Last week, we looked at a projected Twins Opening Day roster. This week, we’re trying it again. I think that there are 20 “Givens” at this point, three weeks before Opening Day. Of course you can disagree, if you like. I also believe that the five remaining positions are all pretty intriguing and could have several possibilities at this point.
There are still 57 players in Twins big league camp. If there are 20 ‘givens,’ it technically means that there are still 37 players in camp competing for the remaining five spots. Of course, we know that isn’t really true. Most likely there are two or three players competing for a possible third catcher job. There are maybe two or three players competing for the final utility spot. And there are maybe five to seven pitchers competing for the final three bullpen spots. That means there are nine to thirteen players competing for five roster spots. The remaining players are working to make a strong impression on the coaching staff and front office in case there are needs later in the season for call-ups.
(The players in Red are players that I believe are givens to make the roster (obviously pending injury). Those in black are potentially up for grabs. Discuss my selections and be sure to post your roster projections in the Comments as well.)
Catchers: Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit, JR Towles
No change. I’ll stick with Towles again this week, although I feel less comfortable with that selection. None of the #3 catcher options is doing much this spring. In fact, they aren’t playing very much, and Butera is playing as well as any of them. I’ll stay with Towles just because I think the Twins brass is ready for that change.
Infielders: Justin Morneau, Alexi Casilla, Danny Valencia, Jamey Carroll, Luke Hughes, Tsuyoshi Nishioka,
No change, although I did make Luke Hughes a given at this point, now that he is healthy. Nishioka is probably a given as well since there isn’t much competition for a utility role and he is hitting a little bit in camp.
Outfielders: Ben Revere, Denard Span, Josh Willingham, Trevor Plouffe
Starting Pitchers: Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Jason Marquis
No changes. No surprises again. However, if Baker is more hurt, that helps the odds of Liam Hendriks making a few starts at the start of the season.
Bullpen: Matt Capps, Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak, Jared Burton, Kyle Waldrop, Matt Maloney
The first four are givens. It is looking more and more like Waldrop and Burton are close to moving into that same category, but I can’t put either of them there quite yet. Maloney has been incredible, and with Terry Doyle’s struggles, he would appear to be the favorite to win the long-reliever spot. Waldrop and Maloney are new since last week while Doyle and Jeff Manship come off the list. Manship certainly deserves a strong look as well the next two weeks. Casey Fien is pitching well in camp’s small sample size so far. I think that Alex Burnett was nearly a given in the mind of Gardy and Rick Anderson at the start of camp, but I’d be surprised if he is a given at this point. He could still change minds in the next two weeks. Although the odds are likely against Doyle making the roster at this point, that could still change over the next couple of weeks.
What are your thoughts? Discuss what your roster looks like?