chances of making
the 25-man roster
are pretty much gone.
Kyle Waldrop, who I figured was most likely to emerge with the final middle relief slot, is battling a sore elbow. LaVelle Neal said today the soreness was on the inside of the joint, and that gets my attention.
Then there are two putative members of the starting rotation whose status is up in the air: Scott Baker (elbow) and Jason Marquis (family emergency). Marquis has been out of camp for roughly two weeks now after his daughter's injury.
This may not have a lot of impact on the bullpen as the season begins. The Twins have an off day scheduled during their first turn through the rotation, and Liam Hendriks is likely to be Plan B if and when the Twins need to fill in for one of the starters. They won't necessarily need to get to Matt Maloney or Anthony Swarzak until the second week of the season.
So I'll leave Maloney and Swarzak in their places, and go with Jeff Gray in the spot previously filled by Waldrop:
|Jeff Gray pitched|
Friday against the
Red Sox and gave up
a two-run homer to
Setup 1: Glen Perkins
Setup 2/Middle Relief 1: Jared Burton
LOOGY1/MR2: Brian Duensing
MR3: Gray (Alex Burnett, Casey Fien)
Long Man: Swarzak
I'm not particularly thrilled with Gray, but
- Gray's been pitching earlier in games than Fien;
- Burnett has been ineffective;
- Gray, who is on the 40-man roster, is out of options.
Terry Ryan said in the wake of the demotion of Tsuyoshi Nishioka, that options would not be a factor in who makes the team. I do not give that full credence. Options matter. They may matter less this spring than in some previous ones, but they matter.