Article: Spring Training Preview
Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:44 AM
Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:15 AM
Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:20 AM
Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:59 AM
Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:08 AM
Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:27 PM
I think your opening day roster is pretty much spot on assuming there are no injuries. As far as players to watch go, I would like to mention Chris Parmelee. I think it will be interesting to see if he can build on his September 2011 success with a solid spring, especially since we don't yet know what we are going to get out of Justin Morneau!
It would seem like the Twins will have plenty of options this Spring Training, and the problem I see is that if there are too many guys who have monster springs. If that happens, who do they choose? Your starting lineup seems really solid, and the rotation spots are all filled, so they really only have a few spots for the bullpen and bench players. Unfortunately, with his salary, Nishioka and his salary are best fitted for a bench position, because it seems like he needs seasoning down in the minors, which would be a big waste of his salary for a minor league position player. Hughes, unless he tanks the spring, will be going north as a bench player. I'd say that an interesting guy to watch would be Burroughs, because he seems like a genuine platoon player with Valencia, if he can turn it around. I could also see guys like Parmelee making a push to be brought north with big springs, and he could be a good backup when Morneau needs a day off.
As for the bullpen, I have been a Twins fan for years, and the last person that was invited to Spring Training that I hoped wouldn't make the roster was Jesse Crain when he was going through that rough patch when he couldn't get anyone out. This year, I really hope the Twins realize that Burnett, while he might have potential to some, hasn't shown any at all when he has been called up, so I think that if he doesn't do well enough, someone will take his spot. The four that you mentioned that are solid, I would agree with. I would also say that Terry Doyle looks like a Swarzak-like player, who stays in the bullpen, but is comfortable with making spot starts. Swarzak will also likely make the team, as he has proven that he is capable of handling the Major League workload. Therefore, it seems like the Twins have 3 bench spots open and at most three bullpen slots (I would count Zumaya as a question mark with his injury history).
Therefore, I would keep the same starting lineup and starting rotation, say that Perkins, Capps, Duensing, Doyle, and Swarzak are locks for the bullpen with Zumaya having the edge on one spot and any pitcher with a spring that is better than Burnett's. The bench is the haziest, but I see Hughes, most likely Nishioka and Plouffe, and Butera. I am crossing my fingers that a position player has a monster spring so that he could supplant Nishi or Plouffe as a legit power threat for this bench, otherwise the Twins will continue to have one of the weakest benches, comparatively in power threats, in the Majors.
Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:12 AM