Yesterday evening I went into speculation mode and discussed who the Twins would send back to Rochester when half of the squad returns to Minnesota. But I left out the nessecary parts of the conversation where we talk about the restrictions on the Twins, and the restrictions on individual players. Let's run through the motions.
Right now, both Joe Mauer and Tsuyoshi Nishioka are officially members of the 60-Day disabled list. The 60-day DL is utilized for players who will be hurt for an extended period of time, because players on that list aren't counted toward the 40-man roster. It allows the organization the freedom to add additional players, generally for players who will be immediately called up to the Major League club. This is what happened with Brian Dinkelman.
The problem this creates, for teams like the Twins who are now fully-loaded on their 40-man, is that somebody (or in our case, two somebodies) will need to be removed from that 40-man roster. Here are your choices.
Rene Rivera: Rivera has no options, and must be passed through waivers to be re-assigned to Rochester.
Drew Butera: Butera has options remaining, which means if the Twins are truly torn between these two players then they'll send Drew to triple-A. The problem here is that A) Gardy loves Butera, B) there isn't really a big difference between these two guys, especially in terms of a backup catcher's playing time, and C) dropping Butera to the Red Wings wouldn't help solve Minnesota's issues with the 40-man roster. I'll be honest, I can't imagine the Twins valuing Rivera so much that they'd expose another one of these players to waivers. But if they do, the axe is likely to fall on Dinkelman and Repko.
Brian Dinkelman: Dinkelman obviously has options, as this is his first stint in The Bigs. But, just like Butera, he wouldn't help solve the Twins' 40-man roster options. He is also the player most recently added, which means if you believe in last in, first out, he's quite likely to get passed back through waivers on his way back to the minor leagues. If he somehow survives this cull, it's likely the Twins go with Rivera and Repko.
Rene Tosoni: Tosoni, just like nearly every guy on this list, is pretty much a sure bet to get demoted in the coming days. But the Twins value his versatility, not to mention his decent performances in the minor leagues, so it's unlikely that Tosoni will be removed from the 40-man.
Ben Revere: If Revere gets sent down, he won't be removed from the 40-man roster. If he does get sent down, then Repko is safe and it becomes likely that the axe falls on Dinkelman and Rivera.
Jason Repko: This is a tough decision for the Twins. Because if Repko gets sent down, he'll need to be passed through waivers, and this would be a move that would have been forced by Revere's great play. If he goes down, the Twins not only prefer Revere to Repko, but they're willing to chance losing him to keep Revere.
Luke Hughes: Hughes has a couple of options left, and is also highly unlikely to lose his spot on the 40-man.
Phil Dumatrait, Alex Burnett, Jim Hoey, Chuck James: All of these guys will be safe in terms of the 40-man roster, barring something unforeseen. The Twins need to make room not just on the 40-man roster, but on the 25-man as well, which means they'll more than likely be keeping their waiver selections to position players.
There's also a small possibility that the Twins would choose to retain all players who could be lost through waivers, send down players with options, and then cut from the 40-man players like Chris Parmelee, Eric Hacker, Dusty Hughes, Joe Benson, etc. But this is highly unlikely, particularly if the Twins are committed to keeping the best 25 men on the Major League roster.