Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spring Roster Update #5

Can you believe a full month has already passed since I posted my first Spring Roster Update? The season is a short two weeks away, and I can't wait. As before, players listed in black are players who I am projecting will earn a roster spot (or, at least, players who are in the best position, either through their own play or team philosophy, to get a spot). Players listed in blue have a chance to move onto the 25-man roster by the end of the spring, and will be listed beneath the player that they are most likely to displace. Players listed in red are pretty much just in camp to give the Twins bodies (although the number in this category has dropped significantly). Additionally, movement week-to-week on the roster updates is being tracked with a "+" (for moving up), a "-" (for moving down), or an "=" (for staying in place).

My standard disclaimer applies: these are not necessarily the 25 guys who I would put on the roster if I were lucky enough to have any say in these matters. Rather, they are the 25 players who I think the Twins are most likely to give a spot to on the roster.

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


Starting Pitcher - 1 - Johan Santana (=)
Starting Pitcher - 2 - Ramon Ortiz (+)
Starting Pitcher - 3 - Carlos Silva (+)
Starting Pitcher - 4 - Boof Bonser (-) see below
Starting Pitcher - 5 - Sidney Ponson (=)
Matt Garza (=)
Glen Perkins (=)
Scott Baker (=)
Jeremy Cummings (+)
Kevin Slowey (+)
Closer - 6 - Joe Nathan (=)
Setup - 7 - Juan Rincon (=)
Bullpen - 8 - Pat Neshek (=)
Bullpen - 9 - Dennys Reyes (=)
Bullpen - 10 - Jesse Crain (=)
Bullpen - 11 - Matt Guerrier (=)

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 (=)
Brad King (+)
Corner Infielder - 22 - Jeff Cirillo (=)
Glenn Williams (=)
Middle Infielder - 23 - Alejandro Machado (+)
Luis Rodriguez (-)
Tommy Watkins (=)
Alexi Casilla (=)
Backup Outfielder - 24 - Jason Tyner (=)
Josh Rabe (+)
Denard Span (-)
Garrett Jones (=)

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

Lew Ford (Injury)
Ken Harvey (Injury)
Gil Velazquez (Minor League Camp)
Korey Feiner (Minor League Camp)
Jeff Christy (Minor League Camp)
Jose Morales (Minor League Camp)
Jose Mijares (Optioned to AA)
Tristan Crawford (Minor League Camp)
Julio DePaula (Optioned to AAA)
Ricky Barrett (Optioned to AAA)
Brad Voyles (Minor League Camp)
Errol Simonitsch (Optioned to AAA)
Alexander Smit (Optioned to High A)
Oswaldo Sosa (Optioned to AA)

We'll start again with the starters. I've listed Boof Bonser as fourth in the rotation, and that's largely because of where he sets up to pitch if he isn't moved around between now and the start of the season. The fourth game of the season is the start of a series in Chicago, so this wouldn't be a surprising place to put Boof. Ramon Ortiz has certainly made his case to move up to the #2 spot in the rotation, and putting Carlos in the #3 spot separates him from the #5 pitcher. This is probably a good thing because Silva and the #5 will probably be the weakest two starters in the rotation, so not having them go back to back isn't a bad idea. I'm still listing Ponson as the #5 because I think the Twins want him to win this job, but the incredible performances of a number of the youngsters has undoubtedly made this a more difficult decision. Finally, I've conceded that Jeremy Cummings doesn't have a chance to make the team what with all of the young guns ahead of him, and so have turned him red along with Kevin Slowey.

The relievers once again have not changed, although all of those red named listed behind them are now gone.

There are no changes amongst the starting 9 position players, the backup catcher, the backup corner infielder, or the backup outfielder.

Alejandro Machado is once again being listed in the lead for the backup middle infielder position. This is based on the reports that he's likely to get into games sometime next week (possibly as early as Tuesday). If he performs even reasonably well, he'll make the team. Luis Rodriguez is still a possibility, but with the Twins wanting a backup shortstop, his chances are really not that good unless he's kept as an additional bat (but, really, aren't there better bats?).

Finally, J.D. Durbin is now the most likely guy to win the 25th roster spot. The Twins would like to keep a 14th position player, but Matt LeCroy hasn't exactly made an overwhelming case for himself, and Durbin is ahead of Mike Venafro because he's out of options. Unless Durbin pitches terribly in the last two weeks, or says something really stupid to Ron Gardenhire, he should make the team. Hopefully Venafro accepts an assignment to Rochester, because he'd be a great insurance policy in case one of the regular relievers goes down.

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