Friday, March 08, 2013

Competition Update - The Real Competition Begins

Infield Competition

The biggest surprise here may be that Escobar. He has shown a plus glove at every position and has a good chance to make the team as a utility infielder.  It would appear that Florimon has all but nailed down the starting shortstop spot. The Twins sound comfortable with Dozier's defense at second base. The issue may will be whether his bat holds up the next three weeks.   Morneau and Carroll were the only two infielders set going into spring training, with Carroll the fallback at second if Dozier doesn't win the position.

Among the longshots are Colabello and Clement may get a shot as a backup at first and bat off the bench. Sobolewski is also looking to be a bat off the bench and defensive backup for Plouffe at third.  Olamedo is in the utility infielder competition, but looks more like AAA backup material. 

Outfield Competition
So far, Hicks is making trading away Span and Revere look good. He is clearly the leading candidate for center field. Mastroianni looks to be the 4th outfielder. Benson has struggled with the bat so far. But these last three weeks are really the test.

Boggs, Thomas are longshots for the 4th outfield spot if both Hicks and Benson start at AAA, leaving Mastroianni the starter in center. Ramirez and Dinkelman are even longer shots for 5th outfielder and bat off the bench.


Gibson has struggled his last couple times out and may not be ready to pitch in the big leagues yet. Diamond is unlikely to be ready for the start of the season on April 1st, but its possible he will be ready by April 7th when the Twins will need their 5th starter. Harden and Perez look like they will not be ready to start the season either.  Pelfrey looks healthy but he is coming back less than a year after Tommy John surgery.

Liam Hendricks is probably the favorite for an opsn spot. DeVries and Walters have both pitched well in their recent appearances, but are longshots if there is only one spot open.. Deduno, who is pitching in the WBC, is another possibility.

Pressly, the Twins rule 5 draft choice, has done very well so far. But the bullpen competition remains wide open. Perkins, Burton and Duensing are set. Burnett and Fien will need to pitch themselves out of jobs, but that is not impossible. Wood and Roenicke are out of options. Robertson, Hernandez and Theilbar are lefties. Perdomo, Slama, Augenstein and Guerra look like longshots. Guerra was at the WBC, but is returning to camp because of an injury.

We are heading into the final three weeks, which are all that really matter. Until now players have been getting themselves into playing shape. The real competition is just beginning.

No comments:

MLB Twins Updates