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If the Season Started Today

The Twins have had a quiet offseason thus far (as we all know all too well). The fact is the, there is a very good chance the roster is set as is. There is still a chance of adding a third baseman, such as Joe Crede, but there is also a very good chance the roster we see now, will be the roster opening day. So where does the roster stand?

Lineup:

Span CF
Casilla 2B
Mauer C
Morneau 1B
Cuddyer RF
Kubel DH
Buscher/Harris 3B
Punto SS
Gomez CF

There is a very good chance this is how the everyday lineup will look, with Delmon Young seeing playing time in LF, RF, and at DH. The hardest part of Ron Gardenhire’s job will be trying to find everyone playing time. Third base is easy with the left hand, right hand platoon, but the outfield situation is a little dicier. Cuddyer, Young, Span, and Gomez all need their share of at bats. And, unless one of them plays themselves out of a job, we are likely to see a complex juggling act throughout the season. Otherwise, the lineup is obviously set at C and 1B with Mauer and Morneau, Punto has taken over SS, and barring a catastrophic spring training, Casilla is set at 2B.

Bench:

Redmond C
Young OF
Buscher/Harris 3B
Tolbert IF

This is the most likely scenario for players on the bench. Obviously it changes based on whether Young is playing and who is at third, but it is likely there will only be four bench players. Granted, this is a fairly weak bench, with little power, and everybody besides Redmond is a subpar fielder. And, unless Gomez or Span is on the bench, there is also little speed. All in all, the bench is comprised mostly of platoon players and spot starters. There really isn’t a great pinch hitter or defensive replacement in the group. Poor bench overall.

Rotation:

Baker
Liriano
Slowey
Blackburn
Perkins

The order of the rotation is up for debate, but this seems to be the way things were going at the end of last year. Arguably the strength of the team, the rotation is young and likely to see improvement in some areas with experience. Not much debate here, and barring injury they should be pretty consistent all year.

Bullpen:


Nathan
Crain
Breslow
Ayala
Bonser
Guerrier
Mijares

The way things are headed would lead one to believe this is how the bullpen shakes out. That could change in spring training. We all know how much the Twins love guys that are out of options, so don’t be surprised if Phil Humber makes the team. However, at this time it appears there is no room for him. Mijares, while overrated by most fans, should be solid and win a spot as a second lefty. If he fails to do so, however, that could open up a spot for Humber. The way the bullpen stacks up they should be at least mediocre. Although, there should still be some concern about who will take control of the eighth inning. Hopefully someone can step up.

So there you have it. The roster if the season started today. No major surprises, and the way things usually go, none should be expected. A new third baseman would be nice, but we definitely shouldn’t hold our breath. This isn’t a World Series caliber team, but they should at least be able to contend again. As is, though, I do not see a playoff berth for the Twins 2009 season.

Written By: Eric Johnson
Look for his column every Tuesday and check out his blog at www.juiceandthekicker.blogspot.com

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