With Jose Mijares getting sent down and Jose Morales getting the second catcher spot earlier today, very few open roster spots for Opening Day remain.
(Roster speculation after the jump...)
Still In the Running
Matt Tolbert, IF - We discussed this last week, but I believe Tolbert's best shot of making the roster will be if the Twins decide to go with an eleven-man pitching staff. He's hit .292/.404/.500 in March, and a lot of people think he deserves a chance; I'm one of them.
Brian Duensing, LHP - Brian's having a superb spring in terms of preventing runs, but he's had a few roung patches allowing baserunners. Oracles CHONE and Zips aren't very optimistic about his chances should he make the trip north this year, but Duensing is 26-years old and can't be much more ready than he is right now. In the right spot, he could be an effective arm out of the 'pen.
R.A. Dickey, RHP - Dickey's strong performance for the Mariners down the stretch last summer didn't do anything to impress the Oracles, but he's making a great case to take up a role in middle relief for the Twins. Having a knuckleballer as a change of pace is great in its own right, but after working with Rick Anderson to help him throw it for strikes and having a good spring, he's a very attractive option. If he can keep the ball on the ground, he has a chance to be a pleasant surprise this year.
Matt Guerrier, RHP - I know a lot of people would consider him a sure shot, but considering how he pitched last summer and how rough of a March he's had, I'm not sure anything is guaranteed. There's a lot of pitching depth on this team, and even though there aren't any A-level prospects in waiting, I still have to believe there's a cut-off point where the organization may choose to give someone with less service time an opportunity if it's deserved. Having said that, I still believe he's going to make the trip north.
Luis Ayala, RHP - Ayala has only pitched every few days over the last couple of weeks, but all this tells me is that this is all the organization thinks he needs. Whether this is because they're simply unimpressed and are just running through the motions, or whether it's because they know he's ready, the team definitely knows what they want to do with him. When he has pitched, for the most part he's been just fine.
What do you think -- is there anyonoe else, or are these the options? Who makes the trip, and is Tolbert going along?