Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Spring Roster Update #3

It's time for the third Roster Update of the Spring, this time with the results of some actual games to consider. As before, players listed in black are players who I am projecting will earn a roster spot (or at least who would be on the roster if the season began tomorrow). Players listed in blue have a chance to move onto the 25-man roster by the end of spring, and will be listed beneath the player(s) that they are are likely to displace. Players listed in red are pretty much just in camp to give the Twins bodies during the early weeks when nobody is pitching more than a couple of innigns or playing a full game in the field. Additionally, to track movement week-to-week on the roster updates, players will have either a "+" (for moving up), a "-" (for moving down), or an "=" (for not moving) listed behind their names.

My standard disclaimer applies: these are not necessarily the 25 guys who I would take north to start the season, but are instead the 25 guys who I think would make the team if the season started tomorrow.

Finally, please note that a few comments on player movement will follow the listing of players, so if you want to know why I've moved a player up or down on the chart, that's the place to look.


Starting Pitcher - 1 - Johan Santana (=)
Starting Pitcher - 2 - Boof Bonser (=)
Starting Pitcher - 3 - Carlos Silva (=)
Starting Pitcher - 4 - Ramon Ortiz (=)
Starting Pitcher - 5 - Sidney Ponson (=)
Matt Garza (+)
Glen Perkins (-)
J.D. Durbin (=)
Scott Baker (=)
Kevin Slowey (=)
Jeremy Cummings (=)
Brad Voyles (+)
Errol Simonitsch (-)
Alexander Smit (-)
Oswaldo Sosa (-)
Closer - 6 - Joe Nathan (=)
Setup - 7 - Juan Rincon (=)
Bullpen - 8 - Pat Neshek (=)
Bullpen - 9 - Dennys Reyes (=)
Bullpen - 10 - Jesse Crain (=)
Bullpen - 11 - Matt Guerrier (=)
Ricky Barrett (=)
Julio DePaula (=)
Tristan Crawford (=)
Jose Mijares (=)

Catcher - 12 - Joe Mauer (=)
First Base - 13 - Justin Morneau (=)
Second Base - 14 - Luis Castillo (=)
Third Base - 15 - Nick Punto (=)
Shortstop - 16 - Jason Bartlett (=)
Left Field - 17 - Rondell White (=)
Center Field - 18 - Torii Hunter (=)
Right Field - 19 - Michael Cuddyer (=)
Designated Hitter - 20 - Jason Kubel (=)
Backup Catcher - 21 - Mike Redmond (=)
Chris Heintz (=)
Jose Morales (+)
Jeff Christy (-)
Korey Feiner (=)
Brad King (=)
Corner Infielder - 22 - Jeff Cirillo (=)
Glenn Williams (=)
Middle Infielder - 23 - Luis Rodriguez (+)
Alejandro Machado (-)
Alexi Casilla (=)
Tommy Watkins (=)
Gil Velazquez (=)
Backup Outfield - 24 - Jason Tyner (=)
Josh Rabe (=)
Denard Span (=)
Garrett Jones (=)

Misc. Reserve - 25 - Mike Venafro (+)
Randy Choate (+)
J.D. Durbin (+)
Ken Harvey (+)
Matt LeCroy (+)
Lew Ford (-)
Carmen Cali (=)
Jason Miller (=)

We'll start the explanations from the top of the list, with the starters. I haven't moved anyone around just yet, even though Boof Bonser (who I have listed 2nd) and Carlos Silva (listed 3rd) both struggled mightily in their first starts. This is simply because the sample size is too small, and both of these guys had some margin for error in my opinion. We'll know more by the end of this week, after Sidney Ponson has made a couple of appearances and Silva and Bonser have both made a second start. I also moved Matt Garza to the top of the list of contenders currently on the outside looking in.

No change was necessary in the main group of relievers fighting for the first six spots in the bullpen, which are set barring injury.

There is similarly no change in the first 11 position player spots I have listed. Jason Kubel was already listed as the primary DH, and in the first few games of the Spring all he's done is solidify that role.

I have once again moved Luis Rodriguez ahead of Alejandro Machado in the battle for the middle infielder position. Rodriguez is not an ideal candidate for that spot (as the Twins have readily acknowledged), but Machado hasn't been in a game yet due to injury, and is getting an MRI to determine the extent of the injury (which is never a good sign). All of this leads me to believe that Machado may be seriously injured enough to miss significant time this spring, which would probably eliminate him from the competition for a roster spot. Rodriguez is the only logical candidate currently with the team who could fill that role, although the Twins have suggested that they may pursue an option from outside the organization. This bears close scrutiny throughout the next few weeks.

I had Jason Tyner listed as secure last week, and Lew Ford's injury simply makes that more likely. Tyner is now virtually a lock to make the roster.

The 25th spot on the roster is now probably a pitchers to lose. I have Mike Venafro listed in that position, but I think Randy Choate is just as likely to win the job. At this point, they're about equal in my mind. My preference would be for J.D. Durbin to take that job, but he hasn't yet pitched in a game, so it's not possible to tell how strong his arm is just yet. With Lew Ford hurt, the only hitters seriously contending for the spot are Ken Harvey and Matt LeCroy. Harvey is suffering from a couple of injuries right now, and LeCroy has played regularly and struggled mightily. Neither seems likely to make the team out of spring training. Finally, Carmen Cali and Jason Miller have both gone from blue to red, indicating that they are now no longer serious possibilities to make the team. What changed? Basically, Venafro and Choate have both pitched well enough early on to close options for Cali and Miller, while neither Cali nor Miller has pitched well enough to merit further consideration.

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