Notes from Twins camp: Gardenhire plans to keep 12, not 13, pitchers

  • Updated: March 22, 2014 - 6:41 PM

Roster limit set; fallout is next

The Twins will carry 12 pitchers this season, manager Ron Gardenhire said Saturday, not the 13 they kept on their roster nearly all of last season, a limit that will affect who makes the team and what roles they have.

For instance, if a starting pitcher who was squeezed out of the rotation — Samuel Deduno, most likely — inherits one of those bullpen slots, Anthony Swarzak might relinquish his role as long reliever and switch to more typical one-inning outings.

Or not. “Swarzie’s really good in that role. He’s been very good for us, he’s been resilient. He can come back in a couple of days after throwing 30 or 40 pitches,” Gardenhire said of the righthander, who posted a 2.91 ERA in 91 innings last year. “I don’t know if you send a starter out there, if he’s going to be able to do that.”

Swarzak has a 5.87 ERA after allowing a run over two innings Saturday, but his job, from the sound of Gardenhire’s comments, appears safe. “He’s going to be in the pen, and then we kind of ad-lib from there,” Gardenhire said. “He could be long, which he’s very good at, or he could move up for some seventh innings.”

There don’t appear to be enough roster spots for every veteran, though; a seven-member bullpen, especially if a starter is sent there, means at least one experienced reliever is facing a demotion or a cut.

Glen Perkins, Casey Fien, Jared Burton and Swarzak seem safe, with Caleb Thielbar probably on that list as well. Add a starter, and Matt Guerrier and Ryan Pressly are competing for one spot — and it could go to Michael Tonkin and his 0.00 ERA instead.

Guerrier or Kubel?

The Twins have until Tuesday to decide whether Guerrier and Jason Kubel will make the team, but both have essentially agreed to accept a minor league assignment if they don’t. Under major league rules, nonoster veterans must be paid a $100,000 “retention fee” if they aren’t added to the 25-man roster or released by then, unless they have clauses in their contracts making them free agents. Guerrier and Kubel don’t, assistant general manager Rob Antony said, meaning the Twins could keep them at Class AAA Rochester until June 1, when they have the right to declare free agency.

Jason Bartlett’s contract does have an “out” clause (and he’s not eligible for the retention money because he wasn’t in baseball last year), though the utility infielder has sounded willing to accept an assignment to Rochester, at least temporarily, if he doesn’t make the major league team.


• Dakota Watts, who spent five seasons as a relief pitcher in the Twins minor league system, was released on Saturday. A 16th-round draft pick by the Twins in 2009, Watts posted a career 3.85 ERA, but “he kind of hit a wall,” Antony said. “We have a pretty good logjam, and you get to a certain point where, if he’s not going to elevate to Triple-A, it’s not really fair to him, either.”

On deck

The Twins’ final trip out of Fort Myers this spring takes them to Clearwater, where Phil Hughes will face Phillies righthander Kyle Kendrick.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Minnesota «0110010115112
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:J.Burton(3-5) L:K.Crockett(4-1)
HR: CLE- M.Brantley (20) MIN- O.Arcia (19), K.Vargas (9)


Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 14 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 5
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 5 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: D. O`Day 3
Milwaukee - LP: J. Broxton 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Holdzkom 4
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: H. Kuroda 5
Washington - WP: D. Fister 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 2
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 3
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 5 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Cleveland - LP: K. Crockett 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: J. Burton 5
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 10 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 10 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 5
Arizona - LP: C. Anderson 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. Lyles 15
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Lackey 2
Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 3
Texas - WP: L. Bonilla 12 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 3
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: O. Despaigne 5
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 11:00 AM
Troy 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 11:00 AM
Bowling Green 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 11:30 AM
Tulane 11:30 AM
Hawaii 1:00 PM
Marshall 1:00 PM
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Utah 2:30 PM
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Texas State 3:00 PM
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Colorado 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 5
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question