Tuesday, March 27, 2012

COPOP II and minor-league releases

Jeff Manship made
the Opening Day roster
in 2011, but was
quickly demoted and
had an injury-marred
A few things have happened since my first attempt at predicting the Twins Opening Day bullpen -- or, as I like to call it, Current Outsider Projected Opening Pen.

The most significant development came today, when Jeff Manship was optioned out. (He was one of four cuts Tuesday; OF Joe Benson was also optioned out, and C Rene Rivera and IF Pedro Florimon, both non-roster guys, were reassigned to the minors.)

Manship had been a serious candidate for the pen. Brendan Wise, reassigned on Monday, less so.

Another development during the weekend, almost lost in the Josh Willingham position switch news of the same day, was Rob Antony, assistant GM, saying in a radio interview that Matt Maloney and Jared Burton had legs up on bullpen berths.

And so, COPOP II, with remaining candidates in parentheses, listed in the order in which I perceive their chances:

Closer: Matt Capps
Setup 1: Glen Perkins
Setup 2/Middle Relief 1: Burton
LOOGY1/MR2: Brian Duensing
MR3: Kyle Waldrop (Alex Burnett, Casey Fien, Jeff Gray)
MR4/L2: Maloney
Longman: Anthony Swarzak


One aspect of all the non-roster invites the Twins made: When they got assigned to minor-league camp, they pushed some returning minor leaguers out.

A couple of fairly significant names got axed Tuesday, at least in terms of the team's desire to grow its own power arms. Matt Bashore, a lefty who was taken in the supplemental round in 2009, was released; his career was derailed by a second bout of Tommy John surgery. Also released was Ben Tootle, a hard-throwing third-rounder from the same draft.

I said here after the 2009 draft that the Twins had gambled on arms with injury histories. Bashore and Tootle are gone; Billy Bullock (second round) is gone, traded last spring for Scott Diamond; Kyle Gibson (first round) is on the shelf after his own TJ surgery. Doesn't appear to have gone too well.

1 comment:

  1. phil mackey:

    FORT MYERS, Fla. -- On Sunday, Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan said he'd leave the decision up to manager Ron Gardenhire on if he wanted to keep two catchers or three.

    Indications are the Twins' final roster slot will come down to catcher Drew Butera or infielder Sean Burroughs.