Saturday, November 24, 2012

Nineteen pitchers and not enough arms

The 40-man roster is almost always a work in progress, and that's never more true than during the offseason.

And it figures to be particularly true of the Twins this winter. Yes, they stuffed their 40-man roster to the brim on Tuesday. But it is almost impossible to imagine that the 12 (or 13) pitchers who will make up the staff on Opening Day are all on the 40 right now.

Here's the breakdown of the 19 pitchers on Minnesota's 40-man roster:

Cole De Vries is (shudder) probably
the most established right-handed
starter on the Twins current roster.

Right-handed starters (4)

Cole De Vries
Kyle Gibson
Liam Hendriks
B.J. Hermsen

Left-handed starters (2)

Scott Diamond
Pedro Hernandez

Left-handed relievers (4)

Brian Duensing
Glen Perkins
Tyler Robertson
Caleb Thielbar

Deolis Guerra, the
last remaining piece
of the Johan Santana
trade, is out of options.

Right-handed relievers (9)

Jared Burton
Alex Burnett
Casey Fien
Deolis Guerra
Lester Oliveros
Josh Roenicke
Anthony Swarzak
Michael Tonkin
Tim Wood

I put Duensing with the relievers because that's where I think he belongs, but the starting candidates are so thin that he may well wind up there.

It's not too difficult to tick off several names there who won't be on the Opening Day roster. Oliveros is unlikely to pitch at all in 2013 after Tommy John surgery. Tonkin hasn't pitched above A ball. Hermsen and Hernandez are far more likely to be in the Triple-A rotation than the major league one.

And there will be changes in this list in the coming months. Count on it.

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