In any given season, the Twins carry 12 pitchers on their 25 man roster: five starters for the rotation and seven relief pitchers. You can also count off, relatively easily, which position players will make the trip north from Florida at the end of March. Here's our list as of today.
Catchers (2): Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit
Infielders (6): Justin Morneau, Alexi Casilla, Jamey Carroll, Danny Valencia, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Luke Hughes
Outfielders (4): Denard Span, Ben Revere, Josh Willingham, Trevor Plouffe
With 24 roster spots taken, who gets that 25th spot? Candidates after the jump.
At 28, we know what we're getting with Sweet Drew: a light-hitting, mediocre catcher who's familiar with the pitchingstaff. He's a known quantity who does whatever the Twins ask of him, and there's value in that. But I have to believe that the liklihood of his making the active roster will have more to do with A) Mauer's health, and B) whether the Twins are forced to pencil in Doumit at another position on a regular basis. And whether or not he and Pavstache get caught while lighting things on fire, obviously.
Parm turns 24 next month, and after his showing last September I know there are a few people with itchy trigger fingers who want him to make the roster straight out of spring training. Like Butera, however, the liklihood of that happening is tied into other players more than his own merits of performance in March. If Morneau needs to be protected, and as a result has to be the team's everyday designated hitter, then Parmelee might be that 13th position player. But right now the Twins want him to play everyday, want to protect him as much as they can in terms of development, and the best way to ensure Parmelee gets both of those things is to give him the first base job in Rochester.
Minnesota's next Joe turns 24 in May, and along with Dustin Martin, Steve Pearce, Brian Dinkelman, Matt Carson and Wilkin Ramirez is one of six reasons why Tosoni is likely to get that 13th spot with the Twins. The Red Wings will have their choice of outfielders, and while it might be a luxury for the Twins to sign a veteran for that defensive replacement in the late innings, there's just not room in Rochester for Tosoni.
Tosoni is still just 25, and while he's another left-handed bat he has the most experience of any player on the 40-man roster in terms of a fourth or fifth outfielder. And like I just mentioned, the Twins (and Tosoni) are at a point where everyone needs him to step into the role. There were times that he looked overmatched last summer, but he also showed flashes of promise and came up with a few big hits. He's not the most complete player, and his ceiling isn't as high as Ben Revere's, but he's capable of playing all three outfield positions and that might be enough.