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.

Etc.

• 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.

PHIL MILLER

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Cleveland «0300100048110
Minnesota000100100290
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Salazar(2-4) L:Y.Pino(1-3)
HR: CLE- C.Santana (15) MIN- B.Dozier (19)

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: P. Maholm 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 12
San Francisco 5 Bottom 12th Inning
Philadelphia 5
Texas 1 Top 14th Inning
NY Yankees 1
Boston - LP: J. Peavy 3 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 7
Miami - WP: J. Turner 6 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 5
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: K. Hendricks 6
Cincinnati - LP: S. LeCure 3 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: F. Rodriguez 4
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 8 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: Y. Pino 2
Kansas City 7 Bottom 9th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 2
Washington 7 Bottom 8th Inning
Colorado 4
Detroit 2 Bottom 7th Inning
Arizona 3
Houston 2 Top 6th Inning
Oakland 1
Baltimore 0 Bottom 5th Inning
LA Angels 0
NY Mets 2 Top 6th Inning
Seattle 1
Calgary 7/24/14 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Winnipeg 7/25/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 7/26/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 7/26/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Tulsa 93 FINAL
San Antonio 95
Atlanta 108 FINAL
Minnesota 112
Indiana 57 FINAL
Chicago 60
Phoenix 67 4th Qtr 9:44
Seattle 52
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: What's your outlook for the Twins' second half?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close