Monday, December 24, 2012

A non-roster invitees roster

Dan Rohlfing is
no stranger to the
non-roster invitee
gig; he's a catcher,
and they're always
prominent on such lists.
On Friday, when the Twins announced the signing of Rich Harden to a minor-league contract, they also listed 15 non-roster invitees to spring training.

Fifteen sounded like a realistic number, but there were names missing -- Sam Deduno and P.J. Walters, for example -- that I expected to see, so I figured it wasn't a complete list. Eventually I found this list of 26 invitees buried in the Twins website. There isn't yet a link to it from the roster section, so I'm not sure it's official, but it seems more plausible to me than the 15 names released Friday.

One of the 26 -- and, for that matter, one of Friday's 15 -- is Lester Oliveros, who had Tommy John surgery in August and clearly isn't going to be contending for a job this spring. That leaves 25, which coincidentally happens to be the size of a big-league active roster.

As it turns out, one could actually field a complete team out of the 25. It wouldn't be a good team -- it would lose 100 games easy in the majors, might lose 120 or more. It would be worse than an expansion team. But it's got 11 pitchers (none of them, unfortunately, left-handed), a full infield and a couple of outfielders one could put in center field. And being a list of non-roster invitees, it's got plenty of catchers (four).

So, just for the heck of it, the NonRoster Scrubs as a lineup:

1) Wilkin Ramirez, LF
2) Brian Dinkelman, RF
3) Chris Colabello, DH or 1B
4) Jeff Clement, 1B or DH
5) Mark Sobolewski, 3B
6) Clete Thomas, CF
7) James Beresford, 2B
8) Danny Lehmann, C
9) Ray Olmedo SS

Bench: Brandon Boggs (OF), Eric Fryer (C), Kyle Knudson (C), Dan Rohlfing (C), Delbinson Romero (3B). (Note: Dinkleman can play second base, and Beresford can play short, so there are legitimate reserves.)

Nick Blackburn made
19 starts for the Twins:
4-9, 7.39

Starting rotation:

Sam Deduno
P.J. Walters
Rich Harden
Alex Meyer
Nick Blackburn


Shairon Martis
Esmerling Vasquez
Luis Perdomo
Bryan Augenstein
Deolis Guerra
Anthony Slama

Martis and Vasquez could be put in the rotation, but those are the five I'd go with. Blackburn, Deduno, Walters and Vasquez combined to make 52 starts for the Twins last season; let's just say there's a reason none of them were kept on the 40-man roster. 

Until I found this list, I had forgotten that the Twins had signed Martis. He's spent most of his career, majors and minors, as a starter, and his work last season certainly didn't give much reason to keep him in mind as an option. But if he's going to be in camp, he's at least a theoretical possibility.

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