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Diving into the depths: Minnesota Twins

Feb 18, 2010, 7:23 PM EDT

This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Minnesota Twins
1. Scott Baker
2. Nick Blackburn
3. Kevin Slowey
4. Carl Pavano
5. Francisco Liriano
6. Glen Perkins
7. Brian Duensing
8. Anthony Swarzak
9. Jeff Manship
10. Mike Maroth
11. Tyler Robertson
12. Carlos Gutierrez
I had Liriano seventh when I did the depth chart for the draft guide a month ago, but I think there’s greater reason for optimism now following his successful stint in the Dominican Winter League. If Liriano does manage to walk away with a rotation spot, then a trade involving Perkins would become a more likely possibility. Maybe he’d fetch the backup center fielder the Twins need.
1. Joe Nathan
2. Matt Guerrier
3. Jose Mijares
4. Jon Rauch
5. Jesse Crain
6. Pat Neshek
7. Francisco Liriano
8. Clay Condrey
9. Brian Duensing
10. Glen Perkins
11. Anthony Slama
12. Kyle Waldrop
13. Carlos Gutierrez
14. Mike Maroth
15. Rob Delaney
16. Alex Burnett
17. Ryan Mullins
Liriano should round out the pen if he’s not in the rotation. Otherwise, it would seem to be a battle between Condrey and Duensing, though Duensing is another possibility for the rotation. Or maybe Crain will be traded if the relievers below him impress.

1. Joe Mauer
2. Jose Morales
3. Drew Butera
4. Wilson Ramos
First base
1. Justin Morneau
2. Michael Cuddyer
3. Erik Lis
Second base
1. Orlando Hudson
2. Nick Punto
3. Alexi Casilla
4. Matt Tolbert
5. Brendan Harris
Third base
1. Nick Punto
2. Brendan Harris
3. Danny Valencia
4. Matt Tolbert
5. Luke Hughes
1. J.J. Hardy
2. Nick Punto
3. Matt Tolbert
4. Alexi Casilla
5. Brendan Harris
With Morales iffy for Opening Day after wrist surgery, either Butera or the 22-year-old Ramos could open the season as Mauer’s backup.
Left field
1. Delmon Young
2. Jason Kubel
3. Jacque Jones
4. Juan Portes
Center field
1. Denard Span
2. Delmon Young
3. Ben Revere
4. Jacque Jones
5. Rene Tosoni
Right field
1. Michael Cuddyer
2. Jason Kubel
3. Jacque Jones
4. Juan Portes
5. Rene Tosoni
Designated hitter
1. Jason Kubel
2. Jim Thome
3. Justin Morneau
With Thome, Harris and the backup catcher set to occupy bench spots, the Twins have just one spot open. A legitimate backup center fielder would be nice, but the team will likely go with either Casilla or Tolbert. While Casilla is the greater talent and has the advantage of being out of options, the organization seems to prefer Tolbert.

  1. Coby - Feb 18, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    They prefer Tolbert because Casilla is a mental case, He has no idea what he is doing out there he’s just like a retriever chasing a ball.

  2. Bobio - Feb 18, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    Condrey is not a gauranteed contract – they can cut him midway through spring training or so, but I expect him to make the club, so that means Neshek or Liriano & Duensing start the season in AAA – unless there is an injury. This should be the most interesting storyline in florida. I can’t see them going north with 13 pitchers & cut bait with Casilla either. He is just too talented to ignore. I agree his issue is between the ears…. and its significant……
    I would much rather the Twins bring Ramos north if Morales is not ready, but I suspect they wont want to start his arbitraion clock early. He would be Mauer’s replacement next year is he doesnt sign (which I figure is a 1% chance).
    If the key players stay healthy & effective, this should be a very good team that perhaps could be favored to win a first round playoff series for a change….. or more…..

  3. Coby - Feb 18, 2010 at 10:28 PM

    My bet is that Neshek starts the year on the DL. I happen to agree that Casilla will get one more chance if he doesn’t it won’t be just because of his issue between the ears it will be because Tolbert is a better fielder and in a pinch can play outfield. I suspect that Perkins will be traded as soon as he proves he’s healthy to other clubs. The Twins had a hard time most of the year last year with the pitching staff but with everyone healthy (knock on wood) the team should be set. I would also like to see Ramos come up but the twins have never really rushed player (in the system) since Mauer and Gardy likes Butera’s defense. I also think we will see a platoon between Punto and Harris. The real questions is going to come if Delmon starts off slow, if he does then we might see a lot of Thome which could hurt us toward the end of the season.

  4. Carl Wedoff - Feb 19, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    Although he seemed to come around offensively at the end of the season, Delmon Young would be a serious liability in center field.

  5. Robert - Feb 19, 2010 at 8:39 AM

    Young is a serious liability in left field.

  6. ralf - Feb 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM

    Young is a serious liability on a baseball field.

  7. spoof bonser - Feb 19, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    i’d be suprised if Ramos started in the bigs ahead of Butera for a couple reasons, but mainly because it is only a backup postion.
    I think Punto offers more flexibility in positioning than most of the Twins and would expect him to be Span’s backup in center, which allows them to play Harris at 3rd.
    The biggest news in spring training will definately be Liriano, Perkins, and Duensing. All deserve a legit shot at the 5th spot and it’s likely that only 2 of the 3 will make the team for the opener. Thank god Washburn aint in the mix…..cross your fingers

  8. Bill@TDS - Feb 19, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    I suspect that the backup CF will be Punto, with Harris stepping in to watch routine grounders zip on by him at third base.

  9. BCTF - Feb 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    Young is a serious liability at Mrs. Fields

  10. Bill@TDS - Feb 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    And somehow this comment saying the same thing I just did didn’t show up for me, even though apparently written 40 minutes before I wrote mine…d’oh.

  11. Boof Bronzer - Feb 19, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    Luke Hughes is in the backup-backup mix in LF and probably at 1B. I’d also guess that Brock Peterson is a call-up at 1B over Lis.

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