The healthy roster

With the brunt on the twins opening day roster returning or not too far from returning it got me thinking about the best roster they could field and how to utilize it based on current incumbents struggles and rookies success.  This probably wont happen but im going to dream and play armchair manager for a moment.

The Lineup

Denard Span CF

Alexi Casilla 2B (this is assuming he continues to pay attention and produce)

Joe Mauer C

Jason Kubel DH (im batting him 4th until Morneau starts producing more towards the Morneau of old)

Micheal Cuddyer RF

Justin Morneau 1B

Danny Valencia 3B (this could very well be Luke Hughes if Valencia is really in Gardys doghouse bad as it appears)

Tsuyoshi Nishioka SS (until he hits well enough to claim the 2nd spot or Casilla stops producing)

Ben Revere (Im giving him the nod over Young until he starts producing or is traded)


This could be a very formidable lineup 8-2 has the potential to be a fearsome pack of pirhanas and 3-7 can drive them in and hopefully provide some much needed power,


The Bench

Jim Thome - mixed in at DH and pinch hitting going back to the amount of playing time he was originally signed for hopefully improving his durability

Rene Rivera - maybe I just have deep seeded issues after watching Butera for awhile but I like Rivera more he swings a slightly better bat (ya I know its a tooth pick vs 2 toothpicks taped together but at least he can pull a ball hard on rare occasions) and he handles the pitching staff pretty well especially it seems Liriano if we gave Pavano a personal catcher last year lets give Liriano one this year since he is much more valuable than Pavano.  This could very well be Buteras spot with Rivera DFA though.

Luke Hughes - This is assuming he isnt starting over Valencia he can backup the corners and 2nd and pinch hit while Casilla covers short if Nishioka needs a day off.  If he is starting Tolbert will be in this roster spot with Valencia in AAA.

Delmon Young - this is probably the most unlikely one but I think Delmon should be traded, ifs hes still here he could still get time in in left and right and DH and pinch hit but I would rather have Revere in left and actually field a good outfield defense in a park and for a pitching staff that screams the need for it.


The Bullpen

Matt Capps - Closer (we can only hope he pulls it together or is traded)

Glen Perkins - Primary setup (hes earned it been deadly this year)

Joe Nathan - 7th inning secondary setup (needs time to find his old dominance again hopefully he does pretty much stuck with him very little trade value)

Jose Mijares - Loogy (why they keep pitching him against righties is beyond me lets hope he can at least get the lefties out continued struggles could lead to replacement but he should be at least a decent loogy)

Chuck James - Middle relief (he has pitched well given his former success with the Braves and his current results im happy to have him)

Anthony Swarzak - Long relief (hes done well in fill in starts and mop up situations)

??? - for the 7th pen spot I would like to see them test some guys out but it will probably be Alex Burnett.  I think Carlos Gutierrez should get a shot at the big leagues hes got a deadly sinker and big potential but maybe im rushing things and he needs some more time in the minors to work on his control, Anthony Slama also deserves a real test in the majors hes done all he can do in the minors and they have given him nothing in terms of an actual shot he probably wont be great but he could be good to decent, Jim Hoey makes me rip my hair out hes the kind of pitcher the pen needs but he has been such a can of gasoline thrown on the fire when put into big spots based on his potential I would be ok with giving him a shot in low pressure situations to see if he can find a way to succeed at the major league level because the stuff is there.

The Wildcard Brian Duensing - He has had his struggles starting this year and while he has had overall success in the role this could be closer to the mean on what to expect of him he really suffers from his platoon spit facing right handed batters multiple times.  Im ok with giving him a while longer to try and get back to his sucessful starting ways but with Slowey and Gibson in the wings and Swarzak having had some good outings he could be due for a return to the bullpen role that he was so successful at so if hes moved to the pen he would probably bump Mijares or James depending on which one has continued success.

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