A number of decisions were handed down to players from the Minnesota Twins on Saturday.
- Jacque Jones and Anthony Slama were among those told they would not make the team when camp breaks. However, they will stay with the team when it goes to Target Field for exhibition games Friday and Saturday.
- Matt Tolbert, Mike Maroth and Ben Revere were among those sent to minor league camp.
For Jones and Slama, it’s a tough break for two guys who were having very nice camps with the Twins. Jones was 11-for-32 with two homers, while Slama didn’t allow a hit and struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings of work.
Having not seen Jones’ defense, it’s hard for me to say whether or not he’s deserving of a roster spot. It’s nice to see him hitting, but his value for this team would largely be based on his ability to spot outfielders.
Slama is a head-scratcher for me, but I guess it’s a numbers game. But there’s no doubting whether he did enough to make the team. Other relievers did struggle.
So, there’s not much up for grabs at this point.
Assuming that Francisco Liriano is in the rotation, he’ll join Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Carl Pavano and Kevin Slowey.
That would leave a couple bullpen spots open. It appears Jon Rauch, Matt Guerrier, Jose Mijares, Jesse Crain and Clay Condrey are probably locks to make the team. So it looks like Pat Neshek, Glen Perkins, Ron Mahay and Brian Duensing are battling for two openings.
I’d guess Neshek and Duensing get the spots, while Perkins gets traded.
Alexi Casilla is a lock for the last remaining bench spot, joining Jim Thome and the loser of the Nick Punto/Brendan Harris third-base battle. The other spot goes to a backup catcher, with Drew Butera and Wilson Ramos trying to get the reserve job behind Joe Mauer.
It sounds like manager Ron Gardenhire prefers Ramos, but I think the front office would prefer to see him get regular at-bats in the minor leagues.