortstop who isn't a good defender and has shown nothing at the plate so far would seem to be problematic.

So, removing Hughes and Nishioka from the roster and barring other injuries (to mess this up), there are two spots available for a number of players who either played with the Twins or Rochester last year or were in another organization. These players (in no particular order) are:

1. Rene Tosoni-RF/LF, LH (.618 OPS in 189 plate appearances for the Twins in 2011)
2. Sean Burroughs-3B (but is apparently going to try his hand at 2B and 1B as well), LH (.626 OPS in 115 for the Diamondbacks in 2011)
3. Aaron Bates-1B/LF (perhaps RF as well), RH (.847 OPS in 420 plate appearances at Rochester in 2011)
4. Steve Pearce-1B/RF (and some 3B as well), RH (.515 OPS in 105 plate appearances for the Pirates in 2011)
5. Darin Mastroianni-CF/LF/RF, RH (.747 OPS in 364 plate appearances in AAA in 2011)
6. Wilkin Ramirez RF/LF/CF, RH (.766 in 313 plate appearances in AAA in 2011)
7. Matt Carson RF/CF/LF, RH (.871 OPS in 475 plate appearances in AAA in 2011)

I would argue that as Rene Tosoni is the only real prospect and was rushed into service for the Twins last year, he should start in Rochester, playing every day.

Matt Carson has a lot of power and can apparently play all OF positions. Mastroianni has good speed and can also play all OF positions. Wilkin Ramirez is somewhere in the middle and can play all OF positions.

Steve Pearce at least used to have a lot of power, Aaron Bates has some power, and Sean Burroughs doesn't have much power. One can see a pattern.

It seems silly to predict or choose which two of these guys I would replace Hughes and Nishioka with right now, but it will interesting to see if they will get serious attention to be in contention for the roster.
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  1. Thrylos's Avatar
    If both Nishioka and Hughes are not on the 25-man roster, the Twins need middle infielders so Dozier, Chang, Florimon should be in the list. At least one of them will be in the majors as the bench middle infielder
  2. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Dozier and Florimon were at AA last year other than Florimon's September callup, and Chang, while possible, still is not proven at AAA either. Casilla is the other shortstop on the team who can move over if Carroll is ever hurt or pinch something for (probably doubtful), and if Casilla is out mid-game (more doubtful), then Plouffe can be the emergency SS. Calling up one of these three or Nishioka can then happen for the next game.
  3. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Burroughs as a lefty and Carson has a power bat should potentially have the edge.
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