The Twins have made their latest cuts, most notably sending center field candidates Aaron Hicks and Eddie Rosario to Triple-A Rochester. That means that Jordan Schafer is a lock for the Opening Day roster and non-roster invitee Shane Robinson also makes the team. Additionally, the Twins sent down RHP Mark Hamburger, who impressed the team in camp but always felt like a long shot to follow the team to Detroit, and also Trevor May, who pitched very well but was likely destined for Triple-A as he still had minor league options.
For the late risers on Saturday: Hicks, May, Rosario & Hamburger to AAA. Milone is 5th starter. Santana is OD SS. Schafer & Robinson in CF.
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) March 28, 2015
Having Jordan Schafer in center isn't terrible, as the team was likely satisfied with his performance from last season. Still, Schafer's only real asset is his speed and he doesn't even fully take advantage of that on defense, so I don't see him sticking very long in center field. Robinson is the same except he's actually a plus defender. Basically, center field will be generating very little offense in the short term, and I would imagine that Hicks or Rosario will be just a phone call away should there be a need early in the season.
In Bollinger's tweet is also the news that Tommy Milone is the 5th starter, so right now it seems that Mike Pelfrey will be in the bullpen, except Pelfrey isn't pleased with the news. He has made it known that he would like a trade to another team that would use him as a starter, which would greatly benefit the Twins if they could unload his $5.5 million for this season.
Right now, here's how the roster is shaping up.
On The Bubble
Josmil Pinto (concussion - probably 7-day DL)
So, who would you bring north with the Twins? I'm shocked that Vargas is on the bubble, but Phil Miller's article I linked above suggests that he's not guaranteed a roster spot right now. If that were the case, the Twins would have three catchers on the roster in Suzuki, Fryer, and Herrmann. Sure, they can sell Herrmann as having "defensive flexibility" since he can play the outfield corners, but they don't need a 6th outfielder on the roster, especially one that can't hit. As for the pitchers, it looks like you can pick two, one righty and one lefty. I have to think Graham is a given, though Boyer has pitched well this spring. As for the lefties, Thielbar has more major league experience and success, but has struggled this spring while Thompson has pitched significantly better. If it were up to me, I'd take Graham and Thielbar, but the Twins have already shocked us with center field and could possibly do it again with the final roster cuts.