We haven't done much ruminating about what the Opening Day roster might look like this spring, although Brandon posted his own prediction a couple of weeks ago. Check that out and see how clear his crystal ball was. Looking forward and checking out who's left in camp, the Twins will go north with the following roster.
Just for fun I've also included the 25-man roster for Opening Day over the prior three years as well.
|C||Joe Mauer||Joe Mauer||Joe Mauer||Joe Mauer|
|1B||Justin Morneau||Chris Parmelee||Justin Morneau||Justin Morneau|
|2B||Brian Dozier||Alexi Casilla||Tsuyoshi Nishioka||Orlando Hudson|
|3B||Trevor Plouffe||Danny Valencia||Danny Valencia||Nick Punto|
|SS||Pedro Florimon||Jamey Carroll||Alexi Casilla||J.J. Hardy|
|LF||Josh Willingham||Josh Willingham||Delmon Young||Delmon Young|
|CF||Aaron Hicks||Denard Span||Denard Span||Denard Span|
|RF||Chris Parmelee||Ben Revere||Michael Cuddyer||Michael Cuddyer|
|DH||Ryan Doumit||Justin Morneau||Jason Kubel||Jason Kubel|
|Bench||Jamey Carroll, IF||Trevor Plouffe, 3B/OF||Jim Thome, DH||Jim Thome, DH|
|Darin Mastroianni, OF||Ryan Doumit, C/1B||Drew Butera, C||Drew Butera, C|
|Eduardo Escobar, IF||Luke Hughes, IF||Matt Tolbert, IF||Alexi Casilla, IF|
|Wilkin Ramirez, OF||Sean Burroughs, IF||Jason Repko, OF||Brendan Harris, IF|
|Rotation||Vance Worley||Carl Pavano||Francisco Liriano||Scott Baker|
|Kevin Correia||Francisco Liriano||Carl Pavano||Kevin Slowey|
|Mike Pelfrey||Liam Hendriks||Brian Duensing||Carl Pavano|
|Liam Hendricks||Nick Blackburn||Nick Blackburn||Nick Blackburn|
|Cole De Vries||Scott Baker||Francisco Liriano|
|Bullpen||Glen Perkins||Matt Capps||Joe Nathan||Jon Rauch|
|Jared Burton||Glen Perkins||Matt Capps||Matt Guerrier|
|Casey Fien||Brian Duensing||Jose Mijares||Jesse Crain|
|Brian Duensing||Jared Burton||Kevin Slowey||Jose Mijares|
|Tyler Robertson||Matt Maloney||Dusty Hughes||Pat Neshek|
|Josh Roenicke||Alex Burnett||Glen Perkins||Brian Duensing|
|Ryan Pressly||Jeff Gray||Jeff Manship||Alex Burnett|
Twins 40 and 25-Man Roster Implications
The only player currently on the Twins' 25-man roster who is not listed on the Opening Day roster above is Tim Wood, who will begin 2013 on the disabled list. He joins Scott Diamond, Anthony Swarzak, and Samuel Deduno, each of whom would have been likely to make the trip north had they been healthy - Diamond for the rotation due to this solid 2013, Swarzak due to his experience in the long relief and swing man roles, and Deduno due to his performances in the World Baseball Classic and because the Twins were short on starters with upside. Cole De Vries or Liam Hendriks (I would certainly hope Hendriks if it was just one) would have began the year at Triple-A under healthier circumstances.
Wood's movement to the DL will not open a roster spot, since it's unlikely he'll be moved to the 60-day. As a result the Twins will need to free up a roster spot on the 40-man roster by designating a player for assignment; Caleb Thielbar seems like the probably choice if the front office chooses to go with a pitcher, while someone like Drew Butera could pass through waivers unclaimed if they choose to go with a position player. This movement will allow the Twins to add Wilkin Ramirez to the 40-man roster. Ramirez is also the only non-roster invitee to earn a roster spot out of spring training.
- Keeping on the theme of Wilkin Ramirez - he seems the most likely of position players to be returned to Rochester once his abilities as a player are exposed or someone in Rochester forces the Twins' hand. You can understand the team's desire to keep another outfielder on the roster who isn't a plodder, and Ramirez has experience in the corner outfield spots in the minors. But there is no upside on any side of the ball, and I'd be surprised to see the calendar turn to May with Wilkin still on the Major League roster.
- Two non-roster invitee pitchers who people thought might have an opportunity to crack the bullpen at some point, Rich Harden and Rafael Perez, are both still recovering and rehabbing their arms. If they are healthy and perform in the minors we will absolutely see them at some point this summer. Which relievers among those on the Opening Day roster above will be the most likely to go?
- I know we were all afraid that Drew Butera would make the roster as the never-used third catcher. But he didn't make the Opening Day roster last year, either.
- Personally, I'm really happy to see Aaron Hicks, Cole De Vries, and Casey Fien make the roster. Hicks because he could be a star and, if he is, will be the first of the new wave about to hit the Twins over the next few years; De Vries because I want to see if he can turn into a reliable back-end rotation option; Fien because he performed so well down the stretch last season.
- Going back to our list from 2010, only three players remain on the roster: Mauer, Morneau, and Duensing. Burnett, Blackburn, and Butera are all in the organization somewhere, but only those prior three players are on the active roster.
- How long of a leash will Ryan Pressly and Josh Roenicke have? Roenicke's MLB track record is spotty at best, as in spite of posting a 3.33 ERA over his last two years (82 relief appearances) his strikeout rates drop with exposure and his command isn't all that great. Pressly's never pitched above Double-A and, while he had better results as a reliever last season, still hasn't pitched above Double-A.