Sunday, March 27, 2011

Twins Opening Day Lineup

It appears that the Twins Opening Day lineup has been set barring injuries, trades or other unforeseen developments. Phil Mackey (@pmac21) of @1500espn fame recently tweeted that Luke Hughes and Jim Hoey are being optioned to AAA Rochester meaning the final positions have been settled, with the lone exception being a final determination on rule V pickup Scott Diamond. The Twins are very high on Diamond, but Gardy was quoted as saying he just hadn't seen enough of him to take him north. If they don't they would have to return him to the Atlanta Braves unless something could be worked out.

So as it stands right now, assuming Glenn Perkins makes the roster and Diamond is returned to ATL or optioned to Rochester after a deal is worked out, the opening day roster looks like this:

Starting Lineup-

CF: Denard Span
2B: Tsuyoshi Nishioka
C: Joe Mauer
1B: Justin Morneau
DH: Jim Thome
LF: Delmon Young
RF: Michael Cuddyer
3B: Danny Valencia
SS: Alexi Casilla


Bench Players-

DH/OF: Jason Kubel
C: Drew Butera
OF: Jason Repko
INF: Matt Tolbert

Starting Rotation -

SP: Carl Pavano
SP: Francisco Liriano
SP: Nick Blackburn
SP: Scott Baker
SP: Brian Duensing


Closer: Joe Nathan
Set-Up: Matt Capps (could close)
LHP: Jose Mijares
RHP: Jeff Manship
LHP: Dusty Hughes
LHP: Glenn Perkins
RHP: Kevin Slowey (spot starter)

All in all the roster is pretty solid. The only real questions are utility infileder Matt Tolbert who was pushed hard by Luke Hughes, but if Tolbert fails Hughes is a solid option as well as Trevor Plouffe, assuming Plouffe can go down and get back on track. Also LHP Glenn Perkins who apparently had a decent spring but Perkins needs a solid rebound season or will be gone by the All- Star Game. The Twins figure to be active at some point this year depending on how things play out and god forbid any unforeseen injuries. They need one or two players to get over the hump in the playoffs and several players are at the end of their Twins life cycle or have tested the Twins patience one too many times. I think there will be a few pleasant surprises this year and the roster does not have many wink links, so look for good things from the Twins and a nice Al Central battle with the White Sox and Tigers.

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