Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Parsing Monday's cuts

The Twins on Monday optioned out, reassigned or released 10 players. This was the really serious round of cuts, the ones that truly shape the Opening Day roster.

Let's analyze:

Pitchers: Non-roster relief candidates Deolis Guerra, Matt Hoffman and Aaron Thompson were reassigned, and 40-man roster relievers Michael Tonkin and Ryan Pressly were optioned out. Nonroster reliever Matt Guerrier was released.

That Chris Herrmann didn't
make the roster figures
to affect how Josmil
Pinto is used.
Guerrier might be back, and I think he will. Had the Twins simply reassigned him to Rochester — and they could have — they would have owed him a retention bonus. Guerrier figures to see if anybody else was impressed enough to offer him a major league job; if not, he's likely to re-sign and go to Rochester.

Pressly was in the bullpen all last season, but he was a Rule 5 guy then. Those restrictions no longer apply, and he and Tonkin simply ran afoul of the numbers. I saw tweets from a couple of metro writers surprised that Tonkin didn't make the roster, but he needed one of the established right-handed short men (Jared Burton, Casey Fien) to be traded or hurt. Still does, for that matter.

Guerra, Hoffman and Thompson were always destined for Rochester.

Hitters: Nonroster infielders Doug Bernier and Delbinson Romero were reassigned, as was nonroster outfielder Wilkin Ramirez. No real surprises there.

Catcher-outfielder Chris Herrmann, who is on the 40-man roster, was optioned out, and after Ron Gardenhire went out of his way on Sunday to rave about Herrmann, that was a surprise. It appears the Twins will keep Chris Parmelee, who is out of options, instead.

The problem is that it means little DH time for Josmil Pinto, and that probably means the Twins will be using a lefty at DH or in the outfield against left-handed starters. Gardenhire has never paid a lot of attention to the platoon advantage, of course, but after the weekend hint that he was open to it, this is disappointing.

What's left: The Twins now have 29 players in camp, four more than they can take north.

One cut is obvious: Nonroster catcher Dan Rohlfing's not making the final roster. He's just around to ease the strain on Kurt Suzuki and Pinto for the final week of exhibitions.

Kyle Gibson and Scott Diamond are duking it out today for the fifth starter job. Gibson has an option left, Diamond does not. The Twins might opt to keep both and option Caleb Theilbar out.

One of Parmelee or Chris Colabello stays, and Colabello has options left.

The utility infield job goes to either Eduardo Escobar or Jason Bartlett, and as much as Gardenhire raves about Bartlett, Escobar should be an easy choice. Maybe Bartlett will agree to go to Rochester. If he doesn't, I don't think the Twins are losing out on much.


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