Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Spring Roster Update #1

Every Sunday from now until the end of Spring Training, I'll post an update on the state of the Twins roster. I suspect that the format is fairly intuitive, but I'll explain it here just in case. There are 25 roster spots available to be filled by the various players in camp. The 25 players who I think would win those roster spots will appear in black, listed by position. Some of those players are locks to make the team, barring injury, and I've bolded those players. Players who I think still have a chance to win one of those spots will be listed in blue. Finally, there are quite a few players in camp who are there simply to give the team warm bodies in the early days of spring -- those players will be listed in red. After a player is cut, he'll be removed from the main list and placed in a "players cut from camp" section.

At the end of the list of players, I'll offer some brief comments explaining my choices. You should remember that this list does not represent the list of players who I would take north if I could at the end of Spring, but rather the players who I think will win jobs.

One final note: the 25th spot on the roster could go either to a 12th pitcher or a 14th position players. As a result, that position will appear at the end of the list, with both pitchers and position players who could win the position listed.


Starting Pitcher - 1 - Francisco Liriano
Starting Pitcher - 2 - Scott Baker
Starting Pitcher - 3 - Livan Hernandez
Starting Pitcher - 4 - Boof Bonser
Starting Pitcher - 5 - Kevin Slowey
Glen Perkins
Nick Blackburn
Phil Humber
Brian Duensing
Zach Day
Brian Bass
Kevin Mulvey
Randy Keisler
Oswaldo Sosa
Deolis Guerra
Closer - 6 - Joe Nathan
Setup - 7 - Pat Neshek
Bullpen - 8 - Matt Guerrier
Bullpen - 9 - Juan Rincon
Bullpen - 10 - Dennys Reyes
Bullpen - 11 - Jesse Crain
Possible alternates listed under Roster Spot #25
Armando Gabino

Catcher - 12 - Joe Mauer
First Base - 13 - Justin Morneau
Second Base - 14 - Nick Punto
Third Base - 15 - Mike Lamb
Shortstop - 16 - Adam Everett
Left Field - 17 - Delmon Young
Center Field - 18 - Carlos Gomez
Right Field - 19 - Michael Cuddyer
Designated Hitter - 20 - Jason Kubel
Backup Catcher - 21 - Mike Redmond
Drew Butera
Eli Whiteside
Jeff Christy
Allan de san Miguel
Utility Infielder - 22 - Brendan Harris
Utility Infielder - 23 - Alejandro Machado
Alexi Casilla
Brian Buscher
Matt Tolbert
Matt Macri
Randy Ruiz
Howie Clark
Chris Basak
Tommy Watkins
Felix Molina
Backup Outfielder - 24 - Craig Monroe
Jason Pridie
Jon Knott
Denard Span

Miscellaneous Reserve - 25 - Carmen Cali
Garrett Jones
Jose Morales
Casey Daigle
Mariano Gomez
Ricky Barrett
Julio DePaula
Darnell McDonald

Starting Pitchers: The five I've put down seem like the most obvious choices for the rotation, but there's always the possibility of a surprise (especially with so many candidates). The most obvious opportunity for someone unexpected to make the rotation would probably be in place of Francisco Liriano, who might be sent to Rochester for a bit of a rehab stint if the team doesn't feel he's ready to jump right back into the big league rotation. A second lefty would be a nice addition to the rotation (but who would that second lefty replace?), and I'd like to see Glen Perkins get a chance to start at some point -- although he has a chance to make the team as a second lefty out of the bullpen as well. Incidentally, Scott Baker and Brian Bass are out of options, and so must make the team or be exposed on waivers.

Relief Pitchers: The six players listed are locks to make the bullpen barring an injury or trade. The only question is whether or not the Twins will decide to carry 11 or 12 pitchers. Various quotes from Ron Gardenhire suggest that 12 pitchers is very likely, and this makes sense because of the youth of the starters. Since a second lefty seems the most pressing concern for the bullpen, I'm listing Carmen Cali as the likely 25th man on the roster -- although as I mentioned above I think Glen Perkins could end up filling that role as well. Cali is out of options, however, and that may influence the Twins decision on who to select.

Infield: The only major question at the starting infield positions is at second base, where I've listed Nick Punto as the starter. In a very real sense, it doesn't matter whether I have Punto listed as the starting second sacker or not, because he's going to make the team either in that role or as a utility infielder -- and if he's not the starter, by far the most likely alternative is Brendan Harris. As a result, both players should be on the team, so as I said before exactly which roster spot I have them listed in is irrelevant. Since that gets us to five infielders, there's one spot left. I've listed Alejandro Machado in that position, but that's really just a placeholder, and I expect it to change over the course of the spring. If I had my way, they'd probably take a more traditional corner infielder like Brian Buscher or Randy Ruiz in that position.

Outfield: Carlos Gomez seems to be the best fit in center, but Denard Span and Jason Pridie will compete for that position as well. Craig Monroe will be given every opportunity to win the backup outfielders spot, but with Jason Kubel on the team as the DH, it might make more sense to let Monroe go and take a player like Pridie or Span north to serve as a backup centerfielder and to provide some speed off the bench.



  • At Sun Feb 24, 05:19:00 PM , Blogger neckrolls said...

    Your roster is pretty consistent with what I'm thinking at this point, particularly when it comes to the pitchers. I think they'll take 12, and I'd like Perkins to get the last spot. I'd prefer to see Gomez get a little more time in the minors, but the other candidates have weaknesses as well. Of course, I'm hoping Harris turns out to be the starter.

    I like Morales for the last infield spot. As a switch-hitter, he could be useful in lots of pinch-hit situations, and he would help Gardy feel comfy about using Mauer as the DH when Redmond's catching. Morales was drafted as an infielder, so I'm sure he'd be adequate out there if necessary.

    Your color-coded system is a terrific way to keep track of this stuff - I look forward to following your roster throughout the spring.

  • At Sun Feb 24, 06:09:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I would concur with your assessment. They shoudn't fear losing Cali or Bass due to options. Cali might get the 12th spot because he has no future other than as second lefty in a bullpen. The younger arms would benefit from the increased workload in the minors.

    You might consider bolding players you consider to be locks. From reading your comments spots that are not locks would be Liriano, Cali, Machado, Gomez, Monroe (others?)

  • At Sun Feb 24, 06:28:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Morales for the final infield spot would be an interesting choice -- I'm sure he could handle 1B, and with Harris or Punto around to handle 2B, 3B, and SS there wouldn't be any serious problems carrying Morales in that role (Monroe could probably play 1B if necessary as well, and we know that Cuddyer and Punto are capable of playing there). It's something to keep an eye on at least.

    Anon -- I like the idea of bolding the "locks," and I'm going to adopt it now.

  • At Sun Feb 24, 10:31:00 PM , Blogger 24rick said...

    Question: Watching the sport show and they said there is no chance of signing Nathan. THat sucks But if true why not trade him too? Same situation as Santana. I'm a huge Twin fan but i'm getting tired of this. We are 20 mil under budget.:(


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