Monday, March 11, 2013

Competition Update

This is where things stand right now in the roster competition. We are headed into the final three weeks of spring training. As I have said before, very little of what has happened so far will determine who ends up on the roster.

If Aaron Hicks can carry over his impressive spring training to the next three weeks, he will likely be in the lineup in center field on opening day. But if he can't and starts looking like a kid who hasn't played above AA, his performance the last few weeks won't mean much. Benson is the flip of that. He has looked lost until now, but if he turns it around no one will pay much attention to the difficult start. If neither one is ready, that will open the door to Mastroianni as center fielder and create an opening for one of the other 4th outfield candidates.

Florimon looks like close to a lock at shortstop. He started out as the favorite and continues to show the mature glove the Twins were looking for. That is unlikely to change.

Dozier is still a favorite to be on the roster. His defense at second is improving, the question will be whether they think he can hit well enough. Escobar is his main competition. His glove plays anywhere. Like Dozier, the question is his bat. They could both end up on the roster, they could both end up getting at bats at AAA. That would give an opening to Olmedo as the utility infielder.

Whether the Twins will carry a third catcher is still an open question. If they do, Butera is it. But Escobar is apparently catching some batting practice to be available as an emergency catcher and they may decide they want another bat on the bench instead.


Four spots in the rotation are pretty much set. Gibson and Hendricks are the two guys seen as having the highest upsides, but so far neither has proved he is ready to pitch in the big leagues. DeVries and Walters have both been pitching well and are getting stretched out as starters. Deduno had a good start in the WBC, including no walks which have been his undoing in the past. Hernandez is a long shot, but has pitched well so far. The competition for that last spot is really wide open at this point. If Diamond isn't ready by April 7th, there are two spots to fill.

The bullpen is also wide open. Perking, Burton and Duensing look set. Burnett has not pitched well and will need to turn things around since he still has an option left and could be sent to AAA without exposing him to waivers. Swarzak will likely have a spot if he can get ready by opening day. Fien remains a likely member of the bullpen.  Assuming those six are healthy and pitching well,  there is one more spot in the bullpen. It  is wide open. Pressly, Wood and Roenicke are all guys who would need to clear waivers to be sent to the minors. Thielbar and Robertson are both lefties.

Essentially not all that much has changed. But it will quite quickly now. Every game is going to get progressively more important for players on the bubble.



Catcher
Mauer
Doumit

Butera


Infield
Morneau (1b)
Carroll (2b, ss, 3b)
Plouffe (3b)

Florimon (ss)

Dozier (2b, ss)
Escobar (2b,ss,3b)

Olmedo (2b, ss, 3b)
Sobolewski (3b)
Clement (1b)
Beresford (2b, ss)
Colabello (1b)
Romero (3b)

Santana (minors)

Left Field
Willingham

Center Field
Hicks
Mastroianni
Benson

Thomas
Boggs

Right Field
Parmelee

Arcia
Benson
Ramirez
Thomas
Dinkelman
Boggs

Fourth Outfielder
Mastroianni

Thomas
Boggs
Benson

Fifth Outfielder
Benson
Dinkelman

Ramirez
Thomas
Boggs

Rotation
Worley
Pelfrey
Diamond
Correia

DeVries
Gibson
Hendricks
Deduno (WBC)
Walters
Hernandez
Martis (WBC)

Harden  (injured)
Perez (injured)

Hermsen (minors)
May (minors)
Myer(minors)
Vasquez (minors)

Blackburn (DL)


Bullpen


Perkins
Burton
Duensing (S)

Fien
Burnett
Swarzak (DL)

Pressly
Wood
Robertson
Thielbar
Roenicke 
Perdomo
Slama


Perez (injured)
Harden (injured)
Guerra (injured)
Augenstein (minors)

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