Bullpen Questions

With the injury to Joel Zumaya, my projected opening-day roster needs adjustment. At this point, I’m not even going to speculate on who will replace him. I don’t think looking at stats alone will be the best way to discern who will be the set of pitchers that have a good chance of making the roster.

There will be an intriguing list of possibles to follow and once spring games begin, we’ll have an opportunity to see how they actually perform this year. In fact, I almost expect to be impressed with some guys who are not on my list now and that may mean a very different look to the bullpen than I projected earlier.

Some questions I will be looking to have answered in the next few weeks:

  • Will Matt Capps perform well enough to deserve the closer role?
  • Will Glen Perkins look good enough to preserve hope for another excellent year from him?
  • Will Brian Duensing return to being very good out of the bullpen again?
  • Will Terry Doyle pitch well enough to keep on the roster or will he go back to the White Sox? Will it be as a starter, long relief man or middle innings guy if he sticks?
  • Will any of the hard throwers show enough control to earn the right-handed set-up role that was envisioned for Zumaya?
  • Will overall performances be strong enough to fill the bullpen with in-house candidates or will a trade be necessary?

Right now the decision the Twins made to add some ‘B’ games looks like a wise one, as it will help some of the pitchers in camp show more of what they can do by giving them more opportunities to pitch in live action.

The best part is – spring games are soon to begin. It will be fun to watch the progression and see who emerges as the go-to guys in the pen.


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