March 24, 2008

Twins make the Cuts

As I described this morning, the Twins were set to make quite a few cuts today, and so it came. The Twins cut 5 of the remaining 34 players, making there to be just 4 more cuts. Brian Buscher, Denard Span, Philip Humber, Casey Daigle and Jason Pridie all missed the roster.

Denard Span definitely gave Carlos Gomez a run for his money, and although I still personally feel the Twins would've been better off starting Span and having Gomez in Triple-A, this wasn't an unprecedented move. Both Gomez & Span played their best these last two weeks and it's sad because neither of them truly deserved to be sent down. La Velle E. Neal III describes an emotional Denard Span. What this means for Denard Span's future with the Twins, nobody really knows, except it will be surprising if he can make a splash on the team next year. The Twins have three outfielders they feel will be here for the long haul and it looks like they all have their feet cemented into the starting lineup for at least the next 3-4 years.

Brian Buscher is not a surprise to me at all. He came to camp and worked his tail off until the very end, unfortunately his hard work and dedication did not translate to better results. He will likely play 3 infield positions at Rochester this season, first, second, and third while he looks to be the likeliest candidate to be called up in case of injury. However that can all change if he doesn't have the numbers in Rochester. With his demotion, it most likely means that Matt Tolbert has won the infield utility bench spot. He definitely came out of nowhere.

Jason Pridie, it's unfortunate that he has Craig Monroe ahead of him, who has a large(r) contract, because he definitely had a good enough spring to make his way back to Minnesota. He probably will be the Twins 4th outfielder come next season, unless the team tries to re-sign Monroe. It's anyones guess at this point.

Philip Humber is not a big surprise. Both Brian Bass and Nick Blackburn had better springs, however Humber did have a good spring as well. He will more than likely make his Twins debut at some point this season, and could very likely be the first pitcher called up due to injury/bad performance.

Casey Daigle never really had a shot in my eyes. I believe the Twins held onto him in camp as long as they did because they wanted the extra arm. He did pitch better than most probably predicted, but he was destined for Rochester.

With that, 4 more players need to be cut at some point this week. Eli Whiteside, Jon Knott and Drew Butera don't figure to make the team, which leaves one more cut. The final cut has three candidates (in my opinion) and they are Francisco Liriano, Nick Blackburn, and Brian Bass. La Velle E. Neal III says that, "indications are that Fransisco Liriano will open the season in the minors" which would mean that Brian Bass and Nick Blackburn will occupy the final rotation spot and bullpen spot that remain.

Make sure to check out Seth Speaks as he gives us a list of 8 minor leaguers who have been released.

It also sounds as if the announcement of a Joe Nathan extension could come at any point today. So stay tuned.