As we approach the end of the month, the Twins will need to make decisions about the makeup of their playoff roster. In theory, the 25 players on the roster on September 1st make up the roster for the playoffs. But, like many major league "rules" this one has a some nuances. Players on the DL September 1st are also eligible for the post season roster and they can be replaced with another player if they are still injured when the playoffs start. A pitcher can only be replaced with another pitcher and a fielder with another fielder. So the decision on how many pitchers to carry on their playoff roster has to be made before September 1st.
The Twins have 12 pitchers and 13 position players right now, but I would expect they would add another position player to the playoff roster. They can get by in the playoffs with four starters. Given the weaknesses in their rotation, finding four, much less five, quality starters is going to be a challenge. Its possible that will lead them to carry an additional reliever, but if their bullpen is getting that much work during the playoffs they probably are in trouble in any case.
The Twins have three pitchers on the DL, but no everyday players. This means that they can decide which pitchers to carry later, but once they set the roster on September 1st they will have to go through the playoffs with the everyday players on that roster, barring any injuries. Here are the current players on the roster:
So who would you add to that list or change. What seems to be missing on the current roster is a left handed bat off the bench. The only hitters you would likely pinch hit for are Casilla, Harris and Punto. But, once you get to the World Series you are also going to have to pinch hit for pitchers. So, odd as it may seem, the Twins will be setting their roster September 1st wtih one eye on the World Series.
One candidate for the 14 player is Jose Morales. He provides a switch hitter off the bench. They already have Redmond on the bench as a backup catcher and Mauer is going to start every game in the playoffs. Morales is probably a better hitter than Redmond, but he has less major league experience and the Twins are unlikely to remove Redmond from the playoff roster.
Another candidate is Brian Buscher. Gardenhire has already said he expects Buscher to be called up in September. Buscher has not been hitting that well at Rochester., but he does give Gardy an experienced left handed bat on the bench.
Tolbert would also be a candidate. He will also be a September callup, but his role is as a pinch runner and infield backup. I don't think that really fits the need very well with Punto and Harris filling the infield need and Gomez likely being available on the bench during the World Series.
My guess is they will go with Brian Buscher. Of course its possible they will try to grab a veteran bat off waivers.