150 PA's, sprinkled in every 3 or 4 games over half a season, is extended major league competition? Leave Benson in Rochester (assuming he's not the starting CF out of ST) and if he's playing well, bring him up after Morneau is traded and Parmelee moves to 1st base so he can play full time in RF.
Having Thome as a bench bat shouldn't be seen as blocking anyone......except Butera.
1. What's the probability of Herrmann beating out Butera? Hermann has good catching ability and offers the ability to play in the Corner OF. This says nothing about Herrmann having potential to not be the worst hitter in Baseball.
2. I would guess Mastro or Benson for the 4th Outfielder.
3. I guess I don't the angle with singing Thome. A 42 Year Old DH on a 65 Win Team??? He'd probably project to be fairly decent in his role. I guess I just don't see any long term value other then leadership.
I'd take Wilkin Ramirez as the 4th OF and Chris Colabello as my sleepers. The Twins don't keep backup infielders! (see last year) Butera is going to be on the bench. Maybe someone like Florimon as the utility guy.
A rebuilding team does not need a part time playing 42 year old with one tool and that fading. I'd rather see them give a bench spot to someone who could be part of the future.
Activating Tony Oliva makes more sense. Tony can hit left handers.
I guess I don't see how Thome really helps a team anymore. He can't play the field at all. He can't run at all. If doesn't get regular AB's at DH he can't pinch hit. If he gets regular AB's at DH he will be taking them from a better hitter. On top of that the Twins probably need a RH pinch hitter more than a left handed one.
One other thing, CMath, I don't see how Clement has the most upside. None of them have a lot, but Clement really doesn't have much value now that he doesn't catch anymore.
Well, he has elite power, which has been sapped by his recurring knee injuries. The theory is, once he has a healthy back leg, he'll start showing the power again.
But still.... Thome would be the lipstick in a 90+ loss pig of a team.
(which is the main reason not to get him)
At this point, there are a few corpses I'd take back on our bench if it meant the end of the third-catcher roster spot. So yeah, I'll take Thome.
On Thome, I don't think he has anything left. Even in 2010, he would have had limited value if Morneau had stayed healthy. There's a reason he's bounced around since. At this point, his deficiencies outweigh his benefits.
On Benson, he's probably the best player to take the spot previously used by a third catcher, but he needs to play everyday. So we go to Boggs, or Ramirez, or Clement, or Colabello; all of whom would be preferable to Thome. Herrman is another option, but, like Benson, he needs to play everyday and be ready in case of injury.
I looked at his splits in AA from two years ago. He is better against lefties. Why not start him against all lefties in RF? Sit one of the left handed hitters from among Parmelee, Morneau, Mauer and Doumit (hits better left handed over career). Two benefits result. You have a good hitter in the bench to pinch hit. You have improved the defense in RF. While Benson is not starting, he serves as a defensive replacement, pinch runner, pinch hitter against lefties on the bench. If Morneau is traded midseason, he will be more ready to take on a larger role. If it is clear he is not capable, Arcia is next in line.
As for he other three spots, I don't care which of Escobar, Florimon or Dozier starts in AAA. One of the two that stay won't hit and the third will get the chance. There is no reason to keep 4 weak hitting middle infielders on the roster. Ideally Escobar's best entry role is a utility player. The Twins can select between Florimon or Dozier and start Carroll at he other spot.
Having a 5-man bench allows the Twins to carry the 3rd catcher we know they will anyways, carroll as the utility inf, a 4th OF, and LH & RH pinch hitters (at least one of whom can play in the field). Whether they have the right candidates for the jobs is another question.
Unfortunately, the Twins have left themselves desperately short of "chock"- not only they are not full of those types, they have only one guy (Pelfrey) who has actually accomplished this feat, and we all know that he will begin the season as a big TJ question mark. Correia and Worley have a history of only being 5-6 inning guys, at best. Gibson is on restricted innings (and possibly a restricted pitch count?), Diamond is coming back from off-season surgery and is due for some sophomore regression. We all know that Hendriks and the rest are wild cards. The Twins also have 15 home games in April, including 9 of the first 15, increasing the chance for a make-up game backlog down the line. With the joined medical issues of the top 4 SPs even starting out the season in the rotation (Pelfrey, Worley, Diamond, Gibson) and experiential/talent question-marks of the other potential starters and depth men, what are the chances that they all make it through the season healthy and innings-eaters to avoid wearing out the Pen? Not good odds.
Bottom line, the Twins in 2013 will more likely make a temporary roster move or two to 13 pitchers, as the staff collectively becomes taxed, way before Gardy would ever feel comfortable dropping to 11.