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Continued: Twins Insider: Decisions need to be made as season nears

But Michael Tonkin has thrown six shutout innings, and Gardenhire wants some heat in his bullpen. And one of the starters out of options could be kept as a reliever if the Twins are worried about losing him on waivers. Someone who was a member of last year’s bullpen could be bumped out this year.

How about the bench?

Hicks is expected to start in center, so Presley would be the backup outfielder. Whoever backs up Suzuki will take the second bench spot. That leaves two spots. Eduardo Escobar is out of options and has played fairly well this spring. People are pulling for veteran Jason Bartlett for chemistry reasons, but he is 0-for-24 this spring. They could take the final two bench spots, if the coaching staff thinks they can fill in in the outfield once in a while.

But Herrmann is batting .500 (7-for-14) this spring. Chris Colabello is batting .393. They have deserved consideration. Chris Parmelee got off to a good start but is now down to .172. All three can play the outfield and first base.

The Twins brass is just starting to roll up their sleeves and figure out who gets the final handful of spots on the Opening Day roster. With 1½ weeks left in spring training, there’s plenty of time and plenty of work left to arrive at that consensus.

 

La Velle E. Neal III • lneal@startribune.com



 

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