|With five veterans for|
the starting rotation,
Anthony Swarzak is
the front-runner for
the long man job.
Setting aside the question of whether the payroll ceiling is wise (I've said my piece on that already), this means that as a practical matter the Twins will go into training camp aiming to piece together a bullpen out of the parts currently on hand.
Using the roles-oriented format I deployed last spring, and anticipating the usual six-man bullpen:
Closer: Matt Capps
Setup 1: Glen Perkins
LOOGY 1: Brian Duensing
Long man: Anthony Swarzak
Three vacancies at this point. And the major need is for some right-handed arms who can miss bats.
|Kyle Waldrop is|
finally on the 40-man
roster, but he still has
an uphill battle to
secure a bullpen job,
as he's not a power arm.
A name to keep in mind as this competition shapes up is Jason Bulger, a big guy who throws hard and has a impressive strikeout rate over 123-plus innings with the Angels. The Twins signed him to a minor-league deal early this offseason. His control record isn't good, but he is definitely a power arm, and the Twins like having a power arm in that SU2/MR1 role.
Let's rerun the above roles and plug in specific names competing for specific jobs:
Setup 1: Perkins
LOOGY 1: Duensing
Setup2/MR1: (Bulger/Lester Oliveros/Esmerling Vasquez/Alex Burnett/Jeff Gray)
MR2: (Kyle Waldrop/Carlos Gutierrez/Deolis Guerra)
LOOGY2/MR3: (Diamond/Maloney/the runners up for the previous two slots)
Long man: Swarzak (Doyle, Diamond, Maloney, Manship)
Waldrop, Gutierrez, Guerra, Diamond and Burnett all have options left. I think Manship is out of options, and Maloney and Vasquez may be as well. Doyle is a Rule V guy, which limits the Twins choices with him. He's either on the 25-man roster, returns to the White Sox or traded for.