Thursday, March 29, 2012

Competition for the Twins Bench Jobs

Why is Brian Dinkelman still in the major league camp? There must be a lot of fans asking that question. We got the answer yesterday, he's still in camp because he is a good organization player who is pretty flexible. And that means he can play the last couple innings of a game in left, while Ben Revere gets some time in center field. He isn't competing for a job.

I thought it would be interesting to turn the list of players who are still in camp upside down and ask who is the least likely to make the team? Here is that list, and if you invert it you get the current standings in the race for the last four spots on the roster:



Since the last rankings Dozier, Benson, Florimon and Rivera were sent to the minor leagues. Florimon apparently is going to play at AA. Dozier, Rivera and Benson are likely to be at AAA.

I think Towles and Hollimon are likely in the same spot as Dinkelman. They are bench guys for spring training games, rather than in the competition for a spot on the 25 player roster. That means there are five players competing for 4 spots, assuming Mauer, Morneau, Casilla, Carroll, Valencia, Plouffe, Span, Willingham and Doumit are on the roster.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the decisions on which ones make it probably depend on Morneau and whether they decide to pick someone up on waivers as a backup shortstop. If Morneau DH's, Parmelee is at first and they need to find at bats for Doumit in the outfield. With Doumit in the field he can back up Mauer and Butera becomes less important. If Morneau is at first, Parmelee shares time with Plouffe in the outfield and, with Doumit at DH, there is more need for Butera as a backup catcher.

Either way, I don't see Revere having much of a role, but Gardenhire has seemed to indicate he intends to keep him as a fourth or fifth outfielder. If that is right, then Butera probably doesn't have a job.

Hughes and Burroughs are in competition for the extra infield spot, but if the Twins don't find a utility guy, they are both likely to make the roster.

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