Monday, March 24, 2008

Roster Moves

The following players were optioned to Rochester today:
RHP Phil Humber
OF Denard Span
OF Jason Pridie
IF Brian Buscher

All four of these guys had a decent chance at making the team. With both Span and Pridie being sent down this means that Carlos Gomez won the center field position. Gomez definitely is the most talented out of the three. Pridie, Span, and Gomez all had great springs. I wouldn’t have minded seeing Span being the CF for the first two months to delay free agency for Gomez for another year. Denard Span really has to be depressed today. Ever since he was drafted he had been heralded as the guy to replace Torii Hunter and now it appears that he will never get a shot at it.

Basically it boiled down to that Gomez could make a difference on the team right now. He’s really picked up his play over the past couple of weeks. In 15 games he has 10 steals, 1 HR, 4 doubles, 2 triples, and 12 runs while batting .286. Over a full season that projects to 108 steals, 11 HR, 65 doubles, 32 triples, and 194 runs. That is pretty darn good, although not a good projection from such a small sample size. It has been a long time since anybody has stolen more than 100 bases in one season. This dude is going to be a fantastic player. He will turn lots of singles into doubles, and he scores almost every time he gets on base due to his speed. Carlos Gomez is the most exciting everyday Twins player in a long time.

So the 13 position players are set. Here they are:
C - Joe Mauer
Backup C - Mike Redmond
1B - Justin Morneau
2B - Brendan Harris
SS - Adam Everett
3B - Mike Lamb
Backup IF - Nick Punto
Backup IF - Matt Tolbert
LF - Delmon Young
CF - Carlos Gomez
RF - Michael Cuddyer
Backup OF - Craig Monroe
DH - Jason Kubel

Indications are that Francisco Liriano might start off in the minors to get him up to full speed. Here are the 12 pitchers to start the season:

SP Livan Hernandez
SP Scott Baker
SP Boof Bonser
SP Kevin Slowey
SP Nick Blackburn

CL Joe Nathan
RP Pat Neshek
RP Matt Guerrier
RP Dennys Reyes
RP Jesse Crain
RP Juan Rincon
RP Brian Bass

Now Liriano might make the team, that decision hasn’t been made. If he does the Blackburn will be sent down.

Opening Day is next week when the Twins host Torii Hunter and the Los Angeles Angels.

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