The Twins' pitching staff for the 2015 season looks to be settled.

The club announced this morning that they have optioned lefthander Caleb Thielbar to Class AAA Rochester. That gets them down to 12 pitchers, the number they wanted to start the season with.

The staff:

Starting rotation

Phil Hughes, RHP
Ervin Santana, RHP
Ricky Nolasco, RHP
Kyle Gibson, RHP
Tommy Milone, LHP

Relievers

Mike Pelfrey, RHP
Tim Stauffer, RHP
Blaine Boyer, RHP
J.R. Graham, RHP
Brian Duensing, LHP
Casey Fien, RHP

Closer

Glen Perkins, LHP

It LOOKS to be settled, but you never know as more players flood the market. This will be a fluid situation, as I foresee bullpen-related roster moves over the next several weeks as the Twins get the relievers straightened out.

Pitchers like Thielbar and Michael Tonkin have the talent to be effective on the MLB. This, actually, represents a little bit of a fall for Thielbar opened his career with a club-record run of 19.2 scoreless innings, and you thought that the Twins had quite a find on their hands. But his ERA went from 1.76 in 2013 to 3.40 last season.

Tonkin definitely has the fastball for the majors. But he has to work on his control and no be so predictable.

Oswaldo Arcia was in the starting lineup today before being scratched because of a stomach ailment. Eduardo (aka Eddie the Stick) Escobar takes over for him left. With Eddie the Stick in there, it looks like a lineup Paul;l Molitor can fire out against lefthanded starters.

Wait, isn't David Price a lefthander? Isn't he starting on Opening Day against the Twins? Hmmmm.......

Very sad news to report. Twins minor league coach and former minor league manager Riccardo Ingram has passed away at age 48 after the brain cancer he beat years ago returned. Rico was one of the best people I've ever met. He cared, he had fun on his job, he meant a lot to a lot of Twins players who are in the majors. And that thick laugh of his was unmistakable on the back fields.

``Nobody would know who Denard Span was if it weren't for the help of Ricardo Ingram.. One of the best men in baseball,'' Span tweeted earlier today.

Rico was a storyteller. Ingram played baseball and football at Georgia Tech. As a defensive back, Ingram took credit for hitting Frank Thomas (who was an Auburn tight end at the time) and causing the shoulder injury that limited him to first base, then DH. ``Frank would see me in the minors, grab his shoulder and go, `Ow!' '' Rico said. ``I'd go, `DH only.'' Not sure how much of that story is true, but it is funny.

The best story was when the Yellowjackets played against Bo Jackson and Auburn (I think it was 1985) Tech had a good defense then and stopped Jackson early in the game. Ingram said they were talking big trash the whole time. Finally, after getting stopped for a short gain and hearing more trash talk, Jackson, who had a stuttering problem at the time, got up and told them, ``Th-th-that's it....B-B-B-Bo mad,'' and took them apart the rest of the game, including one play in which he put his foot into Ingram's chest and literally ran over him en route to a big gain.

It was the kind of story that put you in tears. Rico told it the best.

In 2009, Ingram experienced pounding headaches that led to the discovery of Grade 4 glioblastoma in the front of his brain. At the time, 90-95 percent of people with that type of cancer die within a year. Ingram underwent six weeks of radiation therapy and survived.

The Twins helped out by naming him a roving hitting instructor between Class AAA Rochester and Class AA New Britain. That allowed him to make visits to Duke University Medical Center for follow up care.

Ingram was scheduled to be the hitting coach for the Gulf Coast League rookie team this season. He will be missed. He leaves behind his wife, Allison, and daughters Kacey and Kristen.


Red Sox

Rusney Castillo, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Jackie Bradley, Jr. CF
Travis Shaw, DH
Sandy Leon, C

Clay Buccholz, C

Twins

Danny Santana, SS
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Torii Hunter, RF
Kennys Vargas, DH
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Eduardo Escobar, LF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Jordan Schafer, CF

Phil Hughes, RHP


 

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Pinstripes vs Twinstripes in Fort Myers

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Postgame: Thoughts on Thielbar, Hughes, Pinto and Gibson