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Twins Insider

La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

After setting the roster, the Twins face the Rays

I know there's been a lot of reaction to the Twins cutting ByungHo Park from camp and going to 13 pitchers. But here's my two cents, anyway.

I have stated this before: The best players don't make teams, the ones who are healthy, out of options or on the 40-man roster do.

That's what Park is dealing with right now as he takes his .353 average and six home runs down the street to the minor league complex. You can't do much more to make a team. Park, for now, if deprived of a second chance to prove he can hit major league pitching.

It shakes up the batting order, as Robbie Grossman will likely DH on Opening Day, with Miguel Sano and Joe Mauer appearing there as well. Chris Gimenez will be the back up first baseman.

It's also a head-scratcher because of how they are looking at their pitching staff. The Twins have two off days during the first 10 days of the season, which is enough time for a bullpen to recover and avoid needing a 13th arm. But the Twins are determined to have cover.

The Park move weakens the entire roster. If there was spring training WAR, Park would out preform several pitchers in camp. But don't get me started there. Alex Wimmers had a solid camp, posting a 2.00 ERA but is not going north. He's 28 years old. If he can't make this team, when can he make it?

What does Wimmers have in common with Park? They both are non-roster invites.

I decided to stay back in Fort Myers to cover the Carnage by the Coast.. Game updates will be few and far between. Also, Kennys Vargas had trouble running yesterday in a minor league game and didn't play today. So we'll be checking on the foot he fouled a ball off of a few days ago.

But, at least, here are the lineups. You might want to prepare for Buxton batting third sometimes against lefties.


Twins

Brian Dozier, 2B
Max Kepler, RF
Byron Buxton, CF
Joe Mauer, 1B
Miguel Sano, 3B
Jason Castro, C
Jorge Polanco, SS
Eddie Rosario, LF
Robbie Grossman, DH

Hector Santiago, LHP

Rays

Corey Dickerson, LF
Kevin Kiermaier, CF
Evan Longoria, DH
Brad Miller, 2B
Logan Morrison, 1B
Derek Norris, C
Steven Souza, Jr., RF
Daniel Robertson, 3B
Willy Adames, SS

Jake Odorizzi, RHP

Michael Tonkin, Justin Haley survive final bullpen cuts, make Twins roster

    FORT MYERS, Fla. — Righthanders Alex Wimmers and Nick Tepesch were reassigned to the Twins’ minor league camp on Wednesday, officially putting Michael Tonkin and Justin Haley in the bullpen and leaving the Twins with only one more decision to make about their pitching staff.

    With Glen Perkins and Ryan O’Rourke headed to the disabled list, only the fifth starting spot — either lefthander Adalberto Mejia or righthander Tyler Duffey — remains to be awarded, with a decision expected sometime today.

    Meanwhile, the Twins’ bullpen appears set, with Brandon Kintzler, Matt Belisle and Ryan Pressly handling late-inning assignments, Craig Breslow and Taylor Rogers the left-handers, and Tonkin and Haley the righthanders. 

    Wimmers, a former Twins first-round pick, and Tepesch, a major-league veteran with the Rangers and Dodgers, had relatively strong springs — Wimmers had 2.00 ERA and had not allowed a run in his last five appearances — but were likely squeezed out by their roster status. Neither is on the 40-man roster, so taking them to Minnesota this weekend would have meant putting another player on waivers.

    “It’s probably just roster numbers. They said I performed well, which is all I can worry about,” Wimmers, the Twins’ No. 1 draft pick in 2010, said after being informed of the decision. “I feel good. I feel ready for a full season in the big leagues. And once I get there, I don’t want to come back. Obviously I’m very disappointed.”

    Considering the Twins appear likely to need roster spots for two other players — ByungHo Park and Chris Gimenez — the decision to stick with pitchers already on the 40-man roster was probably especially appealing to manager Paul Molitor and chief baseball office Derek Falvey.

    In addition to the fifth starter, the Twins still have decisions to make about the position players. Gimenez is competing with John Ryan Murphy to be the backup catcher, and Park is in competition with Kennys Vargas to be the designated hitter.  Robbie Grossman and J.B. Shuck are potential backup outfielders, though the decision to keep Grossman, if healthy, appears clear. And a trio of utility players, consisting of Eduardo Escobar, Ehire Adrianza and Danny Santana, must be whittled to two for the final roster, though that decision seems obvious, too: Adrianza, bothered by a strained quad, likely starts the season on the disabled list.

    With other four players already informed they will be assigned to Class AAA Rochester — catcher Eddy Rodriguez, and infielders Matt Hague, Bengie Gonzalez and Ben Paulsen — the Twins’ roster is almost complete.

Bottom 1st R H E
Minnesota 16-13 0 0 0
Tampa Bay 12-16 0 1 1

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