|Alexi Casilla shares it with the fans|
The Twins have typically gone with 12 pitchers, during the regular season, but Ron Gardenhire appears to have it in mind to go with 11 in October. The sure-things (barring injury) will be in regular font; the italics are for the questionable choices
PitchersStarters (4): Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano, Brian Duensing, Nick Blackburn
Relievers (7): Matt Capps, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch, Brian Fuentes, Jose Mijares, Scott Baker
(Outside looking in: Kevin Slowey, Jeff Manship, Glen Perkins, Randy Flores, Pat Neshek, Alex Burnett)
Comment: The conventional wisdom has Blackburn, Baker and Slowey splitting two roster spots. I suspect Perkins would be a better choice for the last bullpen spot. If the Twins face the Yankees, Perkins gives them another lefty; if it's the Rays, he's more likely to be able to give the catcher a chance to throw out a basestealer. He certainly getting opportuntiies to pitch of late, albeit in low-leverage situations.
Position playersCatchers (3): Joe Mauer, Drew Butera, Jose Morales
Infielders (6): Michael Cuddyer, Orlando Hudson, Danny Valencia, J.J. Hardy, Nick Punto, Alexi Casilla
Outfielders (4): Delmon Young, Denard Span, Jason Kubel, Jason Repko
Hitter (1): Jim Thome
(Outside looking in: Matt Tolbert, Ben Revere, Justin Morneau, Trevor Plouffe)
Comments: Should Morneau be ready to return — and I don't know enough to rule it out or in — Morales doesn't make it.
Punto, Tolbert and Casilla are all essentially the same player: switch-hitting middle infielders who can run. When all were healthy this year, Tolbert was the odd man out, if only because he had options left. That's not a factor in postseason. If all are healthy now, Tolbert still loses out because Casilla is a better pinch-running possibility and Punto is the best defensive infielder. I expect we'll see quite a bit of all three in the next few days to see if anybody plays his way on or off the roster.