With a series of roster moves Thursday, the Twins bullpen picture gained some clarity.
The Twins optioned pitcher Lewis Thorpe to the alternate training site and reassigned pitchers Andrew Albers, Luke Farrell, Ian Hamilton, Juan Minaya and Glenn Sparkman to the minor league camp. Catcher David Banuelos also went to the minor league camp.
Sixteen pitchers remain in camp, including starters Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda, Matt Shoemaker and J.A. Happ.
Randy Dobnak, sharp again Thursday against Boston, will make the team, manager Rocco Baldelli said, and pitch out of the bullpen to start the season.
With either 13 or 14 pitchers making the opening day roster, there are 10 competing for the final six or seven spots. Jorge Alcala, Edwar Colina, Alex Colome, Tyler Duffey, Derek Law, Hansel Robles and Cody Stashak are the righthanders, and Taylor Rogers, Caleb Thielbar and Brandon Waddell are the lefties.
Colina has not pitched this spring, so the decision could come down to picking two from among Law, Waddell and Thielbar.
Thielbar has pitched 2⅓ innings, giving up three hits and two runs. In 6⅓ innings, Waddell has allowed five hits and four runs.
Law has yet to allow a run in his six innings, conceding just two hits.
"He's been fantastic. He's really gone out there and shown himself," Baldelli said of Law earlier this week. "We knew he could spin the ball. He's one of those guys that that's one of his strengths. He's got a little funk to the delivery. Guys don't generally get good swings off him. … He has put himself in a conversation where we're really talking about him as helping our major league team and potentially very soon."
Romine opts out
Infielder Andrew Romine exercised the opt-out in his contract and was granted his release, cutting the major league camp to 35 players.
The Twins have 19 position players at camp. The team will likely have room for 13, and spots seem sealed for catchers Ryan Jeffers and Mitch Garver; infielders Josh Donaldson, Andrelton Simmons, Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano; outfielders Byron Buxton and Max Kepler; utility player Luis Arraez; and designated hitter Nelson Cruz.
That leaves a group of players — Willians Astudillo, Tomas Telis, Tzu-Wei Lin, JT Riddle, Keon Broxton, Jake Cave, Kyle Garlick, Brent Rooker and Rob Refsnyder — chasing the final three jobs.
Catcher Mitch Garver left the Twins' 7-4 win at Boston in the third inning, after a foul tip hit his left hand.
The team sent him back to its home complex for imaging and ruled the injury just a bruise.
"When we went out there on the field, just with the general impact of the play, his hand was still kind of numb at that point," Baldelli said. "He's a pretty tough guy. If he was perfectly fine and got right up and said he was ready to go, he's obviously staying in the game. But we just wanted to make sure we got him looked at, and it looks like he's going to come out of this OK."
Baldelli added he'd give the starting catcher a day or two of rest just to make sure there's nothing serious at play.
Class A manager switch
The Twins named Fort Myers Mighty Mussels hitting coach Brian Meyer manager of the Class A team for this season.
Aaron Sutton, set to manage, resigned Thursday to help run his family's business in Montana.
Sutton joined the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels in 2020, before the pandemic shut down the minor league seasons, after spending four years at Montana State-Billings.
"In 15 years of coaching, I look back, and everyone thinks as coaches we develop and provide for our players," Sutton wrote on Twitter. "But in all reality, all of [the players] were a major part in my own personal growth and development, too."
Target Field sellouts
In the first six hours of Thursday's public sale of single-game tickets, the Twins sold out nine games, including April 8's home opener at Target Field.
The first eight weekends of home games are among the sellouts for games through May 6. The team can allow a limit of 10,000 fans per game according to state guidelines amid the pandemic. Those fans will have to abide by safety precautions, including sitting in pods of two or four at least six feet apart from each other.
There were still some tickets available for eight other games sold in this block late Thursday.