Friday, March 21, 2008

The Four Survivors

The Twins are now down to four candidates for the last everyday player on the roster. This assumes they carry twelve pitchers, Mauer, Redmond, Morneau, Punto, Harris, Lamb and Everett in the infield and Cuddyer, Morneau, Kubel and Monroe in the outfield, plus one of either Span or Gomez as the centerfielder. Invitees Whiteside and Butera are still on the spring roster, but it is very doubtful either one will be going north. Likewise, its doubtful either of the young outfielders who loses the centerfield competition will be kept as a bench player.

That leaves Pridie, Buscher, Knott and Tolbert in a competition for the last roster spot. There has been some speculation that Gardenhire sees Tolbert as a potential everyday player. Its possible if both Harris and Punto continue their offensive struggles that Tolbert will be handed the everyday job job at second - or at least a semi-regular job. Absent that, it is likely they are taking a long look at him now and he will eventually end up playing everyday at Rochester and waiting for a chance. Pridie does not seem to have tools that compliment any of the existing outfielders and keeping him on the roster would be redundant. Like Tolbert, it is likely he will start the year at Rochester.

That leaves two real candidates. Knott, whose real weapon is his bat and Buscher who provides a bit more flexibility if he is able to play first as well as third. While I wouldn't rule Knott out, my guess is the job goes to Buscher. It is, of course, also possible that the Twins will grab someone off the waiver wire.

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