March 11, 2007

Roster Shake-Up

With the recent injury of outfielder Lew Ford, I thought I should “reexamine” what the Twins Opening Day roster might look like. As you know, I’ve been doing the “Making the Team” posts, but this is nothing like it. These are my predictions of who will make the bullpen, starting rotation, bench, and starting position spots. These predictions are based on what I think the roster would look like if the season were to end today.

Feel free to leave your thoughts on who you think should make the roster.

Starting Pitchers:
Johan Santana
Boof Bonser
Carlos Silva
Ramon Ortiz
Matt Garza

Bullpen:
Joe Nathan
Juan Rincon
Dennys Reyes
Pat Neshek
Jesse Crain
Matt Guerrier
Mike Venafro*

*If the Twins want a right-handed pitcher, I would predict that J.D. Durbin would make the team.

Starting Position Players:
1. Luis Castillo (2B)
2. Nick Punto (3B)
3. Joe Mauer (C)
4. Michael Cuddyer (RF)
5. Justin Morneau (1B)
6. Torii Hunter (CF)
7. Rondell White (LF)*
8. Jason Kubel (DH)*
9. Jason Bartlett (SS)

*Places in lineup may be switched around.

Bench Players:
Jeff Cirillo (1B, 2B, 3B)
Mike Redmond (C)
Jason Tyner (OF)
Luis Rodriguez (IF)

*Jason Kubel would also be an extra OF.

Different Situations:
Now, with the injury of Ford, that allows the Twins to keep Tyner on the roster and still carry that extra bullpen pitcher. Who makes the team will all depend on the Twins decision of what they want to do about the amount of pitchers. Here are a couple of different situations.

Venafro\Durbin --> Alexi Casilla
Venafro\Durbin --> Josh Rabe

There are obviously other situation for players that could take their spot if the Twins want that extra position player, but to me, Casilla and Rabe are the front-runners for their positions.

Starting Pitching Situation:
My last comments come on the Twins starting pitching situation. I feel that so far, Ortiz has definitely locked up a spot in the rotation. This means that only one spot is available for battle. With my predictions being based off of Spring Training ending today, I’d give the last spot to Matt Garza since he has pitched very well, and Ponson had a rocky performance in his last start. However, if I didn't base these predictions off Spring Training ending today, then I'd have to say that two pitchers will be battling for the fifth starter role -- Garza and Ponson.