Recommended reading: John Shipley, Pioneer Press: Parmelee could be Opening Day first baseman; Josh Willingham named starting left fielder
Over the winter we speculated on a number of things. We talked about how the starting outfield might look, including which field those players would be in. We talked about how having three catchers wasn't the best use of roster space, especially for a team that almost always runs with a four-man bench. We also speculated about Justin Morneau being the team's everyday designated hitter, and what it might mean for first base.
Now, it seems, our speculation turns a little more real. It's possible to break down the decisions the Twins might be in the process of making to see exactly what it means for everyone else. We'll touch on those things after the jump.
Parmelee seems like he's suddenly become something of a lynchpin in this whole thing. Does he make the roster? If so, at first base or in right field? Just like Brian Dozier or Joe Benson, the only way these guys make the Major League roster is if they play every day.
If Parmelee is the starting right fielder...
Justin Morneau is still the everday first baseman and Ryan Doumit is still, probably, the designated hitter. The bench becomes Trevor Plouffe, Ben Revere, Luke Hughes and Drew Butera (or J.R. Towles if you like the non-roster invitee angle).
If Parmelee is the starting first baseman...
Things get really interested. Morneau slides to designated hitter, Plouffe gets the job in right field, and suddenly your backup catcher is actually your backup catcher. Revere, Doumit, Hughes, and...who? Butera, still? Maybe.
But follow this crazy thought: with that open roster space, the Twins don't just promote Parmelee to the Majors straight from double-A, but Dozier as well. Dozer becomes the starting shortstop, Jamey Carroll slides over to second base, and Alexi Casilla joins Revere, Doumit and Hughes on the bench.
These scenarios still have some way to go before we can shake the roster down completely, but if you buy into that last idea it suddenly becomes difficult to see non-roster favorites like Towles or Sean Burroughs cracking the 25-man roster on opening day. Towles would only have a shot in a universe where the Twins take three catchers; Burroughs could feasibly take Hughes' roster spot if the Twins decide he can do that job better, and the Twins are willing to risk Hughes to waivers.
There are still a lot of moving parts. Apparently, a few more than we anticipated 48 hours ago. But if you're like me, right now you're excited at the possibility of the team taking both Parmelee and Dozier north...as unlikely as it may be.