Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

Follow Randball on Twitter

Mid-day talker: Here's our best guess at Twins' opening day 25-man roster

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball, Twins fans Updated: March 19, 2014 - 1:01 PM

 

La Velle wrote today about the decisions the Twins have to make in the fewer-than-two-weeks before the season opener in Chicago (assuming the game isn't snow/rained out or even moved to Missouri like the Gophers' baseball series this weekend against host Northwestern was).

 

In our mind, the 25-man roster is pretty well set. We're pretty sure it is in the Twins' minds, too.

Here it goes:

PITCHERS

Starting rotation (5): Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia, Sam Deduno.

Ideally, there would be a lefty in the mix here, but Deduno has had a very nice spring and his stuff is too good to waste in the bullpen or take a chance on losing since he's out of options. The other four spots are pretty well locked down, at least to start the season, assuming everyone stays healthy. Kyle Gibson starts the year in Class AAA. The Twins take the risk of losing Vance Worley, but at this point the loss would hardly be devastating (though remember: he was the OPENING DAY STARTER last year).

Bullpen (7): Glen Perkins, Jared Burton, Casey Fien, Caleb Thielbar, Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak, Scott Diamond.

This would make Ryan Pressly the odd man out, not really by fault of his own since he was adequate in 2013. It would be odd to have four left-handers, but the situation would likely be temporary -- stashing Diamond here and elevating him to the rotation if there is an injury or if another pitcher falters. You could also put Diamond in the rotation at the start of the year and put Deduno in the 'pen for more balance. Or the Twins could decide they have one too many lefties and try to deal one of them (Duensing or Diamond). For now, though, those are the 12 pitches we envision the Twins' taking north. 

POSITION PLAYERS

Starting lineup opening day (9): Aaron Hicks (CF), Brian Dozier (2B), Joe Mauer (1B), Josh Willingham (LF), Oswaldo Arcia (RF), Trevor Plouffe (3B), Jason Kubel (DH), Kurt Suzuki (C), Pedro Florimon (SS).

Bench (4): Alex Presley, Chris Colabello, Eduardo Escobar, Josmil Pinto

We'd be stunned if the opening day lineup was anything different than that. We would also note that the first six hitters were all here last year and played for a dismal offense. So there are a lot of hopes and dreams for scoring runs but not a lot of sure things. The bench is a little less settled, but here is our thought: Presley makes the team because he can run and because there has to be someone who can come in as a defensive replacement. Colabello gets another shot because of his hot spring and because he brings a power threat off the bench (and can play 1B or OF). Escobar gets the utility job. Sentiment is nice, but Jason Bartlett was 0-for-24 this spring going into Wednesday. Pinto showed enough promise at the plate last year to deserve at-bats. FanGraphs projected him in December to have the second-best WAR on the entire team, just behind Joe MauerIf Bartlett shows any pulse at the plate in the next week, it would hardly surprise us to see him make the team over Escobar. The Twins are big on chemistry, for better or worse.

Bottom line: The pitching should be better than it was a year ago. The offense could be just as bad or worse as 2013, when the Twins scored a paltry 614 runs (the second-fewest in franchise history since MLB went to a 162-game schedule more than a half-century ago). With some surprises on offense, this team could win between 76 and 80 games. If the offense is as expected, our guess is more like 71 to 73 wins.

Your thoughts, please, in the comments.

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT